The Best Time to Buy a Car

“Shop at the end of the month. They’re desperate.”

“Oh, you don’t want to buy in June. Wait until November.”

“New models are right around the corner. Go back then.”

If you’ve ever been in the market for a new car, you’ve probably heard one of these. They have been passed down over the years as the “pro tips” or “industry secrets” that car dealers don’t want you to know.

The reality is that, with the exception of one-offs, if you’re asking about the best time to buy a car, you’re probably looking at too much car. Changes in the automotive industry have made most of these tips either obsolete or not worth the time they take to pursue. Let’s take a look at why that is and when you should really buy a new car.


There’s no bad time to buy a car.

The most common urban legend we hear is that dealers are more likely to cut a good deal toward the end of the month. The idea was salespeople would spend the first three weeks of the month trying to pad their numbers and then rush to close every deal on week four to hit their manufacturer’s target.

That doesn’t happen anymore. If dealers want to be profitable, they have to work with their manufacturer from day one. All things equal, most dealers will offer the same sticker price on day 30 as they do day one.


Sticker price isn’t the only price.

Over the last few years, the internet has completely changed the automotive industry. People can look up a dealer’s cost for any new car online and use that information to negotiate better sticker prices. However, that’s almost never the full deal.

Dealers have several profit centers they may use to make up any losses they take on the sticker price, from maintenance packages to paint protections to insurance coverages. Some of these services, when priced appropriately and presented fairly, are great for buyers. But the data on these services is less readily available, so most buyers either agree to overpriced services they don’t need or waive services they’ll need later.


Buy a car on your terms, not the dealer’s.

Forget all the urban legends. In 90% of cases, the best time to buy a car is when you plan for it. By treating your car purchase like the key financial decision it really is, you’ll know when the numbers indicate that it’s time for a new car.

Let Tailored Auto navigate the car buying process for you and save yourself the time and hassle. We’ll negotiate a fair deal and get you in your new car and on your way.

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