5 Times You Can Score a Great Deal on a New Car

By Ashley Eneriz on 12 October 2016 1 comment

When it comes to scoring a new set of wheels, most personal finance experts would agree that used is best. However, used is not always an option if your partner wants a new vehicle or if you are looking for a specific vehicle to accommodate your driving needs. That's where these tips come in.

Buying a new car at these times can help you land a lower price on your new vehicle. Remember to work on your negotiating skills before heading to the dealership.

1. Labor Day

Labor Day has already passed this year, so keep this information in your head for future reference. Market Watch said, "The time around Labor Day seems to be the sweet spot for bargain hunters, as new models jostle for space on dealers' lots with the outgoing ones." Many dealerships will offer cash back rebates and other incentives to get you to buy, so take advantage of these offers.

We bought our Kia Sorento on Labor Day in 2012. We were initially looking at a used version, but the new model ended up being less due to not having unnecessary trim, and it came with better offers. To qualify for a $1,500 discount, we had to do a loan through them, which at 4% was horrible. We called a credit union the next day and refinanced the loan to under 2%. Sorentos were then in a settlement suit that year, which means we get reimbursed for a percentage of our gas for the life of the car — so that car is not going anywhere soon.

2. The End of the Year

Just because you missed Labor Day doesn't mean you can't still get a great deal. October, November, and December are all good months to shop too, since dealerships are trying to clear out all current year models before the New Year.

Waiting until right before the New Year can result in the biggest discount, but it can also leave you with limited choices. Even when we bought the Sorento in 2012, the options for a 2012 model were slim. The dealership had already cleared out almost all of its 2012 inventory.

3. After a Huge Model Redesign

If the car you have your eye on has a significant model redesign, then the current model should be at a huge discount. Just make sure that you know the reasons for the huge change. Is the redesign for appearance reasons or was it to fix a number of recalled safety issues?

I strongly recommend getting a one month pass for ConsumerReports.org for $6.95. Consumer Reports makes it simple to research car models, common problems with certain models, and recalls. It was Consumer Reports that swayed us from getting another model that had a lot of issues.

4. The End of the Day at the End of Month

If you can go to the dealership at the end of the day on the last day of the month, you have a better chance at saving money, even if there are no rebates or incentives available. Many salesmen need to meet a certain quota by the end of the month, which could put you in a great negotiating position. Plus, some salesmen are willing to lose money on a few cars if it means they will qualify for a special bonus.

Sundays have also been proven to be a day of better discounts, especially to buying a car on Friday or Saturday. For example, going in Sunday, October 30 this year might be an opportune time to get a good deal. Sellers know they won't get many buyers on Halloween, and they still have to meet certain numbers before the month ends.

If you do want to buy a car at the end of the day, try picking out the car and test driving it ahead of time. This way you won't be trying to look at prices and check for issues in the dark. (See also: 17 Things Car Salesmen Don't Want You to Know)

5. Black Friday

Car dealerships have jumped on the bandwagon when it comes to Black Friday deals. So instead of hitting up the mall for Black Friday shopping, visit your local dealership. The best part is that you do not have to wake up early.

It is best to test drive and look at cars ahead of the sale so that you don't feel rushed or pressured. Black Friday is built upon shopping hype and impulse buys, which are not needed when you are considering a large purchase.

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Guest's picture
JHART05

I'm having extreme guilt / feeling bad about buying a new car. I just got it last Saturday and I've been nothing but miserable since. I got one of those lease deals on new, but last year's model cars. Basically your Number 2 and 4 above. Hit both of those. I just don't know why I can't feel good about it.