When is the Best Time to Buy New-Model Cars

The brand-new line of import cars begin to sprinkle into the market as summer arrives, and most domestic models from the Big Three U.S. carmakers roll into showrooms just a few weeks later.

Many auto analysts recommend that when the new models roll out, it’s your sign to buy the outgoing year’s model. Dealers are looking to move those out to make room for new inventory. But if you can’t wait, and you have to have the latest wheels, Consumer Reports offers some advice on good times to buy:

  1. Adapt yourself to the salesman, who has goals to reach at the end of each month and business quarter. That salesman may be willing to let a car go off the lot for much less than sticker price if it means a bonus is just the sale of a car or two away.
  2. Remember, car dealers have to compete with fun things like vacation and short get-away trips over a holiday weekend. “Blowout” sales are worth checking out.

If all else fails, use time to your advantage. Over and over, auto analysts maintain the best time to buy is the last few days of the year because end-of-quarter bonuses and annual bonuses come into play for the dealer. This can open the door to all sorts of good practices to start right now, like saving for a 20-percent down payment, correcting possible errors in your credit report, and getting preapproved for a loan. All of these can help you get a better deal on a new-model car.

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