When is the best time to buy a car?

The prospect of owning a new car is an exciting one.

After a house, buying a car is one of the largest purchases an individual can make. According to research conducted by Statista, the average city car costs £13,600 as of March 2022.

Buying a car is a momentous decision. And as such, it isn’t something you should rush into if you want to stay on track financially. It’s a process that requires patience and timing to get things right. With that in mind, when are the best times to buy a car?

Well, it largely depends on what kind of car you’re looking for. We’ll explore the answers in more detail below.

The best times to buy new cars

Are there some parts of the year that are better than others for buying a new car? The answer is yes – it all hinges on certain pressures that car dealerships face and that you can use to your advantage. Which times are they?

At the end of each quarter

During these periods, dealership salespeople are often eager to achieve their targets so that they can get their bonuses. This makes quieter months such as March, June, September and December a great time to go shopping for a new car since negotiating will likely be easier and you might even get a discount.

Before or after the new number plates launch

New number plates are released in March and September. Buyers that want the latest number flock to the dealers around these times. Stay away from them during these months and show up either before demand has picked up or after it has died down.

The best times to buy used cars

Even though timing is less important in the used market, there are still some factors that could help you get the best deal if you play your cards right. So, what are they?

Before or after new number plates launch (again)

This is a great period in which to buy a used car also. But this is for a different reason than for new cars. The people buying new cars around these times tend to part exchange their old cars, meaning that dealers can find themselves with plenty of used cars to sell after the new plates launch.

Dealers expect this beforehand and try to shift as much stock as possible in advance. With less space on the forecourt, they will often accept a lower price just to make some room.

During the summer

If you’re after an old, inexpensive used car, you may want to consider looking for it in the summer. Why? Simply because you’ll need to do thorough inspections, and this will be more comfortable when it’s warm and dry rather than cold and wet. You may be tempted to rush things in bleak weather conditions, running the risk of missing damage that could cost you in the long run.

What times of the year do you think are good for buying cars, and why? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments section.