The Best Times to Buy a Used Car

Generally, the best time to buy a used car is during the winter and holiday season. This is due to the increased number of deals and promotions offered during this time. If you’re in the market for a used car, here are three more of the best times to buy, along with a few times you should avoid, if you can.

The Best Holiday: Black Friday

Best Time to Buy a Used Car - Auto USA of Texas

Image via Flickr by Diario Critico Venezuela

Analysts at studied data from over 40 million used car sales between 2013 and 2015, and they determined that the best holiday to buy a used car is Black Friday. On this day, there are 33 percent more used car deals available than average for buyers to take advantage of. The reason? Black Friday shoppers are looking for deals and are willing to spend money on the best ones they can find. Car dealers take advantage of this opportunity by offering many of their biggest promotions to entice buyers. Plus, car dealers have an added incentive to sell: Because Black Friday falls at the end of the month and year, dealers are pushing to meet sales goals and move older inventory off of their lots.

The Best Months: November, December, and January

Overall, the three best months of the year to purchase a used car are November, December, and January. We can attribute this to a dealer’s need to boost sales at the end of the year. Not only are they pushing to meet sales goals, but they’re also motivated to sell older inventory to make room for newer models. If you’re searching for a used car during this time, you’re in luck! Just try not to wait too long to start shopping, especially if you’re looking for a specific car model. If a 2012 Toyota Camry is on your wish list, for example, begin shopping in November when the used car lots are still pretty full.

The Best Time of the Month: The First

If buying a vehicle at the end of the year isn’t realistic, try buying on the first day of any month as an alternative. You won’t see as many deals as you would during the holidays, but you will see about 8.5 percent more than average, thanks to the dealership sales cycle. Instead of ending on the last day of the month, a dealer’s sales month tends to close a few days into the next calendar month, so dealers are encouraged to offer last-minute sales to meet their goals. If the first of the month doesn’t work, the last day is pretty good also — it offers 5.6 percent more deals than average.

The Worst Times

The worst times to buy a used car are during the spring and summer months when demand for vehicles is high. Dealers have no real need to drive sales, so don’t expect much discounted pricing. When it comes to holidays, the worst one to buy is the Fourth of July, when there are 28 percent fewer deals than average. In addition, the worst months to buy are April, May, and June. Maximize your savings by buying a used car during one of these three best times and avoiding the dealership lots during the worst times.