Why Spring 2016 Is The Best Time to Buy a Used Car
2016 is the best year yet for the biggest and most impressive automotive technology trends. Cars are going to start talking to each other and their environment through built-in SIM cards, Apple and Google will invade your vehicle with car-friendly and gesture-recognizing apps, you’ll have the ability to control devices in your home from your car, and you won’t even have to worry about parking your own car anymore.
So as spring turns into summer, this is the perfect season for buying a new or used car. Not only are the bells and whistles a lot more fun, but the savings are in your favor as well. Although it doesn’t seem like the most desirable situation, consider car shopping on those spring or summer days when the weather conditions are a bit more extreme, like it’s really hot or really rainy outside. Most people stay home in this weather so the dealer is eager to sell to whoever ventures in.
Here are a few more cost-effective tips for buying a new or used car:
- Buy at the end of the month. As June wraps up take advantage of the last days of the month and go peruse your car options. Car dealers are in their crunch time as they push to meet their sales goals, giving you a lot more bargaining leverage. By the end of the month if a car salesman hasn’t reached her/his goal, they’ll be likely to offer a bigger discount to sell you a car. That’s not to say you shouldn’t start shopping and test driving at the beginning of the month. Just have your list honed so you’re ready to buy at the end.
- Buy in the morning or the evening. If you’re able to get to a dealership in the morning while everyone else is at work, it’s more likely that it will not be busy and dealers will be more eager to sell you a car. On the other hand, another option is heading to the dealership right before it closes - if you’re comfortable being “that person”. The salespeople will be ready to close up for the night and get home, so it’s more likely they’ll expedite the sales process in your favor.
- March and April, or tax season, are two of the best months to buy a car, new or used.
- March and June usually mark the end of fiscal quarters where dealers are more motivated to sell at lower prices.
- Memorial Day in May is another great time to buy. New models come into dealerships in the fall, so in the spring they’re eager to get rid of their existing merchandise. It’s likely that brand new inventory will still be in stock from the previous year, so not only could you get a brand new reasonably-priced car but you might also score a discount on top of that.
The good advice doesn’t end here. Forbes Auto has 4 last-minute tips before you head out this spring/summer and buy yourself a new or used car. And don’t forget, be prepared for some crowds - people love to car shop in the nicer weather.
- Know your budget and figure out what you can realistically afford. The average new car nowadays costs around $32k and the average monthly payment is approximately $460.
- Understand how long you’ll be paying for your new car. The typical length of a car loan is around 65 months.
- Figure out how much you’re driving and/or how frequently you’ll drive your new vehicle. For example, now that it’s spring/summer will you be walking more? Will the kids need more rides? Lifestyle changes have the potential to deeply impact you car usage.
- Make sure you’re buying with your feet on the ground, not your head in the clouds. What is the real reason you’re in the market for a new car? The season has an impact on the type of car you might buy. For example - no surprise here - convertible sales soar in the summer. All that is to ask, will you truly use the car as much as you anticipate and will it be practical and safe? Avoid impulse buys.