Finally — The Truth About What Day (and Month) Are the Best Times to Purchase a Car
When — exactly — should you purchase a car?
To get the real answer to this question on when to purchase a car, we asked Peter Humleker, consumer advocate, consultant and author of the excellent book “Car Buying Scams, Auto Dealer Executive “Breaks Code of Silence!” to write an exclusive article for us on the topic.
Here’s Peter’s article on the very best time to purchase a car:
If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me this question, “What is the best day or month to buy a car?” I would be a very rich man!
This is without a doubt the single most frequent question I get asked.
If you have done any surfing on the Net about this question, you would think someone did a top-secret poll… and only they have the correct answer.
If you give them your blood type, finger prints, and social security number, then maybe they will give you the answer. <g>
Let me set the record straight once and for all about this most asked and misunderstood question:
It all boils down to bonuses and rebates.
Notice that I said bonuses and not dealer cash.
I can hear your brain already thinking, “What is the difference between bonus money and dealer cash?”
Dealer cash is money that the factory gives to the dealership for every car sold.
For example, they might have $500 dealer cash on a certain make of car for the month of March. So for every car sold of that particular make, the dealer receives $500 extra per car.
This is not to be confused with rebate money that is given to the consumer from the factory. Dealer cash goes to the dealer… and rebates go to the customer.
Now as far as bonus money from the factory goes, that is extra incentive money to entice the dealership to sell more of a certain model of car.
For example a manufacture may put out a bonus to its dealer network that says if they sell 100 XYZ cars (or more) in the month of October they will receive $200 per car.
That means if they sell only 90 cars, they don’t get the bonus. If they sell 100, then that is an extra $20,000 to the dealership.
A bonus can also be in the form of a paid vacation to the dealership owner or whoever he may want to give it to — such as his General Manager or General Sales Manager.
The point is that the bonus is not going to show up on one of the Internet sites… and therefore you are not going to know about it.
Bonuses always run to the end of a month though.
Therefore, common sense says that if a dealership is trying to hit their bonus and they only have a couple more cars to sell in order to get it, they are literally going to give those cars away at cost to make that bonus.
So the answer to the question of when is the best day to purchase a car:
It is always the second to the last day of the month… or the last day of the month.
Even if there is not a bonus happening during the month that you plan to buy a car, the sales people are still trying to make quotas for cars sold and last minute sales goals.
Therefore, it always benefits the buyer to purchase a car at the very end of the month.
Now let’s answer the question:
“What is the best time of year to purchase a car?”
It is always at the end of year because that is when manufacturers have the highest rebates going to the consumer — because manufacturers are trying to move the last bit of inventory to make room for the new year’s makes and models.
That means that you usually start to see really big rebates on the cars in September, October and November.
So if you combine all this knowledge, you’ll save the most money when you purchase a car at the end of September, October or November.
Peter has a lot more interesting information to share. If you’re interested in auto financing, click here.