Many people ask, “When is the best time of year to buy a car?” Here’s a list of some answers I have gotten, along with a count of those days.
Any three-day holiday weekend, which at this point seem never-ending. Take for instance Presidents Day, which used to be George Washington’s birthday but became more popularly known as Presidents Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act. That also includes Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day. All of these have become great car selling weekends that also include perks like hot dogs and balloons. In all this encompasses about 20 sale days.
Then throw in the other non-three day weekend holidays which are another excuse for dealers to have sale events. St. Patrick’s Day, which gives all the salesmen an excuse to wear a silly green T-shirt. Or Valentine’s Day, “find the car you love.” Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, to get a gift for that special someone. Cinco de Mayo, which is the celebration of Mexico’s independence but another great reason to lower prices and wear sombrero’s. Don't forget our Independence Day weekend where the salesmen get to wear red, white and blue top hats. That’s 28 more days.
It’s a Mardi Gras savings event, which should only matter in New Orleans but the rest of the country seems to like it, and the salesmen get to wear beads. Ground Hog Day “If he sees his shadow its six more weeks of low prices.” Armed Forces Day gives us a chance to celebrate the men and women serving our country by giving them an extra thousand dollars for their trade. That adds another 16 days to our total.
Some of the less popular holidays are still an excellent reason to have a sale and dress the salesmen in goofy stuff. These could include Halloween, Arbor Day, Bosses Day, Election Day, Flag Day, Grandparents Day, Secretary’s Day. You get the picture. That’s enough for holiday sales, how about “End of the month blowouts”? Each last about five days and there are 12 of them, so tack on 60 additional days.
Don’t forget the "end of the model year" sales. With new cars coming in they must make room. I think the salesmen just wear their regular clothes on those days, but that’s good for another five days. We also must consider the end of the year when dealers are forced to liquidate inventory or pay hefty taxes. Don’t understand that one but five more days of discounts like you’ve never seen.
In all, that’s 154 days of potential discounts. That doesn’t take into account “The boss is out of town so were pricing them low” or “Moonlight Madness” sales where they stay open until midnight. In Colorado, dealerships are closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. That’s 81 days a year. Add that to the 154 sale days, and that’s 255 days of a 365-day year. So, in theory, there are only about 110 days you can accidentally wander in and pay too much. So what’s the real answer to the question? The best time for you or anyone to buy a new or used car or truck is the day you are ready. Some more important and relevant questions to ask may be:
- Have you done your research?
- Have you driven a few different makes and models to see how comfortable you are behind the wheel?
- Does the car have enough room for your family, but not so much that you are wasting room?
- Are you happy with the gas mileage this car gets?
- How long do you plan on owning this car?
These are the real questions you need to ask prior to purchasing a car.
Maybe a better question is “when is the wrong time to buy a car?” We have outlined 155 days a year that may be a bad time. Why? Because there is no such thing as a sale. A car dealer wants to sell a car every day, and if they don’t, you should not be working with them. Dealers are there to represent their product and sell it for the market price every day. There are too many people that have fallen for the “Big Sale” and regretted it the entire time they have owned the car.
Captivated by the lies told to them by the salespeople and managers at the dealership; they went out looking for a deal that didn’t exist, then talked themselves into something they didn't want or need. They listened to the advice of someone they didn’t even know, someone that profits from the sale whether it is good for the buyer or not.
The average length of time a car salesman is employed at a dealership is nine months, which is not enough time to become expert in advising you how to spend your money. So, decide what car or truck is best for you, do your shopping online. The best deal is the one that you can be happy with the entire time you own the car.