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When is the best time to buy a car?

The price of a car is rarely final. You can find the best car deals or dealers willing to negotiate prices in certain months of the year. But you may find yourself asking – ‘is it a good time to buy a car?’. We’re here to tell you all about the best time to buy a car for yourself.

OK, you want to buy your next car. But when is the best time to buy? Certain months of the year can get you a sweet deal on new and used cars.
When it comes to price, negotiation with car dealers or finding the best car deals is much easier during certain times of the year. Knowing when can help you save a lot of money. Best time to buy a new car Best time to buy a used car More tips on best time to buy a car

Best time to buy a new car

1. Shop during the quieter periods

If you’re looking to buy a new car, it can often pay to shop during the quieter periods. During this time, dealers are keen to hit their target, which means negotiating can be easier and they might even be offering deals.

2. Buy a new car before number plate registration

August and February are a good time to buy new cars as many people delay their purchase to get a car with a new plate. So, negotiating with car dealers looking to meet their sales target can be easier during these months.

3. Shop when a new car model launches

It’s worth keeping an eye on the motoring press – such as this very website – and looking for news of forthcoming new models or updates for the new year. The arrival of a new style of car will often mean the outgoing model is available at a discounted rate.

Best time to buy a used car

1. Buy a used car after new number plates are introduced

September and March can be one of the best months to buy a used car. This is because just after new number plate formats are introduced, lots of people tend to part exchange their old cars for new ones which means that dealers can find themselves with a lot of used cars in stock that they want to shift.

2. Buy a used car right before new number plates are introduced

In the run-up to the plate changes dealers often also clear out old stock in expectation of a forthcoming flood of cars. With limited space on the forecourt, they’ll often take a lower price to clear some real estate. Thus, August and February can be the best time to buy a second-hand car.

More tips on best time to buy a car

1. Buying a car in winter and summer

Certain times of year favour certain types of car. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first signs of spring will add hundreds to the asking price of convertibles, so look to buy one in the winter if you're after a bargain. Likewise, trying to buy a 4x4 in the summer makes sense, as demand (and, perhaps more importantly, price) is at its highest in the winter.

2. End of quarter discounts on cars

Most car dealers have sales target that they need to meet at the end of each quarter, thus you should try to shop when they’re near the end of a period.
You could also try buying a car on a Friday, when the dealers are trying to meet their end of week goals or towards the end of a month when they’re trying the hit the end of the month goal.

3. Should I buy a car in December or January?

Buying a car for the new year can be a good idea. This is because not many people are focused on buying new cars at Christmas, so you can get the best new year car deals in December, followed by new year's January car sales.

4. Buying a car during holidays

Car shopping during holidays can be the best time to buy a car as dealers will have proper sale events, with big discounts. These can include bank holidays, Boxing Day and, increasingly, the US-derived Black Friday sale at the end of November.

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