December really is the best month to purchase a vehicle, whether new or used. You'd be hard-pressed to get a better deal than you can get in the final days of the year, when dealerships are scrambling to unload the inventory on their lots. December is the month with the highest discounts off the manufacturer's suggested retail price MSRP , at an average of 6. New-model cars arrive in October each year and take their place at car dealerships alongside previous-year models. The goal is to have more new-model cars on the lot than cars from last year come January.
So, as autumn progresses, the prices on older-model vehicles drop, and the incentives to buy them rise. This means that you should have plenty of bargaining power when buying a previous-year model vehicle in December. Of course, you'll be limited to the vehicles that are on the dealer's lot. But you should look to get a higher-end model for a base model price.
Try and get a vehicle that comes with upgrades such as an "infotainment" system, heated seats, or larger wheels. While car dealers are desperate to get rid of surplus inventory in December, they're also determined to offload discontinued vehicles.
These are models that manufacturers have stopped making. As soon as it's announced that a particular vehicle is being discontinued, car dealers push that vehicle to the front of their lots and slap a reduced price on the windshield. They do this because the market for discontinued cars dries up fast.
Here Are The Best Year-End Deals In Used Cars And SUVs
Once a car is discontinued, the service contracts and parts that support the vehicle are also gone, meaning consumers have fewer incentives to purchase that particular brand of vehicle. Plus, many consumers assume that something is wrong with a vehicle if it's discontinued, making interest in that model plummet. In December, the best deals are often for discontinued cars, trucks, and SUVs. General Motors recently announced that it, too, is pulling the plug on a number of vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt gas-electric hybrid car, the compact Chevy Cruze, and the Buick LaCrosse luxury sedan.
Sales staff at car dealerships work largely on commission. The more cars they sell in a month, the more money they earn. However, most car dealerships also provide their sales staff with an added incentive in the form of a year-end bonus that's tied to how many cars they sell for the entire year. Some dealers provide bonuses based on how much inventory is moved off the lot in December and whether the dealership meets its annual targets.
This means salespeople have a vested interest in selling you a car during December. Many will agree to favorable terms so that you'll buy a vehicle they can count toward their sales tally for the year and increase the year-end bonuses they receive. Happy man takes the keys of a new car he has purchased. Image source: Getty images. Most of the year, car dealerships compete with other car dealers for people's hard-earned money. But during the holiday season, car dealerships compete with every retailer in terms of deals, sales, and consumer dollars. In December, the Ford dealership is competing not only with the Honda dealership for your business, but also with the likes of Best Buy and Home Depot, which may have great deals on HD televisions and snow blowers.
One of the main reasons car dealerships offer the lowest prices in December is that they're trying to attract consumers who are inundated with advertisements and pulled in many different directions during the holidays. Have a read of our fantastic car finance glossary to be absolutely clear about all the jargon involved with that amazing offer the salesman was telling you about. Finally, and most importantly, know your financial limits. Our forums and comments sections are full of customers who have rushed into buying a car, and subsequently changed their minds.
Be a clever car buyer and you could save a bundle; if you are not so clever, it could cost you a lot more later on than you could ever save up front. Merry Christmas, and happy car shopping! Great post Stuart. I can definitely say that there are certainly some great deals to be had around this time of year.
The best vehicles to get good deals are sports cars — soft variations especially. Christmas is a great time to buy a new car, As sellers provide maximum discounts on them, Used cars on the other hand are not that lucky, the only ones getting the discounts are the those which are stuck with the dealers and are hard to sell.
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You will definitely get discount on that used car model. Great article Stuart, I am looking to buy 1 — 3 year old cars. I am of opinion that the cars on paper look year more older just by flip of month or two hence much better bargains. Hi San. The best advice is to only change your car when you need to, and then look around for the best deals available at that time. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Get a better deal on your next car Stay up to date with all the latest advice with The Car Expert newsletter. Essential car buying and car finance advice, plus the latest news and car reviews.
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Christmas bargains for clever car buyers.
You may be in a strong position to get a deal on a new set of wheels this Christmas. They all need to hit their targets Sales staff are paid commissions and have their own targets, and everyone needs to hit their annual targets. Tags car dealers Christmas new car sales. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.
Best Time of Year
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