Want to get the best deal on a car? Timing is of paramount importance.
Let’s face it! No one wants to buy a freshly launched product when prices are skyrocketing—or delay the purchase too long and miss a discount. And when it comes to cars, where savings could run to thousands of pounds, waiting for the opportune time can really pay off.
So when is the best time to buy a car?
Just like any other product in life, car prices are also dependent on the market forces of demand and supply. That means depending on the market dynamics, the cost can fluctuate according to the season, month, or even the day.
Without further ado, here are the best times to purchase a car.
At the End of Each Quarter
One of the best times to buy a new car is at the end of each quarter (the last weeks of March, June, September, and December), for two reasons:
- Dealers have quarterly sales targets to achieve
- Outside the new registration period, deals are likely to be less (more on this later).
In a bid to meet the quarterly sales target at a time when sales have hit an all-time low, dealers tend to lower prices for a short time. Due to the huge discounts offered at the end of each quarter, it’s easy to get a new mid-range used car online, like a Ford KA, 2015 for less than £4,500 and save nearly £1,000.
Before the New Registration Period
Another great time to get an amazing deal is in February and August.
Two of the most noticeable periods in the UK motor clock are in March and September. This is when the numbers you see on every registration plate change. Due to the new registration plates coming out in March and September, only a handful of buyers prefer to go for the old plates.
This pushes the sales down as buyers wait for the new registration plates. In order to meet their monthly sales targets, dealers respond by offering real bargains in February and August. You can take advantage of this lull, to buy your dream car at an affordable price.
Watch Out For Seasonal Price Discounts
Depending on the type of vehicle you want to buy, you can get some real discounts based on the season. For instance, due to the poor weather in winter and autumn, the demand for four-wheel-drive vehicles usually peak. So buying one in summer can get you bigger discounts.
As for convertibles, they are usually more desirable in summer due to the hot weather. Since the high demand may push the prices up in summer, buying a convertible in winter might get you a favourable deal.
Watch for New Facelift Launches
Watch out for the release of new or “facelifted” models, then buy an old (existing) model in its last weeks in the showroom.
Just like the release of a new car, the facelifted models become the more desirable option, and dealers consequently look to quickly clear the old models to restock with the new models. By taking advantage of this, you can buy a pre-facelift model at a throwaway price.
Lastly, remember to keep an eye on holidays. The Bank Holiday weekends, for example, are traditionally favoured “sales events” in the UK. Also, the Black Friday phenomenon which is now a major sales boost in the UK can get you unbeatable discounts.
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