You’re ready to buy a new car.

Even if you’ve done your research, examined your budget and gotten preapproval, it can still be tricky to get the best deal.

So, it pays to focus your efforts on negotiating areas where you can have some influence. Among those is picking the best time to get a deal on your car — and avoiding the worst.

Best Time to Buy

Automotive pricing and information website TrueCar’s statistics show the winter months offer the greatest potential discounts, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wait until then to buy a new car. Remember, as the year wanes, inventories become more limited, so even though great discounts may be available, they might not necessarily be on the exact model you’re shopping for.

So if you have your heart set on something, think about whether the extra savings is worth potentially missing out on the car you really want.


Worst Time to Buy

Historical statistics show springtime probably isn’t the ideal time to buy a new car: More people are out and about as winter weather clears, and tax refund checks are warming consumers’ pockets.

With summer days ahead, more shoppers with a little extra cash in hand are looking for their next new car — which means dealers don’t need to offer quite as many discounts to entice those eager shoppers to buy.


More Considerations

  • Shop early in the week. On weekends, salespeople typically have their hands full with a large number of shoppers. Shopping on Monday or Tuesday can get you more personal attention.
  • Shop at the end of the month or quarter. Salespeople are judged on their sales performance. At the end of the month or quarter, any sale might help them keep their jobs. A hungry or desperate salesperson can be your best ally when making the deal.
  • Make your offer later in the day. If a salesperson hasn’t racked up a sale all day, he or she may be more amenable as the minutes tick down to closing time.
  • Look at outgoing models. Shop for last year’s models when the new ones are due or just rolling into the showroom. The dealership wants to sell new cars and will be more willing to make deals on older models to get them off the lot.