hamburger icon
2023 Honda CR-V
Deals Articles

What's The Best Time To Buy A Car?

The best time to buy a car is arguably when you're presented with a fair price for the vehicle you want and can get a deal in the process. Traditionally, the best time to buy a car is when manufacturers are discounting an outgoing model year. The deepest discounts are usually available before major redesigns of cars & trucks.

In some cases, holidays can be a good time to buy if you can take advantage of special incentives. Year-end deals can involve bonus cash, 0% financing, as well as lease deals that include discounts for switching brands. Traditionally, some of the best times to buy a car have involved limited-time Employee Pricing promotions.

Cheapest Month To Buy A Car

There is no set month that has the biggest discounts on every new car. Having said that, the best luxury car deals tend to be at the end of the calendar year as companies vie for the sales crown. This can involve lower lease payments, financing deals, and offers to waive your first month's payment.

2023 Lexus NX crossover

For example, Lexus has historically introduced complimentary payment offers worth up to $800 that can help reduce your amount due at signing. This type of offer typically arrives in December as part of the brand's long-running December To Remember Sales Event that's promoted heavily on TV and online.

These types of incentives change from year to year and have been significantly impacted by a chip shortage that has resulted in supply chain issues around the globe. Not all models may be eligible, too. For example, the odds of getting a Chevy Corvette Z06 discount at year's end are practically non-existent.

2023 Chevy Corvette Z06

The fact is that new car deals come out at the start of the month and even your local dealer won't know what's in store until they're announced. These can include manufacturer lease deals, new car rebate deals, and 0% financing deals. Some new cars and trucks can even be better to lease than to buy.

Around March, expect to see aggressive deals from domestic brands like Chevy. GM specifically tries to derail import brands around this time because they have a fiscal year that ends on March 31st. This period often features conquest cash incentives only available to owners of a competing car brand.

Back to top

Buying A Car Before A Redesign

If the car you want is headed for a redesign or is being discontinued, it could present an opportunity to find the biggest savings. For example, prior to the last redesign of the Chevy Corvette, you could get up to a $12,000 Corvette discount. Now, you might be lucky to simply buy a Corvette at MSRP.

Similarly, before its last major update, the Acura TLX became cheaper to lease than the entry-level ILX. Ahead of a significant refresh, the Audi A8 offered a whopping $12,500 rebate deal as well as promotional financing rates for buyers. Some of these types of deals can arrive up to 6 months before a redesign.

If you're looking to time your purchase, it's also important to be aware that new cars can sell out sooner than you think, and waiting too long carries the risk that the color or configuration you want could be sold out by the time you finally decide to buy. Or, you may end up having to place an order for the newest version.

Back to top

Buying A Car At The End Of The Month

A popular myth suggests the best time to buy a car is at the end of the month because dealers are more inclined to cut a deal. While it's true that some brands have sales objective payouts, this isn't always the case, and waiting could most likely have no advantage whatsoever.

In late October of 2022, Hyundai began paying dealers a bonus worth up to $2,000 for every car sold. The company even began offering dealer cash incentives, which aren't advertised like normal rebate offers and can help lower the prices of cars behind the scenes.

2023 Hyundai Palisade crossover

Don't count on getting a better price, however, because not every dealer may be able to hit their sales objective and get a payout. In some cases, we've actually seen the opposite with so-called "Fast Start" incentives that offer better rebates in the first half of the month.

Back to top

The Best Holiday To Buy A Car

Holidays can get you access to deals you wouldn't be able to get otherwise. Prior to the global chip shortage, Chevy offered annual GM Supplier Pricing as well as Employee Pricing For All deals that promised over $10,000 off MSRP. These promos typically appeared at year's end around November or December.

Another reason to buy a car at the end of the year is the fact that there can be additional discounts for those who qualify. For example, Costco offers an annual $1,000 Chevy discount for warehouse members. The deal typically makes its debut in early November and lasts through January of the following year.

2022 Chevy Silverado pickup truck

Alternatively, Black Friday car deals typically offer a bonus. For example, Chrysler reliably offers Black Friday Bonus Cash on select Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler models. The best deals offer up to $2,500 in savings. However, the downside is that some of these offers can have no advantage over previous deals.

Best holidays to get a deal on a car

Back to top

Explore The Latest Car Deals

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing expert, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Sign Up for Customized Deal Alerts

Subscribe to receive emails of the latest deals. Select list to join:

Related Articles

Best Black Friday Car Deals For 2023 We may be less than a month away, but it's not too early to start planning for 2023 Black Friday car deals. Fewer shoppers are paying above MSRP, a...
Best Veterans Day Car Deals While a lot of manufacturers offer military discounts on cars, not every brand offers extra incentives for Veterans Day. Based on our analysis, thi...
Chevy Advertising Nearly $12,000 Off C7 Corvettes December is shaping up to be a great time to buy a 2019 Corvette. Yesterday, Chevy launched Employee Pricing worth up to $9,885 off the price of a ...
Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Dec. 31 To Buy A Car Waiting until the end of the year is sometimes touted as the best time to buy a car or truck. But is that really the case? The truth is that you co...
This Week's Top Car Deals & Analysis - November, 12, 2021 It's cheaper to lease the Subaru WRX over the Subaru BRZ. Despite being a bigger and more powerful car, the 2021 Subaru WRX is effectively $37/mont...

Sign Up for Customized Deal Alerts

Subscribe to receive emails of the latest deals. Select list to join: