By Alex Perdikis
You’re ready for a new car, but you plan to wait until dealers and manufacturers offer those fantastic end-of-the-year bargains. That’s when you get the most bang for your buck, right? Not necessarily! You’ll find great deals at the end of the year. But, that’s not the only time to find a bargain.
End of the Year Hoopla
The end of the year is indeed a great time to buy a new car. Dealers have to meet yearly sales goals, so they offer deals to reduce inventory.
“A low end-of-the-year inventory means more room for the latest and greatest coming in next year’s models. This combination is the perfect bargain storm for would-be buyers.”— Alex Perdikis
Does that mean you have to wait to buy your new car? Simply put, no. The end-of-the-year is not the only time you can find the car you want at a great price. In fact, the one drawback to these great year-end deals is that you’re pretty much limited to what’s on the lot for the best deals. If you want a deal and a lot of choices, shopping at a different time of year is for you.
Wait Until May?
The first few months of a new year are the least discounted, but come May and beyond, discounts and bargains begin in earnest. By August, manufacturers and dealers are looking forward to next year. You could find your dream car at a dream of a price in early spring and summer.
Is a Holiday Coming Up?
Did you know that Christmas and New Year’s day aren’t the only holidays you can get a great deal? Dealers offer a lot of sales and deals on holidays throughout the year. Three-day weekend holidays give you the best opportunities. Memorial Day is typically a big deal in car buying with a lot of outgoing model selections from which to choose.
Labor Day weekend is also a big weekend. You may not get the same end-of-the-year terms, but you’ll have more options and still get a good deal.
Monday, Tuesday, the Weekend, Or?
Did you know some days of the week are better for buyers than others? Weekends are typically busy at dealerships, but you’ll get a lot more attention and a smoother buying process if you shop early in the week. Monday’s usually pretty busy, but Tuesday and Wednesday tend to be less busy and a better environment for buyers.
Great Deals: Discontinued or Before-a-Redesign Models
This one takes a little research, but if the automaker plans to discontinue a model you like, you could find a great deal as long as you plan to keep the car for a while. Discontinued models depreciate faster, but they might fit your budget better if you need a bargain price.
Purchasing an outgoing model design can also save you money. It won’t have the latest and greatest options and styling, perhaps, but if you want to save money, outgoing models give you a lot of the same options for less.
Build a Relationship
One of the most effective ways to get the car you want at a price that fits your budget is to build a relationship with a dealer in your region. The dealership wants to make you happy and maintain a relationship with you. When you have a trusting relationship with your local dealership, it won’t matter what time of year you want to buy a car. The dealership will work hard to get you the right car at the best price.
Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.