The best time to buy a used carOnce you've decided what car to pick, now you need to know how to get the best deal. One way to slash costs is to buy at the right time.
Dealers have targets to meet, with bonuses up for grabs. Typically, these are based on quarterly sales, making the end of March, June, September and December a good time to buy. They need to shift cars, so will be more willing to negotiate and offer attractive finance packages.
But, if you're buying from a private seller, there's unlikely to be a good or bad time. Private sellers don't have targets to meet, other than the price they want to achieve. If you're buying this way, keep an eye on prices a few months before you actually buy - if they're heading down, you may want to wait. Heading up, and it's prudent to buy sooner.
For a quiet time, try to avoid weekends, or the start of the month, just after payday. A dealership crammed with wannabe buyers isn’t a good place to bargain hard.
If you’re buying privately, it’s also worth picking your time when other potential buyers might be away. This could be over Christmas, or deep into the summer holidays. Think about the style of car too. Summer is when drivers dream of buying convertibles, making winter a good time to haggle for a deal on one.
Here are some tips from a broker and a dealer...
Don’t leave it to the last day of the quarter, as once targets are met any deals will disappear.[size=10]- Richard Sanders, MD of Drivethedeal.com[/size]
All dealers work to three-monthly sales targets... Most of us try to hit target way before the end of the quarter, we did our best deals in Feb and early March and are now basically done for the quarter.[size=10]- Forumite Saversammy[/size]