Is There a Best Time of Year to Purchase a Used Car?

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Is There A Best Time Of Year To Purchase A Used Car - Red Mountain
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Car Buying in 2018

Buying a car can be exciting or stressful, depending on how you look at it. Prices fluctuate widely during the year, and most people (understandably) want to buy when they think they will get the best deal.

When are the best car deals? If you believe what you hear on the radio or see on TV, it could be virtually any time of year, as dealerships claim to clear inventory or offer incentives monthly. However, there are some tried-and-true times when it’s most beneficial to purchase a vehicle and take advantage of factory incentives and offers. Here’s what you need to know.

The Best Time of Year to Purchase a Used Car?

There are a few simple reasons why purchasing a vehicle in the last quarter of a year is the best time. First, the new models are rolling out into dealerships. This means that dealers must move their old inventory to make room for the new models on their lots.

Factory incentives tend to roll out around September and continue through December. Generally, the longer you wait, the better these incentives will be. On the flip side, this does thin out your inventory options a bit. If you’re looking for a specific make, model or color, you might be disappointed when you go to purchase in December but find the vehicle you’ve wanted is no longer available.

If you’re willing to be flexible, however, you can find some nice deals. Combine year-end savings events with other rebates and you’ll maximize your savings.

Buy During the Holidays

The car business is typically slower during the holiday season. As people spend their extra money on gifts, they rarely think about getting in on some of the savings for themselves.

During Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas, rebates and incentives are typically higher than they are during the rest of the year. Combine this with the fact dealers are typically stocking their lots with new inventory, and you could take advantage of some nice deals. Depending on your degree of flexibility, you could score some solid savings.

Buy in 2018

Buying in the new year, on the other hand, also has distinct advantages. Buyers often shy away from making big purchases like cars due to a single word: depreciation. Most of us know that cars are depreciating assets, but what some don’t know is that you can use depreciation to your advantage.

Consider this: The average value of a used car is currently around $15,000, when it was over $18,000 just a year ago. Why is this?

The answer is simple: Car sales have been increasing in recent years. We had to reach a tipping point eventually, so now we have more used cars than we do interested buyers.

As a result, used cars are becoming less expensive. New regulations and technology are driving the trend: More people are turning to leasing and new buys to take advantage of autonomous capabilities and rear-view cameras. Those who are willing to buy used cars stand to take advantage of some serious savings.

Auto Loans in 2018

Since there is an oversupply of used cars, dealers are looking to get them off their hands to make room for new inventory. This means consumers will be able to get relatively gently-used cars for much less. Buying a car in the last weeks of 2017 or early into 2018 can lead to significant savings.

Obtaining financing will also be easier as financiers like Red Mountain Funding will work with individuals with fair, below-average and even poor credit. Anyone can take advantage of the savings and get into a reliable used car. If you’re in the market for a new-to-you vehicle, now is the time to buy.

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About Chris Weatherall

I’m a kid at heart disguised as an auto researcher and business owner. I’ve always enjoyed providing insight in the form of reviews (anime, video games, autos, etc.) When I’m not researching, I’m spending time with my family, driving my Dodge Challenger, riding my motorcycle, and finding new entrepreneurial pursuits.