car shopping

According to an Ally Financial survey, 69% of Americans are likely to consider a used vehicle for their next auto purchase.

You’ve taken the plunge and are planning to go used car shopping to find the vehicle of your dreams. But you can’t decide when the best time is to visit the car dealership.

Sound familiar? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Benefits of Buying Used Cars

Instead of browsing car shopping apps for the latest cars, consider the advantages of buying a used car. For example:

Less Expensive

Before spending a fortune car shopping online, remember a new car loses 10% of its value the moment you drive out the dealership.

But when you buy a used car, you’ll save money on the vehicle, auto insurance, and tax which adds up. Because of this, running a used car is much easier to fit into a monthly budget so you won’t have to fork out for loans or higher monthly payments.

Certified and Thoroughly Inspected

Reputable used car dealerships inspect and refurbish their vehicles so customers know they’re getting quality cars that don’t break the bank. Another plus is that certified used cars have an extended warranty and special financing.

Lower Annual Registration Fees

Car owners have to pay for an annual registration fee based on your car’s value and its model year. But if you buy a used car (at least three years old), you can avoid forking out thousands of dollars for new and annual registration fees.

The Best Time of the Year to Buy Used Cars

Before browsing used car shopping websites, here are the best times to buy a used car. For instance:

When Your Current Car Has Mechanical Issues

It’s best to be prepared and search for deals on used cars when yours is showing signs of deterioration. Research early so you know the best dealerships near you and what’s on the market before your vehicle breaks down.

If you leave it too late, the urgency to buy a used car will kick in and it’s less likely you’ll make a smart purchase because of limited time. And, if your current vehicle isn’t driveable, then its resale value will be far lower when you sell it or trade it in.

Instead, Google “used car shopping near me”, to scope out the best car dealerships and find the perfect used car for your needs.

Near the End of the Month, Quarter, or Year

One of our top car shopping tips is to buy at the right time of the year if you have the luxury of waiting. Car salespeople have certain quotas to meet or excel each month, quarter, and calendar year.

This basically means:

  • March 31st (end of first quarter)
  • June 30th (last day of the second quarter)
  • September 30th (end of third quarter)
  • December 31st (last day of the year and fourth quarter)

Dealers sell the most used cars in spring and summer so they’re determined to make a sale during the colder months. Because of this, dealerships are more likely to offer better deals and have larger inventories so you have a better selection of models.

Around Certain Holidays

Aim to visit the dealership whenever there’s a federal or retail holiday which, you’ll notice, are mostly in late fall and during colder months. Black Friday, for instance, offers terrific deals but other holidays to look out for include Veteran’s Day, Columbus Day, and Martin Luther King Day.

Dealers find holidays are a great reason to boost promotions especially because they often fall on a Monday, so you have a long weekend to find your dream used car.

On the flip side, avoid buying a used car on Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, 4th of July, and Easter Sunday. All of these occur in spring and summer months which is when people prefer to go car shopping, and car salespeople know that. As a result, there’s a higher demand for used cars so dealers don’t have an incentive to boost sales with promotions.

Once New Models Have Come Out

The new car model year comes near the end of August, where people trade their used cars in higher quantities. This is beneficial for you as there are more used cars available on the market after summer, which forces dealers to make better deals.

During the Week

Browsing used cars on weekdays leads to better deals than the weekend as there’s less foot traffic. So if you want to optimize your savings on a used car, buy a car on Monday when dealerships are almost deserted.

That’s When You Should Go Car Shopping

When you plan your used car shopping, you’ll see massive benefits like better deals and a greater selection of vehicles. Aim to visit a dealership at the end of a quarter of the year as salespeople are more open to negotiations and may even offer special promotions.

If you have the flexibility, shop in winter months as used cars are far more affordable before the huge influx of foot traffic in spring. And, to go the extra mile, visit the dealership on a Monday as they’re more likely to sort out a decent price for you. Happy shopping!

Looking for a used car in South Florida? If you are, we’d love to chat. Contact us here for more details.