Best Time to Buy a New Car

When is the Best Time to Buy a Car From a Dealership?

The best time to buy a car is important information during the car buying process.

There is plenty of information on the internet about the best time to buy a new car. However, please be cautious of the source. Most of these individuals providing this information have never worked or experienced the day-to-day grind of a dealership.

Below I’ll share with you some of the best and worst times to buy a new car, truck, or SUV from a dealership based on my vast experience in the retail car business.

The Best Time to Buy a New Car and Pay the Lowest Price

Suppose you want to buy a new car at the lowest possible price possible. You must purchase the vehicle when it has the largest customer rebates and factory-to-dealer incentives available from the manufacturer.

The most significant new car discounts and incentives are usually near the end of the year when models change. You may always test the waters using a free online site like RydeShopper to check what new vehicles are selling for in your region.

Best Time of the Week to Buy a New Car

Weekends are usually crazy because this is when dealers hold sales events and focus on the outcome of their advertising. Having an abundance of traffic will tend to make a dealer retain profits. If they lose a sale because of it, they know they have another car buyer right behind them.

Mondays usually are “clean-up days” for a dealership. They focus on following up on the weekend’s business and taking care of any loose ends from the weekend’s sales.

Best Time of the Week to Buy a New Car

“Tuesday or Wednesday”

Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the slowest times of the week for a car dealership. Most people work during the week and do not usually shop for cars. This makes business slow and traffic on the dealer’s lot scarce. I did whatever it took to sell a vehicle when a customer showed up in the middle of the week.

I recommend Tuesday and Wednesday as the best times of the week to buy a car.

When is the Best Time of the Month to Buy a New Car

Suppose you don’t have the luxury of time on your hands and cannot wait for the enormous rebates and dealer incentives that come out towards the end of the year.

The very last day of the month is the most suitable time to buy a car. If the last day of the month falls on a day, the dealer may be closed, or for some reason, you can’t make it on that day, plan your visit as close to the last day of the month as possible.

NOTE: You will want to have all your new car research and calculations done before the day you visit a dealership.

Most dealer incentives and customer rebates for new cars are released from the manufacturers during the first few weeks of the month. So, you may miss these discounts if you buy a new vehicle too early in the month.

As it gets closer to the end of the month, salespeople, managers, and dealers are doing everything they can to hit their monthly sales goals and quotas.

Best Time of the Month to Buy a New Car

“Last Day of the Month”

As I stated, a dealer and its sales staff have specific goals they must hit monthly to achieve certain sales bonuses. As the end of the month draws to a close. Some dealers may be just a car sale or two away from achieving their goal.

Salespeople and their managers become more flexible in making deals to reach these end-of-the-month quotas. Why? Because these goals are tied to their pay plans.

For example, a dealer gets a $500 bonus for every Toyota Camry he sells in September; however, he must sell a minimum of 50 Camrys to qualify. If the dealer hits his quota of 50, he will make an additional $25,000 from the manufacturer. That’s not a bad deal.

If you want to buy a Toyota Camry and are the 50th person to enter the showroom on the last day of the month? Do you believe there’s a chance you may obtain a better deal so the dealer can collect his bonus? Yes, I agree. For this reason, I think the month’s final day is the best day to purchase a new vehicle.

Recommended New Car Shopping Sites


RydeShopper online free new and used car price quotes.RydeShopper has one of the world's most significant new car dealership networks. Select the make and model you're interested in, and they will instantly search clearance pricing within your local area. Don't forget to select as many dealers as possible to increase your chances of the most significant discounts and savings.

Visit RydShopper >>


Free new and used car price quotes from Edmunds.Edmunds is one of the oldest and best new car research and review sites on the Internet. Their huge dealer network allows you to shop, research, and compare millions of new cars so you can find the exact vehicle you're looking to buy.

Go to Edmunds >>


Motor Trend online car price quote service.MotorTrend is one of the best-kept secrets on the Internet. Best known for its automobile magazine, its referral service is 100% free, and there is no obligation to purchase. Pick the vehicle you're interested in, select local dealers, and receive discount pricing.

Search MotorTrend >>


Get a free vehicle price quote online from CarsDirect.Cars Direct has been in the online vehicle research business since 1998 and has all the right tools to help you find your next car, truck, or SUV. They offer a no-hassle experience, from configuring a car to making the final purchase. You'll find your next car quickly and easily.

Visit CarsDirect >>


All Online Car-Buying Tools >>

Best Time of the year to Buy a New Car

Vehicle manufacturers always apply the highest customer rebates and dealer incentives on new cars as it gets closer to the end of the year.

They do this to help dealers move old inventory to make room for the new model year vehicles.

Best Time of the Year to Buy a New Car

“Last Few Months”

September, October, November, and December are the months manufacturers try to make room for their new models on dealer lots.

Vehicle manufacturers tend to provide consumers and dealers with the most significant factory incentives and customer rebates during these months. Of course, the later in the year you can wait, the better.

Combining the last day of the month with the end of the year will increase your chances of saving the most money when buying your next new car.

Keep in mind, as you get closer to the end of the year. The discounts become more significant, but a dealer’s “older” inventory starts to thin out, and so do your chances of getting the vehicle you want to be equipped the way you like.

Other Good and Bad Times to Buy a New Car

Now let’s look at some other good and bad times to go car shopping.  Some of these may surprise you.

Visit a Car Dealership Right Before They Close

This happens almost daily. Many car buyers believe this is an excellent technique for buying a car. They think they can get in and out of a car dealership without haggling over the price for hours on end.

Uneducated car buyers believe car salespeople and their managers will give away a car because they’ve been working all day, ready to go home to their families, and don’t want to stick around to play hardball. THIS IS NOT TRUE!

Some dealership personnel will be just downright rude if you show up right at closing time and will tell you whatever to get you to leave. However, some salespeople will see you showing up late as an opportunity to hammer on you for hours on end.

If you’re still in the dealership after closing time, the staff will close the gate and lock up the dealership, not making it easy for you to leave unless you buy a car. They’ll haggle with you until midnight or later if need be.

The sales staff will do anything and everything in their power to make you PAY, for making them STAY!

Going to a car dealership right before they close may seem like a good idea, but it’s not the best technique you can use, and I would strongly advise against it.

Arrive at a Dealership During Bad Weather

Some car buyers believe if they visit a car dealership when it’s raining, snowing, or in other bad weather situations. There will be no other customers on the lot, and the dealer will be more willing to make a good deal to sell a vehicle.

Car dealers believe that if you’re out shopping for a car in inclement weather, you must be desperate to buy a new car.

This technique will make you uncomfortable while shopping for a car. The dealer will negotiate with you the same way as if it were a lovely sunny day.

If you’re shopping for a used car, inspecting the vehicle’s condition in lousy weather will be challenging. I advise staying dry and warm, saving your visit to the car dealership for a sunny day.

Car Shopping During a Holiday

Business is traditionally slow for a dealer around the holidays. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, customer rebates and incentives usually are higher than the rest of the year.

However, car dealerships also tend to cut back on their inventory around this time of year, selling off as much old inventory as possible to make room for the new incoming models. Depending on the vehicle you’re looking for, this may be an excellent time to buy.

If you buy a vehicle during the holidays, do your homework as you would before buying a car at any other time during the year.

Dealerships are always promoting some “BIG SALE!” Please don’t fall for the hype; it’s all a numbers game to them. Dealers will attempt to make as much money as possible from an uneducated buyer every chance they get.

Other days of the year that are a great time to buy a new vehicle include:

  • Labor Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Black Friday (weekend)
  • Cyber Monday
  • July 4th

Dealers tend to make a big deal and will hold huge sales events around these specific days.

About the author
Carlton Wolf is the author and founder of Auto Cheat Sheet.My name is Carlton Wolf, and I’ve been in the car business since 1994, both retail and wholesale. I created the Auto Cheat Sheet to better educate buyers about the deceptive sales practices used by many dealerships throughout the country. Please understand that not all car dealers are dishonest. However, you never know who you’ll be dealing with, though. I’m willing to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who listens. Keep in mind that I’m a car guy, not a writer.