It might be tempting to forget about the timing and rush to the dealership to purchase the car you always wanted. Once we have money to buy something, we rarely have the patience to sit around and wait for the deals.

But it’s crucial to ask when is the best time to buy used cars (or any vehicle for that matter). If you choose the perfect timing, you’ll be able to save a lot of money. You can spend that extra coin on a fancy stereo or comfortable sit covers. Either way, it will be an investment into something that you really enjoy.

Now that you’re imagining yourself driving the car of your dreams, it’s time to get back to reality and discuss when is the best time to buy new cars and old vehicles.

Why does the timing matter?

Because it determines how much you pay for the car – it’s as simple as that.

If you’re unfamiliar with automotive dealerships and you don’t know how things work, you might assume that vehicles have a fixed price that doesn’t change.

But the truth is, those prices are anything but fixed. No matter which cars we’re talking about, the chances are they will get more expensive or get a discount depending on the timing.

You, as a consumer, should be aware of those changes. Unless you’re so well-off that you don’t care about money at all, you should be willing to learn when is the best time to buy cars.

Even though you’ll encounter countless theories about timing, some of them contain information that is actually useful in reality. Some of them are based on extensive research, which means they are certainly worth considering.

Since there are so many theories, it could be hard to determine which one is trustworthy. It’s easy to entangle in all those calculations and give up in the middle from exhaustion.

However, the journey to buying a car always starts from a reflection on your needs, requirements, and preferences. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, it’s easier to determine the perfect timing for the purchase.

For example, if you want to buy a brand new Mercedes, the rules that apply to used-car deals won’t be relevant. Even though it’s possible to discuss timing generally, it’s always best to dig deeper into all the details and talk about new and used cars separately.

Trust me, determining when is the best time to buy used cars isn’t as overwhelming as it seems. You simply have to follow several rules and you’ll end up with an amazing deal.

When is the best time to buy used cars?

No, it’s not your birthday, promotion, or fifth anniversary. You have more chances to get the cheapest deals for used cars during specific months and holidays.

According to research, used-car deals don’t operate as we thought they did in the USA. Yes, they are connected with holidays, but not the ones that pop in your head right away. You can get a decent deal on Black Friday, but it’s better to shop for clothes on that particular day.


The best holiday for used-car shopping is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s the day which is steeped with the most deals on the market. Dealers usually offer 39% more deals on this holiday. Sounds quite promising, ha?

Compare that to 3% on Black Friday and you’ll see why it’s not the best day to shop for pre-owned vehicles.

The second best holiday for used-car deals is the good ol’ New Year’s Eve/Day. Since the majority of dealerships want to get rid of the vehicles from previous years, they are likely to become flexible.

Flexibility means that you’ll get 20% more deals than average on this day.

Christmas Eve (18%) and Veteran’s Day (12%) are great options for landing amazing deals on used cars, as well.


If you don’t want to sit around and wait for these specific holidays, you can always shop during the months that offer the most deals. These are January (29%), February (22%), December (13%), March (13%), and November (6%).

Even though these months coincide with the holidays we discussed, it’s more convenient for some to have several days for shopping instead of a single day.

Now that you know how to choose your timing while shopping for used cars, let’s see when is the best time to buy new cars.

When is the best time to buy new cars?

New cars usually follow certain patterns, which is why we have certain dates that are better for shopping. During those days or months, you’ll likely get a decent discount on the vehicle you were eyeballing.

So, when is the best time to buy cars?

When a new model is released

If you have a specific car in mind, check when its model-year ends. As a rule, manufacturers come out with new models in the fall, so summer is a wonderful time to get a deal on a new car.

This rule isn’t set in stone, though, so make sure to check when they are planning to release a new vehicle. That way, you’ll know what’s the best time to approach the dealership.

When the model is discontinued

If a certain model is discontinued, dealerships will be willing to come down on the prices quite a bit. But this one is slightly risky: such vehicles depreciate a lot over time. If you’re not ready for a long-term commitment, then a discontinued model won’t be a reasonable choice.

Moreover, a model can be discontinued because it didn’t perform as expected. Make sure you double-check everything – you don’t want to make a purchase just because of low prices.

When the month/year is coming to an end

Since salespeople have to hit certain targets, they are likely to offer deals when they fail to meet those numbers. Generally, they are rushed to do so at the end of a month.

The same goes for the end of the year – dealerships don’t want the inventory from last year as they step into the new year. Therefore, they offer deals to attract customers.

During certain months

While discussing when is the best time to buy used cars, I mentioned that summer months weren’t your best bet. But things are different with new vehicles.

May, June, July, August, and September are still good months for securing a great deal. The best ones, of course, are October, November, and December.

If you’re willing to buy a new car, summer, fall and the beginning of the winter can be a great time for shopping.

Another side of the coin

We’ve seen when is the best time to buy new cars, but are deals always the best thing for you?

I’m talking about timing to help you make more reasonable choices. But it doesn’t mean that you should sit and wait for deals all of the time.

Sometimes it’s better to forget about the rules that we discussed, check out the dealership’s website, and go for the deal they are offering at that moment.

If your car breaks apart suddenly, you can’t wait for December deals throughout the whole year. You might be saving some money by waiting, but you’ll also be wasting a lot of time.

If your car is old and it’s counting its last days of life, your chances of trading it in will reduce the longer you wait for those deals. In this case, it’s wiser to approach the dealership as soon as you can.

What I’m saying is that deals are wonderful, but they aren’t always the best solution. Judge according to your situation and make a decision accordingly.


Now that you know when is the best time to buy cars, you’re blessed with the opportunity to save thousands of dollars on your purchase. If you have the luxury to wait for those deals, don’t miss the chance and do so. You’ll have more time to do your research and find the car that will stay with you for a long time. Good luck!