When it comes to buying a car, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of which car you are looking for.
Maybe you fell in love at first sight – and haven’t been able to think about anything else since you locked your eyes on its curves.
Well, we want to help you make your dream come true.
Price is obviously one of the biggest factors influencing whether you buy a car; if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it.
But there are some devious ways to get around this barrier. What would you say if we told you that you could potentially afford that same car by waiting until your time is right to pounce?
Well, pay attention and follow our simple steps to help fulfill that dream of driving off into the sunset with the love of your life.
Why would prices differ?
When we take a look at why values may change, there is no one clear-cut answer.
The over-arching response is supply and demand; value is often determined by whether people actually want to buy cars.
So, you want to buy a car when nobody else does, at a time when there is a large amount of cars available on the showroom floors. Simple, right?
But, finding the ideal time to strike can differ dramatically, depending on whether you want to buy a new or used car.
When should you buy a new car?
The vast majority of new cars are sold through official car dealerships, who often have targets to hit and bonuses to earn.
According to Autotrader: “In general, the end of the month is, indeed, the best time to buy a new car from a dealership. Even better, you might want to consider buying a car at the end of a quarter — either March, June, September, or December”.
Typically, dealerships are willing to negotiate more freely, and may bring the price down in order to sell the car, and hit their quotas.
This does not guarantee any discount, but dealers across the nation may be a little more flexible on price – use this to your advantage.
The same applies for the end of each month, as monthly quotas may need to be reached. So walk in with your head held high and your best haggling trousers on.
Another thing to keep a close eye on is the new registration dates; there are many people out there who want the newest registration before anybody else, so take this into consideration.
There are two release dates for new registrations – 1st March and 1st September. These immediate periods cause a spike in demand each year, as customers flock to dealerships.
So, let this work in your favour. If you want a bargain, we would advise steering clear of these dates.
Although, there is a way that you can capitalise on this; the month(s) prior to these offer some great opportunities for buyers. As people wait for new registrations, car sales can slow down dramatically, giving you leverage when buying through a dealership.
Do note that buying a car in these periods may cause your car to depreciate faster, as it is perceived as older (due to a new registration around the corner).
When should you buy a used car?
Just like new car sales, used car prices can fluctuate massively.
Although, there are some major differences which can affect your chance of receiving a bargain.
For instance, four-wheel-drive cars are helpful all-year-round – they are big and spacious, and can often fit many people in. But they are particularly useful in wet, windy and sometimes snowy conditions – which primarily occur in Winter months.
Sellers understand this and realise the increase in demand, which can potentially mean that they are unwilling to budge in price. It’s the same story with convertibles in summer. Snag them at off-peak times (i.e. convertible in winter) to get the best bang for your buck.
Let’s not forget new car registration plates – they also play a rather large role in the purchasing on used cars; “March and September are the peak months for sales of new cars, often through part-exchange deals. So dealers will have lots of used cars to sell, which puts you in a strong position when negotiating” according to Money Advice Service.
Finally, if you don’t mind not getting your family Christmas presents, then it may be a good idea to buy around Christmas time (December and January). Often people have got many other expenses (presents) looming and are unwilling to spend big on a car.
So use this to your advantage – go in for the kill and bargain with the dealer/ private seller and bag your dream car.
So, whether you choose to buy new or used, timing is everything when it comes to saving money.
Avoiding busy months, and capitalising on dealers’ willingness to sell will see you driving off into the sunset, with a large grin upon your face.
But, do be prepared to haggle. A car dealer and private seller won’t offer you their best prices straight away – so negotiate, and if you don’t find a price you’re happy to pay, then walk away. Someone will be willing to take it.
Saving money often requires that extra bit of effort, but the rewards can sometimes be far greater. Take your time, be patient, and don’t forget to haggle.