Written by
Frank Ascot, Business expert
, 16 February 2018

The simple answer to when to buy a new car should be when you can afford one, but then if we followed that mantra we’d still be living in clay huts as no one would buy their first home. Aside from the possibility that you’d rather put your savings to other uses than buying a new car, there are seasonal times when a car dealer might be more inclined to offer you a deal on a new car purchase. 

Thinking against the grain, counter-intuitively is the key here. Many car drivers rush in at the start of a new year to buy a car; new year, new me, new car. There might have been a bonus or a pay rise from your employer to factor in too to your new found desire for a new run around. By and large though you might be better advised to wait at least a few months...although if we follow through on our counter-intuitive philosophy it could be a great time of the year to buy a sports car. Obviously following similar reasoning buying a sports car around October/November time might be just as advantageous. The principle we’re following here is the same though - surely at those times of the year, the car dealer owner who has a few new sports cars on the forecourt has had them sitting there for a few months and might take a price on one?

Another insight on the type of competitive beast that runs a car dealership can lead to further bargaining power. Every car dealer has quarterly targets passed down to them by car manufacturers and of course, it makes sense to try to meet them? After all swift stock turnover has advantages for all concerned on the sale side of the equation. Wandering into a car dealership at the end of the quarter when the dealer maybe sweating to meet their numbers might make a lot of sense therefore?

Knowing a bit about the launch of new cars might be useful too. Of course, every real petrol head wants some bragging rights regarding driving the newest, most up to date, model of his or her favourite car but timing your buy as models and product lines are being discontinued might be just the ticket too. After all from the dealers perspective who wants to be on the forecourt looking at the launch of a new model when there are cheaper older models sat beside them? The dealer might just want to shift those older models of the same car off their forecourt even quicker than the newer models? These are known in the trade as ‘run-out’ models – mention the term if you want to point out early in exchanges with the dealer that you are as big a shark as they are!

Lastly, there is a certain familiarity of buying from car dealerships – its how you’ve bought in the past, the dealer must by design seem like a nice chap. However online car supermarkets can offer you significant discounts off dealership prices, in particular if you are buying a top selling fairly standard model. January 2018 new car sales registration numbers have already been announced by the DVLA. If you are buying a new Ford Fiesta/Focus or a Volkswagen Golf, the three best selling new models in January 2018, perhaps you might be best served to find an online deal.

Written by
Frank Business expert
, 16 February 2018

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