When is the best time to buy a car?

Elizabeth Barry 2 November 2016

buying a new car

These are the best times for you to consider making a new car purchase.

There are a lot of considerations that come into play when you're planning to buy a new car. Your budget, the make, the model and the extras you want all need to be taken into account, but there are some factors that you may not have thought about. There are good and not-so-good times to buy a car, and this guide will show you when you should be heading to the dealership.

  • End of financial year (EOFY)

Car sales are awash in June because of the EOFY. Sales around this time can see you saving a heap on extras as well as the actual cost of the car and you'll also be able to take advantage of interest-free deals. Listen out for EOFY dealership ads around this time to find out what's available.

  • The end of the month or quarter

Car salespeople have targets to reach and these are evaluated at the end of the month or quarter, depending on the dealership. Negotiating a better price around this time can be easier as salespeople want you to sign on the dotted line to help them meet their targets.

  • The beginning or end of the year

Car stock becomes harder to sell towards the end of the calendar year because of the new stock that arrives at the beginning of the year. This means salespeople will be more willing to negotiate with you to get the vehicle out the door.

For the cars arriving in the new year, it comes down to cars having two plates. A build plate shows the VIN and the year and month of manufacture, whereas the compliance plate shows when the car was approved for sale. Due to the delay of cars being shipped to Australia from overseas, there can be a stark difference between these two dates. Find out the build date of the car and compare it to the compliance date; salespeople are more willing to negotiate prices on "brand new" cars that were built a while ago.

  • Model run out time

When new cars are released, buyers often run out to get the latest and greatest. Salespeople won't budge too much on these prices because they know the new models will move quickly. After this initial "rush" demand has been met, upgraded models start arriving and can cost the same price as the original model. Because of this, you can negotiate a lower price for the original model than you would've paid when it was first released.

  • A Monday or a Tuesday

Saturdays and Sundays are salespeople's busiest days, not making it an ideal environment for negotiating. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be slower, allowing you more time to play hardball and see how low you can get the price.

Image: Shutterstock

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