Is December the Best Time of Year to Buy a Car?
When you think about Christmas shopping, it’s usually a marathon of online ordering and frantically running around shopping malls, crossing off a long list of gifts for family and friends. But what if December was the right time to pull the trigger on a big purchase for yourself, like a new car?
You might think it would be crazy to throw down for a car purchase right in the middle of the big-spending season. Sure, it may seem like out-of-the-box thinking, but many seasoned shoppers will tell you that the “most wonderful time of year” is also the most wonderful time to buy a car.
Thanks to COVID-19, December will deliver a Christmas shopping experience unlike any other. Many car manufacturers are doing everything they can to incentivize you given the low foot traffic happening at dealerships. Look for evolving sales strategies and deals on top of deals, as both manufacturers and dealerships work hard to get you into a new car.
But even before this pandemic dominated our news cycles, December has always been a good time to shop for cars. We must emphasize that when we talk about shopping for cars in December, we are talking about buying from car dealerships or online retailers. With a private seller, there simply isn’t the same timely advantage for reasons made obvious below.
1. Bonus time means better prices
Dealerships are notorious for being a habitat of enthusiastic salespeople. Sure, a salesperson makes a decent salary, but it’s the sales numbers that truly define their success and earn them their yearly bonuses. That’s why December is such a key month for dealerships. They are running out of time to meet their sales goals and quotas.
Many sales teams are eager to make deals before the calendar flips to the new year. Use this timing as leverage when making a deal. Many dealers will agree to favourable terms to get the deal done and the car off the lot before the New Year’s Day.
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2. Yesterday’s models are today’s deals
The last few months of the year are generally when dealerships look to start clearing space for the upcoming new models. For example, 2021 models start to getting publicity in September, and dealerships want to make space for their upcoming arrival. That means that by December, dealers are motivated to get rid of excess 2020 inventory.
That’s where you come in with leverage to get a great price on a brand new 2020. You will still be getting most of the latest tech and features, just not at an all-time-high price tag. Take advantage of the dealership’s need for parking space and snap up one of those “older” models in December.
3. Take advantage of the retail battleground
Dealerships are not immune to the same Christmas sales frenzies you see in shopping malls and in e-commerce. They are retailers too, competing for your disposable income just like any other business in December.
Keep an eye out for unusually generous deals during December. Dealerships don’t want to be sitting on the holiday shopping sidelines, so they mark down inventory accordingly to get your attention. Remember they are competing not just with other dealerships, but with the Walmarts and Best Buys during this spend-happy stretch of the year. It’s not uncommon for dealerships to jump in the Black Friday mayhem in November and continue lowering prices until the end of the year.
4. Cold months could mean hot deals
Everyone in the retail industry knows when icy cold January comes around, consumers’ wallets freeze shut. That’s why dealerships pay extra attention to moving their product in December. They know that January and February will be slow months, as people wake up to nasty credit card bills and snowy weather that keeps them huddled indoors. All the more reason to strike on a good deal in December, while dealerships are working hard to get vehicles off the lot.
Another consideration of those upcoming winter months is whether your current car will make it through. Are you confident in your car’s resiliency this winter? Do you want to be dealing with transportation uncertainty when the thermometer plunges south? Snagging a bargain in December can give you peace of mind behind the wheel when the January flakes start falling.
Shop great deals all year round
If making time for December car shopping is difficult for you, there are of course 11 other months of the year to find a great car at the right price. Canada Drives can help you find what you’re looking for at any time of year with pre-approved financing and hundreds of cars, SUVs, and trucks to browse and buy 100% online. Visit our inventory and see what you could be driving as soon as tomorrow!