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Buying a Used Car? Study Identifies Best Times to Get a Good Deal

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buying a used car

If you’re thinking about buying a used car, autumn and winter are often a better time to make your purchase than spring or summer. That’s according to a new study that assesses the dates when you’re most likely to get a better deal.

The car search engine site studied more than 40 million sales of used vehicles and identified seven of the best times to get a deal of 5 percent off or more:

  • Black Friday: 33.1 percent more deals than average
  • Veterans Day: 32.5 percent more deals
  • Columbus Day: 30.5 percent more deals
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: 29.4 percent more deals
  • Christmas Eve: 28.7 percent more deals
  • All of November: 26.9 percent more deals
  • All of December: 23.5 percent more deals

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“The best days to buy a car fall at the end of the year after new models have been introduced by automakers,” said CEO Phong Ly. “This is a popular time for new vehicle buyers who want to take advantage of generous incentives and rebates on outgoing model-year vehicles, and as a result, there’s a high supply of used cars that dealers need to get rid of.”

The study also identified the worst times to get the best price on a used car:

  • Fourth of July: 28 percent fewer deals
  • Mother’s Day: 27.5 percent fewer deals
  • All of April: 27 percent fewer deals
  • All of May: 26 percent fewer deals
  • All of June: 23.6 percent fewer deals
  • Easter: 22.2 percent fewer deals

As you can see, these spring and summer times aren’t great for finding deals. That’s because demand is higher, giving dealerships less of an incentive to lower prices.

Drilling down even farther, the study took into account times of the month and week, too. The first and last day of the month typically offer better deals, but there’s not much difference between weekdays or the weekend.

The upshot? If you’re considering a used car purchase, September through February represents the time frame when you’re most likely to find the vehicle — and price — that’s right for you.

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