Type to search


The Best Time to Buy a Car


We’ve done the research and the verdict is in! Here’s why December is truly the best time to buy your next vehicle.

The commercials that show families waking up on Christmas morning to a new car may seem a little far-fetched, but they shouldn’t be. December is the best time to buy a car, new or used, because there are shifts in market value, personal income, and auto dealer mentality. Here’s why (and how) you can save more dollars this holiday season when buying a car over any other time of the year.

Why Buy in December?

Highest Discounts in December

Dealers everywhere are working to make room for their new inventory coming to the lot at the start of the new year. According to Edmunds, manufacturers offer the highest discounts at this time of year to help dealers and salesmen make room for what’s coming to the lot soon.

New Cars Trend Higher Over the Holidays

Starting in October, dealers see a higher trend of new car buyers, which in turn means more trade-in vehicles joining an already full lot. With more used inventory, you’re more likely to receive a better deal on a used vehicle as car salesmen strive to hit their quotas for the end of the year.

New cars at Hyundai dealership

End of the Model Year

But the discounts don’t stop with used vehicles. Brand new vehicles of the current model year will be heavily discounted as the dealership makes room for the upcoming model year of the same vehicle. December is the best time to shop for a new vehicle as dealers are hoping to move new inventory before the next model year arrives on the lot after the holidays.

Holiday Bonuses!

With the holidays coming, you may be looking at a bigger paycheck. With even better prices at the dealership and some extra cash in hand, you may be able to negotiate an even better deal, especially on used vehicles. They say cash is king and it’s no lie when buying your next vehicle.

Slowing Down

As the days grow colder, the dealership gets slower. December is a great time of year to stop by your dealership to ask every question you have and learn about the little details of the vehicle you want. With more time on their hands, car salesmen can spend more time explaining, schmoozing, and helping you find exactly what you need. This time of year means more time for negotiating, too!

How to Get the Best Deal in December

To get the best deal in December, you have to come to the dealership prepared. Sure, the discounts and sticker prices will be lower, but in order to know what is truly the best deal, you have to know what a good deal and bad deal is.

10 Signs That You Need a New Car (Or At Least a Different One)

Do Your Research

Before heading to the lot, do your research on the vehicle or vehicles you are comparing. You want to know the ins and outs of the car itself, as well as the regular MSRP and any manufacturer discounts that may be showcased on websites outside of the dealership you are visiting. Knowing what a good price for a vehicle is before negotiating is the key to getting the best deal.

shopping on a car lot

Shop Around

Every dealership in your area has different quotas to reach, while some are closer or farther away from reaching them. Shopping around at several dealerships to find the best price isn’t a bad idea if you feel like the holiday is good, but not great.

Look Past the Sticker Price

The sticker price may sound too good to be true and it might be. When looking for the best deal, be sure to look at all aspects of the car you’re interested in, including loan terms, your trade-in value if applicable, and how you feel about how you’ve been treated throughout the process. If you have any doubts or feel like you need more time, you can step away and know that until the end of December the deal terms and prices most likely won’t change radically until the New Year.


If you’re cutting it close to the New Year, negotiating is a great option. Shaving a thousand dollars off the total sticker price or asking for a few upgrades doesn’t hurt you at this time of year. You may not always get what you ask for, but there’s no harm in asking now as the dealers are more motivated to get the vehicle off the lot than they will be throughout the upcoming year.

The Best Time of the Year

The holidays are already some of the best times of the year, but with the manufacturer discounts you receive when car buying in December there’s no time of the year better to get your car shopping done. Have you ever bought a car in December? What was it like? Leave us a comment below with your experience.

Related How To Articles

Your Guide to Urban Driving

A How-To on Car Phone Mounts

How to Negotiate a Car’s Price

Erin Maxson

Erin loves nothing more than a good road trip. To her, getting behind the wheel is one of the biggest adventures you can take because it can lead to anywhere. Alongside her Toyota Tundra, you'll find her co-pilot pup, Rory, and a 1976 Airstream Argosy in tow. Her motto: Life is a scenic road, take your time and enjoy the ride.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *