We’re often asked, ‘when is the best month to buy a new car?’, and in truth the best time is of course when you need one the most! But that aside, it’s impossible to deny that – with seasonal factors influencing so much of what we buy and how much we pay for it – used cars are no exception. Here are a few things to bear in mind if you’re in no rush to get a new vehicle on your driveway.
The Number Plate Change
Used car dealers are often overstocked in March and September, shortly after the number plate change and the times in which new car buyers are prone to sell their old model for a new one. If you’ve no deadline, you might find it worthwhile to start looking in February and August – dealers sometimes reduce their prices in anticipation of the rush that follows.
Everyone’s crazy busy at Christmas, and if we aren’t buying presents there’s a good chance that eating, drinking and being merry takes precedence over buying a car. Used car dealerships are notoriously quiet at this time of year, so if you can be bothered to tear yourself away from that warm hearth and forego your midday brandy and Babycham, you may well strike a bargain.
There’s no harm in frequenting a dealership towards the end of the day, or indeed the end of the week, month or quarter. You may find a more relaxed attitude in that the day’s work and targets are already met, so a sale from you carries less pressure. A dealer may also be anxious to get home to his or her family (or simply the pub), meaning they won’t be too bothered about spending time putting a hard sell together.
Just as the cost of logs and road salt goes up in winter, certain models are more regularly driven at different times of year. It’s rare to see a soft-top sports car navigating winding country roads when they’re covered in black ice. Thus, if you’re after a specific model of used car, try to buy it out of season. You may find sports cars are cheaper to buy throughout the winter, with more robust vehicles such as a Range Rover cheaper to buy in summer.
Furthermore, if you’re looking to buy a used car and are not fussy, an unpopular colour of a particular model may well sell for cheaper than a trendier colour. Also keep an eye out for when a new version of a particular model has been released – dealers may well drop the price of the ‘old’ version given there’s a new gunslinger in town.
With a little research, you’re empowering yourself to be able to converse on a level with a highly experienced car expert – your salesman. Go shopping for a used car with an idea of what you want, from the model down to any additional features, and have a price to stick to. You’ll have to learn to haggle if you want it cheaper than the asking price and stick to your guns. Buying a used car when you know what you’re after and how much you can afford will make your buying experience a far better one than going shopping with as much car knowledge as a small alien on a week’s holiday from Mars.
Buy in confidence with eCars247
You could of course buy direct through eCars247 and cut out the haggling and the middle man. We check our prices through Autotrader daily to ensure we remain competitive, so the off-the-scale price hikes and drops you might see at a conventional dealership aren’t something we’re interested in. Find your perfect car straightaway with our handy car wizard and browse makes, models or simply just prices, and remember – we’ll even bring your new car direct to your door.
For more information regarding the eCars247 buying process, please see our How It Works page, and if you’ve any questions, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our customer buddies through our online chat facility, email or ‘phone.