Is January a good month to buy a car?

Is January the ideal time for your car purchase? Our article delves into the pros and cons, offering insights on the question, “Is January a Good Month to Buy a Car?”. This way, we help you make a strategic decision so that you land your best deal.

Image for: Is January a good month to buy a car? Shows a happy hispanic man in his new car

You can drop by a dealership with cash on hand to buy the new ride you really, really want. However, there are some things you should know. 

The beginning of the year isn’t the best time for buying a new car. It’s the total opposite. It’s one of the worst times to buy a car because of several factors, and we’ll cover the ones you should know here. 

Is January a good month to buy a car? 

In short, no. The beginning of the year is usually a very slow month for sales. After all, people are recovering from crazy spending in November and December, creating a cash slump. 

January is also challenging for dealerships. Usually, they have the most inventory at the beginning of the month, so they’re not rushing to sell it off. 

On the other hand, if there’s excess inventory at the end of the month, they might make discounts, especially if a new model is coming along. So, there’s a possibility that you find discounts at the end of January, and not so at the beginning. 

However, overall, the month is slow for car dealerships. They know that stay from car buying during this period because there’s less cash around. 

This phenomenon replicates itself through the first three months. However, it’s common to see a slight increase in sales during February. 

The following image shows how sales drop during January. Even with the pandemic’s chaos, it has repeated itself in the past three years. 

Image for: Is January a good month to buy a car? Shows the tendency of vehicle sales by type from January 2021 to May 2023
Source: Statista

It’s important to note that the first trimester of 2021 saw a marked increase in sales. At that time, the world had overcome the semiconductor drought, and companies could ship new vehicles quickly. 

However, as you can see, the first three months have generally been a slump. So, if January isn’t a good time to buy a car, when is it? 

When is the best time of the year to buy a car?

There are several instances in a year when it’s a good deal to buy cars. While there’s no defined buying season, some periods have better deals. 

To understand why, let’s dive deep into how dealerships operate. A car dealership gets a set inventory during the year; salespeople must sell it before a determined moment. 

Usually, car dealers have the following quotas: 

  • Monthly sales goals
  • Quarterly sales goals
  • Yearly sales goals

Also, if car salespeople sell plenty of cars, the manufacturer can send them more of the popular models. Plus, they get more bonuses if they fulfill their quota. 

The closer you are to the end of the month, the better deal you might get. The same goes for the other periods. 

If you’re looking for a car in March, chances are you can get a better deal than in January. Let’s return to the previous image, where sales increased at the end of March compared to January. 

Given that dealerships have these goals, car prices drop as they near the end of the quarter. 

Best time of year to purchase a new car

If we add all these factors together, we can come up with a conclusion. December is the best time of the year to buy a car or SUV. 

Data backs this up. Sales can spike 20% during the final month of the year. 

Moreover, we get into more detail if you want to dive deep into when it’s the best time to shop for a car. Buying a car at the end of the month can also be positive, as there are deals, whether you buy or lease. 

Is the end of the month the best time to buy a car?

If you’re shopping for a new car, the end of the month is an interesting time at the dealership. As we’ve discussed, the month’s end is a critical moment for dealerships. 

A dealership could be getting new cars on the new, or car lots could be jam-packed with stuck inventory. So, you can get a good deal if you go car shopping at the end of the month. 

It’s important to note that this isn’t a set rule. However, most experts agree that waiting until the end of the month is a good strategy.

So, what happens if you need a car right now? Answering this question can be a challenge. 

Is a specific day of the week the best time to buy a car?

For years, even decades, we’ve heard that some days of the week are an excellent time to go to the dealership. Is this true? 

The following table shows the average savings you can find, depending on the day you visit the dealership, according to TrueCar.com. 

Day of the WeekAverage Savings Rate
Sunday7.49%
Monday8.10%
Tuesday8.05%
Wednesday8.07%
Thursday8.08%
Friday8.06%
Saturday7.77%
Source: TrueCars.com

  As you can see, there isn’t a big difference between days. It can also be a surprise that Sunday isn’t an excellent option if you are looking to buy a new car. 

That’s because it’s the day when most people have free time on their hands. So, it’s likelier that they visit a dealership, so there’s no need to lower car prices. 

That being said, chances are that if you buy a car on Monday, you might get some savings, making it an appealing time of the week to buy a car. 

What is the best time of year to buy a new or used car?

As we’ve discussed previously, the end of December is the best time to buy a new or used car because of the combination of factors. So, waiting until the end of the calendar year could play in your favor. 

If you can’t wait until December, the end of the quarter can also be an excellent time to get the best financing deals. The same applies to used cars, though you might not be as big a deal as if you were aiming to buy or lease a new vehicle. 

How do I get the best deal when buying a car?

You might have to think outside the box if you want a good deal on your car or SUV. Fortunately, this article covers some essential tips to get the best deal on your new vehicle. 

How to get the best deal on a new car

Car shoppers know getting a new car is a significant investment, so they want the best tips. Here are some that you should know. 

First, it’s a common question, “is January a good month to buy a car?” The answer is that buying a car in January isn’t a good move. 

But what about holidays? The reality is that holidays can be one of the best days of the year to buy a car. 

There are several critical holidays in the US for the car market. The best holidays to buy a car are Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, and President’s Day. 

Now, here’s a word of warning for these dates. You might be tempted to dive into the first deal, but it’s always important to analyze the discounts, as some offers or special deals are small. 

How to find the best deals on a used car

While most of these tips apply to new cars, they also apply to used vehicles. The sale cycle of a used car can vary slightly, but it all boils down to inventory. 

So, if the car you want isn’t new but rather used, you can apply some of these tactics. However, if you’re shopping for a used car, it’s less likely that you’ll find discounts on days such as Black Friday. 

At the same time, it’s important to note that the final quarter of the year, spanning from October to December, is an excellent time to buy a used car. 

Is the end of the model year the best time to buy a car?

This is a vital question when buying a car. Traditionally, new vehicles enter the market in the fall, as next year’s model. 

So, for example, a 2024 Toyota Land Cruiser will enter the market in September or October of 2023. Therefore, you might get a sizeable discount on the 2023 model if there’s still inventory. 

Let’s face it: people prefer the latest and greatest, and they might be put off by having last year’s model. So, if you don’t care about this, you can land some good deals. 

What are the worst times to buy a car?

This is the question that started it all. Is January a good month to buy a car? No, it’s not. 

In fact, it’s one of the worst times of the year to buy a car. The same applies to other dates. 

What are the worst times of the year to buy a car?

Data shows that new car sales are at the lowest at the beginning of each quarter. This makes sense when we consider all the data we’ve discussed here. 

Salespeople aren’t as pressured to clear off the inventory as the quarter begins. This applies even when new model years are coming in. 

So, April, July, and October might have slower sales. Still, we have to clarify that October usually has higher sales figures. 

Closing thoughts on “Is January A Good Month To Buy A Car?”

Is January a good month to buy a car? Not exactly. It’s one of the worst months. 

However, if you play your cards right, you could find yourself an attractive deal. After all, there might be excess inventory and older models. 

At the same time, in some regions, harsh winter weather can impact the shopping experience and the immediate availability of specific vehicles.

Therefore, other months are better for buying a car. These include the end of each quarter (March, June, and September), plus December when dealerships rush to sell their inventory. 

Ultimately, if you know enough, you can navigate each month’s potential limitations. Therefore, you can find a great deal across the year, but some months are perfect for your next car purchase. 

Many potential buyers might overlook these factors when buying a car, but considering them can save you money. That’s one of our goals here at Four Wheel Trends, so if you’re interested in more tips, let us know what you want to learn!

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