Buying a car in the winter: When is it a good idea?

Winter in colder climates usually means less traffic and more pressure to meet sales quotas. And since traders usually get the next model year at the end of the summer, many are willing to move the previous model year out of the lot.

You may still be able to take advantage of slow sales, but the car market is booming right now, so do not expect a huge drop in prices as winter approaches.

Delegations are trying to comply with the quotas

It is no secret that the delegations operate with monthly and annual quotas. These affect the bonuses and commissions offered by both the dealership owner and the manufacturers with whom the dealership works.

This is why waiting until the end of the year can be the perfect time to shop. Not only are sellers being pressured to meet their monthly quota, but they will also want to put a stop to last minute sales for the end of the financial year.

Of course, not all delegations operate under a January-December financial plan. But in general, you may be able to use the system to better negotiate a deal.

End of year sales

Franchise agencies – dealers directly related to a manufacturer – can offer discounts and low rates in new cars from the current model year. But year-end sales are common, regardless of the franchise or the independent status of a dealer.

If dealerships are trying to meet sales quotas, you may see big drops in the price of stickers along with discounts. If you are not a strong trader, take advantage of winter discounts. It can help you reach a good deal.

Fewer people shop

The cold of winter and a busy holiday season often keep people out of cars. And dealerships are slowing down in January and February, making them great months to buy a car, says Mike Quincy, automotive expert at Consumer Reports.

The the same trading rules apply, regardless of the time of year. Quincy recommends that you know what the dealer’s cost is and proceed from there, compared to the lower than the price of the sticker.

“You probably have a more captive audience for a salesperson when you go in the winter months because they don’t see a lot of people,” says Quincy. “These tactics must be effective.”

New models are released

Merchants usually start buying new models in late summer or early fall. This means that this year’s model cars that have never been withdrawn from the lot have been devalued.

“A model that is left over can generally be good if you are the kind of person who drives his car on the ground,” says Quincy, noting that it could be 100,000 to 200,000 miles.

And even if you buy used, waiting for the newest models to come out in the batch is worth it. After all, devaluation will continue to weigh on it. The car will be just as good, but maybe you can negotiate a lower price because it is an older model.

Winter options may be available

Part of your trading strategy should include the winter of your car. Aside from comfort factors such as heated seats and handlebars, focus on winter windshield wipers and snow tires as part of the overall package.

“If you are not willing to make this investment, your safety is at stake,” said Lauren Fix, automotive expert and CEO of Car Coach Reports. Cars with high performance tires may not do so well on icy roads. Snow tires usually cost the same as all-season tires, but there may be additional costs associated with installing them when you buy a car.

When to wait until spring

Winter may be a good time to get a good deal, but it’s not the only time to shop. If you are ready to negotiate the price and come with fundingit may make sense to wait until spring or later to start your shopping.

  • Most of the manufacturers’ offers are for new cars, so if you are buying a used one, it does not make sense to go shopping in the winter. In addition, you do not want to be caught in snowy or icy weather if your used car has not been winterized properly.
  • And if you buy a used car through a private sale, you will be less likely to find deals in the winter. It can also be more difficult to schedule a personal meeting to check on the car.
  • Shopping for cars in warmer climates can actually be worse in winter, as the weather is more pleasant. Most tips suggest that you live somewhere with a cold winter, so you may want to wait until spring temperatures rise to go shopping.
  • If you are expecting a large tax refund or winter bonus that can be used as a large down payment, wait until spring. After all, the less money you need to get a loan, the more you will save overall – even if you miss out on the biggest winter deals.
  • It may seem contradictory, but dealerships will start receiving 2023 models in late 2022. If you want a 2022 model, wait until the end of the summer. This way, the dealership promotes the 2023 model and you can get a good offer for the “old” model year.

The bottom line

Generally, buying a car in the winter will help you secure a better deal. With low traffic and a turn to the new stock, you have plenty of room to negotiate a good price.

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