When’s The Best Time To Buy A Used Car?

October 11th, 2022 by

Tips and Tricks For Getting The Best Price On A Used Car

If you’re in the market for a vehicle you’ve probably asked yourself this question.  There are many factors that contribute to used car market prices but generally speaking, the best time to buy depends on the dealership.  Knowing a little more about your market, and researching the dealerships in your market, can help you determine the best time to buy a used car, truck, or SUV.

Market prices are pretty straight forward.  Supply and demand.  You may have noticed that trucks tend to hold their value better than other common passenger vehicles.  In the used car market, quality used trucks tend to be a little rarer so expect to pay a premium for a good used truck. Cars and SUVs tend to be a little more common.  More supply to meet the demand means these vehicles tend to be priced very competitively.  Keep in mind that no two used cars are the same. For example, even though you’re looking for a 2018 dodge challenger and many dealerships will have them on their lots, no two used 2018 dodge Challengers are the same.  If you’re strictly looking for the lowest price, you’re going to get what you pay for.

Some may have had accidents in the past and have had to be repaired.  Keep in mind that no two accidents are the same and no two repairs are the same either. Quality of the work is important. You also may have a vehicle that’s been in an accident with minor damage, that has been better-taken care of by the owner than one without accidents has. Some vehicles have different trim levels, tires may have been replaced, brakes have been replaced, ect. One vehicle may have more miles than the other….as you can see there are a lot of factors at play here. 

So how do you make the right decision when buying a used car? Your best bet in getting a great deal doesn’t have to do anything with the time of year it is.  Used cars are different from new cars.  Dealers aren’t trying to get rid of them by the end of the year to make room for the new models.  However, if you’re looking at a vehicle that’s been on the dealership lot for a while, you most likely have a better chance of getting that vehicle for a lower price.  Used car dealers are all about how fast they can turn their inventory.  If a vehicle has been sitting on their lot for a while, they’re more inclined to be aggressive with their pricing and get rid of it.  This gives more power to the consumer when negotiating.

If the car has been sitting on their lot for a while, isn’t there a reason that no one has bought it yet? NOT AT ALL!! Don’t think that just because no one has bought the vehicle yet that there’s something wrong with it. Some vehicles just go unnoticed in markets. There are THOUSANDS of used vehicles for sale in the El Paso market and many just sit on a dealer’s lot for no good reason at all.  This gives consumers a chance to get the vehicle of their dreams for a great price.  If you have your eye on a vehicle, it’s worth calling up the dealership and asking them when that vehicle came in stock.  Be careful how you choose your words though because a savvy salesperson may try to lure you in by saying it just hit the lot and is going to go quick.

Many third-party used car listing sites such as Cars.com, CarGurus, and AutoTrader will allow you to save vehicles you are interested in so you can keep an eye on them.  Be sure to sign up for emails too because you’ll get alerted every time there is a price change. You’ll just have to be a little patient, but the price drops will come.  This will also give you insight into which dealer you may want to do business with.  Dealerships that adjust their prices to the market tend to have better reputations than dealers who do not. 

To sum it up, the best time to buy a used car if you’re a price shopper is when you notice dealerships starting to drop their price on the vehicle you want. Be patient, and be diligent, but also keep in mind that other buyers are watching price drops too.  If you’re willing to roll the dice a bit, you just may come up with a great deal on that perfect vehicle you’ve been waiting for.

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