Cars are expensive. Whether you buy your cars used or new, there’s no way around that reality. In fact, a car is probably one of the biggest and most expensive purchases you’ll make in your entire lifetime. For most Americans, the only purchase that trumps a car in terms of price is buying a house.
Due to the high price tag attached to both new and used cars, drivers employ different strategies to save money on buying a car and keep their vehicle purchase within their available budget. One surprisingly effective way to save big on a car purchase is to wait to buy until prices drop at specific times of year. If you’re going by season, autumn is by far one of the best times to buy the Chevy you love without breaking the bank.
Dealerships are Overstocked
The number one reason why autumn is one of the best seasons to buy a car is the fact that most car dealerships become severely overstocked around this time of year. Most new, updated car models are released in September and October for the following year. When the new cars are released, car dealerships then have to contend with an overwhelming number of both brand new and older models on their lot at the same time. Car dealerships usually struggle to sell all of their older models by the time the newly released models arrive, so they often offer significantly reduced prices as incentives for these technically outdated models to get them off their lot faster.
Once next year’s models arrive at your local dealership, that’s the time to swoop in and make your purchase. After the release of new models, many older models left over from the year before get brand new lower price tags to encourage shoppers to buy them and therefore make room for more new models. Most of the discounts you’ll find in early autumn are on last year’s car models, but you might find brand new models at reduced prices too if your local dealership is especially overstocked.
Black Friday Sales are Here
Not surprisingly, you’ll likely find major deals at your local car dealership on Black Friday —the biggest shopping holiday of the year. Somewhat surprisingly, your local car dealership might not be as packed full of eager shoppers as you would expect on Black Friday. Dealerships are not the most popular destinations for Black Friday shoppers. Electronics stores, jewelry stores, and big-box general merchandise stores like Walmart and Target get the most traffic on the day after Thanksgiving.
Of course, your local dealership will be busier on Black Friday than it usually is. However, if you already know what car model you want to buy and don’t have to waste time browsing, you should be able to get through a purchase at the dealership fairly smoothly without having to fight your way through major crowds.
You Have Plenty of Options
Many drivers wait until the holiday season to buy a car—whether they’re buying it for themselves or as a gift for a spouse or child—because the span of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to be when car prices are at their absolute lowest for the year. By December, car dealerships are even more desperate to weed the previous year’s models out of their inventory. Any outdated models that are left on the lot from the year before are usually severely marked down in the last few weeks of the calendar year so dealerships can start fresh with only the newest models in January.
While it is true that car prices tend to be lower in December than they are in September or October, that doesn’t mean you should wait through autumn to buy a car at the height of the holiday season. December is one of the most hectic times of year for car dealerships, both because of the impressive discounts and because more people are out shopping during this time of year. If you have a specific car model in mind—or even several different models—you might be disappointed once you finally head to your local car dealership after the holiday season begins. Once December rolls around and car dealerships get really desperate to clear out their lots, discounted cars sell quickly. If you wait for December to buy a car, there’s a good possibility that the model you want will be gone or that only the non-discounted models will be left.
In autumn, on the other hand, you won’t be met with as much competition for the car your want. Buying a car in September, October, or November usually means finding and taking home your first choice model stress-free while also taking advantage of autumn discounts.