Edmunds: December best time to buy new car

by Julia Guardione Updated on: May 23, 2019

Consumers interested in buying a new car may want to consider making the purchase by the end of the year, as Edmunds reports that “December will give you a ‘perfect storm’ of savings.”

Other than on Black Friday, the common perception about shopping during the holiday season is that most items are fully priced. As demand for certain goods increases, so does the price. Because items are already selling without being discounted, many vendors do not see a need to put certain items on sale. However, if the product does not stand out against its competition in a sea of demand, vendors will use incentives in order to make the product more enticing.

For the auto industry in December, this is the case. Dealerships’ push to sell at the end of the year is created by various factors, all of which benefit smart shoppers looking for a bargain.

The main factor that makes December great for car buying is that it typically falls in a transition period between old model year and new model year vehicles. This creates two things. First, it creates a system of lesser value models in comparison to more upgraded models. This makes the older models more difficult to sell because of the upgrades in the newer model, but it also makes the newer model more difficult to sell because of its higher price. Second, it creates a large inventory, thus motivating dealerships to rid of the older models and make room for the new year’s lineup.

Furthermore, consumers sometimes purchase cars as gifts during the holiday season. And it’s a buyer’s market. There’s more inventory than usual, so each dealership is doing their best to entice customers to choose their brand. This means deals, rebates, and discounts!

Lastly, just as salespeople have monthly sales goals, dealerships have yearly sales goals. Because December is at the end of the year, many dealerships strive to meet their quotas. So, they advertise great deals to get people in the door and to get cars off the lot.

The above three factors give buyers more negotiating power, more selection, and of course, better prices. So, if you’re in the market for a new car, this might be the best time for you!

If you’re not quite ready, consider refinancing your auto loan instead. It’s a great way to keep the car you have while reducing your interest rate!

About The Author


Julia Guardione

Julia Guardione is RateGenius’ auto refinance expert. She is a graduate of Texas State University and a lover of all things outdoors. She lives in Austin, Texas with her dog and cat. She’s always open to new ideas, so if you have any suggestions or questions, email her at pr@rategenius.com.


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