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Why the end of the year is the best time to buy

Dec. 8, 2014 at midnight

If you’ve ever breathed a sigh of longing during one of those holiday season commercials featuring a brand new car with a big red bow pulling into a perfectly snow-sprinkled driveway, you’re not alone.

The holiday season may entice you with more than freshly baked sugar cookies and killer deals on electronics. For new car shoppers, savings could be in the (red velvet) bag if you’ve held out until the end of the year.

You’ve got the dealership to yourself

Let’s face it; December is a busy time. From holiday parties and social engagements to extended family vacations, most people aren’t itching to spend their days at the local car dealership. That’s why you can really score a deal on a slow December day. Without the competition of other buyers, you’ll have the staff to yourself (and itching to make a sale). According to Forbes Magazine, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are two of the year’s best days to buy a car.

This year’s models are so last year

In your eyes, the calendar likely still says “2014,” but for the automobile industry, 2014 may as well be the Stone Age. For many dealerships, 2015 models started driving in during the late summer weeks, and this new inventory usually means better deals on the 2014's.

While your selection on specific models and colors may be more limited by the end of the year, the dealership will likely offer a lot more flexibility when it comes to the price and terms of the purchase. Plus, you might even find some special incentives for year-end models.

Quotas matter

You may not give a passing thought to your car salesman’s monthly or quarterly numbers, but you better believe that he is thinking about them. By the holiday season, dealerships often step up the game in order to end the year strong — and above quota.

If you happen to be in the market for a new car, these quotas can be your best friend, as salespeople may be more willing to negotiate than at the beginning of the month, quarter or year. According to USA Today, for optimal savings, shop during the last week of December.

Summer cars are getting lonely

As you can imagine, driving a soft-top convertible on icy winter roads can be a tad impractical — and more than a little uncomfortable. But if you’re looking for a fun-to-drive convertible, you may just want to brave the blustery weather to make the purchase.

According to USAA, most consumers shop for convertibles during the summer months, so waiting until winter, when dealerships offer deeper discounts on summer’s favorite models can get you a rockin’ deal — even if it requires buying an extra pair of gloves.

It’s a really, really nice way to spend the holidays

Sure, there are lots of financial reasons to purchase a car at the end of the year, but having a new car during the winter months is great for a few other reasons — like that Christmas trip to Grandma’s house.

A new car offers comfort, safety and reliability during the country’s favorite season for travel. Not to mention that catching up with rich cousin Eddie would be that much more satisfactory if you’re stepping out of a shiny new coup.


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