It’s been said, for as long as I’ve been alive, that car dealers give you the best deal at the end of the month. The thought behind the theory, is that the dealers are desperate to hit their quota so they’ll stretch a little further to hit a number. As with any such theory, it’s based on some truth. If a dealer is close to their goal at the end, they’ll get a little crazy to get there. If they hit the number a week ago, then not so much. You also have to consider whether you’re shopping for a new or used car. The manufacturers don’t typically offer a dealer incentives for pre-owned, so they’re really not a consideration.
With all of that said, the one month that always seems to leave car dealers wanting more is December. The holidays make for some slow days and new car sales often depend on an uptick of business sales between Christmas and New Years, due to business owners looking for tax savings. The last couple days of the year are critical to these dealerships, but they don’t end on the 31st. Most manufacturers consider New Years Eve and New Years Day to be holidays and consequentially, give the dealers through January 2nd to close out December’s sales. That means that on the 1st and 2nd you can really steal the deal.
Your best times to buy are likely to be on the morning of the 1st, when everyone is still recovering and on the evening of the 2nd, when they’re really close to goal or trying to add some cushion in case something goes wrong with a deal. As I said earlier, some dealers are sure to have passed their goal a week ago, so make sure you’re shopping multiple dealers. In the next couple of days, there will be a big spread between the ones who are close to their number and the ones who are past it.