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End Of The Year: The Best Time To Buy A New Car


Santa Claus

On an emotional level, spring or summer feel like the best time to buy a new car.  We imagine envy from neighbors and open stretches of highway on road trips.  On a practical level, the best time to buy is end of the year.  The prospect might not appeal as much when you’re all shopped out from the holidays, but this is one purchase that can save you considerable money as December ends.

Low interest.  As consumers occupy themselves with more traditional holiday plans, there’s low interest in new car buying.  Meanwhile, low interest rates on loans tend to coincide with the period.  As most of us borrow money for our new car purchases, a great price at the dealer means even more when we get a great rate from the lender.

Out with the outgoing.  We hesitate to say “out with the old” because we’re talking current model-year cars.  Not exactly vintage stuff, but there’s a small stigma about staleness just because the calendar is about to turn.

Although new model year cars don’t just reach dealers toward the end of the year as they once did, automakers are still keen to run year-end promotions.  With these promotions, you’ll often find special financing, rebates or straightforward discounts off sticker prices.

Save a quota, buy a new car.  With all the year-end closeout hype you see in television ads, you’d think the party of the season is at your local dealer.  That’s not always the case, and the clock is ticking for salespeople and dealers to hit sales goals.  The humanitarian in you might not empathize greatly about their quotas, but it can be an extra factor on your side in the negotiation process.

And because end of the year incentives on new cars come from the manufacturer, you can shop multiple franchise dealers for the best price.  You can even get quotes from each and effectively let them bid for your business.

Tax advantages.  First we encourage you to spend even more at year-end, now we raise the subject of taxes.  But hang in there.  If you’re considering an electric or a plug-in hybrid, you stand to claim a credit on your federal income taxes to offset the overall cost up to $7,500.  As this isn’t an instant rebate, buying a qualifying new car at the end of the year shortens the wait between purchase and refund.

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