It seems every time you flip on the TV or radio, there’s mention of some semi-annual clearance tent sale with hot dogs and disc jockeys under a big-top style tent at your nearest car dealership. But how can you be sure that this sale is the one that will benefit you the most?
Here are some pointers for the best time to hit the showroom:
End of Month
You can drive some hard bargains during this time because the salesperson’s paycheck depends on it! All automotive salespeople make their living on commission, and towards the end of the month, their bonuses can make or break them. If you land the right representative, you may be able to negotiate a killer deal. The last weekend of the month is an especially great time to visit – but prepare to wheel n’ deal – this is not a time for browsing.
End of Model Year
Most manufacturers release their new model in the span between July and October, and even some winter releases. This can be a great time to score deals on previous year “leftovers” because the dealers are looking to unload older models to make room for the newbies. In addition, secret factory-to-dealer incentives can be $1,000 - $6,000 in addition to rebates! The only thing to keep in mind is that these leftovers, while at a comparable price, may be like the little runts of the litter that went unloved at the height of their marketability.
End of Calendar Year
At the end of December, the sales are sluggish and the dealerships want to be able to close the year with strong sales. If you’re looking to start the new year off right, this might be the time for you to visit, but remember, new models won’t be coming out for another six months or so...
On a Weekday Morning
Armed with your keen negotiation tactics and goals in mind, make some time to visit the dealership on a regular weekday morning. This is a great time to begin shopping for a vehicle, as the dealership may not be so frenzied, and a salesperson would be able to dedicate the time and attention you deserve. All of your questions will attract an answer, and you can feel free to test drive as many different vehicles as you want!
On a long weekend, or during a holiday, many manufacturers may offer special rebates and incentives that drive the cost of your desired model even lower. Keep an eye out and do your homework to score the best price.