What is the best time of year to buy a car?

The purchase of a new car is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Indeed, cars represent one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, second only to the purchase of a home, so you want to get it right. What you may not know is that there are certain times in the month or in the year when it’s easier to get the best deal on a new or used vehicle.

Buying a New Car

Car dealers are usually given sales targets or quotas, and certain incentives are provided to the dealers by the manufacturers to help them sell their new models quickly and efficiently. If they hit their targets, they received all kinds of rewards such as special discounts or bonuses.

When car dealers are close to making their sales targets, but not quite there yet, they’re apt to accept offers that they wouldn’t otherwise. If you shop toward the end of the month, or at the end of the quarter, you’ll often get a better deal.

Buying a Used Car

Timing is less important with used cars, though the dealers will still have production targets. The dealers usually offer bonuses to the salespeople so again, the end of the month or the end of the quarter may be the best time to buy.

With used cars, it can sometimes come down to supply and demand. If the dealers have too many cars, they’ll be more anxious to accept smaller offers from buyers than if their inventory is slim. The busiest time for customers to trade in their cars for new ones is when car registration changes begin in March and September. This can create a glut of used cars to hit the market, so you may be able to get a better deal.


If the weather is cold and rainy, fewer prospective buyers will be visiting the dealerships, and an extended period of bad weather can work to your advantage. With less foot traffic on their lots, dealers will be more willing to make a deal.

Buy Used Or New?

One of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself is whether to buy a new car or a used on. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so let’s compare.

New Car Advantages

  • It’s made to order, just for you. You can pick and choose colors, options, engines sizes, and more.
  • It’s brand new! No one’s owned this car before and everything about it is new and perfect.
  • A new car carries a new car warranty, so you won’t have the responsibility of paying for repairs during the warranty period.
  • A new car will come equipped with all of the latest and greatest electronics and gadgets, including the newest safety features.
  • Fuel efficiency will generally be better with a new car. Engineers are constantly tweaking their new models to improve performance, lower emissions, and save on fuel.

Used Car Advantages

  • All things considered, the price for a used car will always be lower than a new model.
  • On average, new cars lose around 20% of their value in the first year and that percentage can sometimes go as high as 40%, so the bulk of a used car’s depreciation has already occurred.
  • With a new car, you’ll worry about every dent or ding you see on the car. A used car will usually have suffered a few dents or dings before you bought it, so you won’t be quite as worried about maintaining its pristine condition.
  • While you can’t build a used car to order, you may want a feature or option that’s not available on a newer model.

Where to Buy Used Cars

If you’re looking for a quality used car, van, or pick-up truck in the Wellington or Exeter areas, you should contact us here at Used Car Sales Direct. We have been one of the most trusted used car dealers in this area for years, and we have a vast wealth of experience offering quality vehicles. We constantly update our inventory, so you’ll have a wide selection to choose from. Each of our low mileage used vehicles has gone through a multi-point analysis performed by one of our highly trained technicians. They meticulously check the vehicle inside and out, under the bonnet, and on the road to make sure that the vehicle you purchase here is in tip top shape. Whether you’re in the market for one of our vehicles, need service or repairs to your vehicle, or need to get an MOT inspection, we are the place to go.

If you’d like to learn more about our used car inventory, visit our website or give us a call at either of our locations. In Exeter, call 01392 717888, and in Wellington call 01823 0795 437. Better yet, stop by and see us! We look forward to serving you!