We often receive comments on our automotive buyer blog from people around the USA whom ask us what is the best time to buy a new car? We wish there were a specific calendar date we could point to, but there is not. There are, however, times when new car sales are hot, and times when they are not. The times when new auto sales are cold are typically the best times to buy a new car.
Often, the economy and time of year have a lot to do with getting the best new car deals. For example, on which vehicle do you think you would find the best deal from a new car dealer, a fuel efficient sub-compact convertible new car under $15,000 with a large cash rebate, or a gas guzzling new quad cab four wheel drive truck under $40,000.
Oh, I forgot to mention, its spring time and gas prices are over $4.00 per gallon in many areas. I'm sure you get the idea, most new car dealers would be happy to break even on the large pick-up truck, but most likely would hold firm on the sub-compact price. On the other hand, I'm sure the tables would be turned after a massive snow fall in December for new and used cars in Chicago IL. Most automobile dealerships would literally give away a convertible on their lot, but would expect a premium for the 4x4 truck.
Another item to consider is overall demand for new cars. If you check Google Trends for how often the search term New Cars for Sale was searched for by new car buyers in 2010, you will see that it peaked in March and declined steadily through December. Based on consumer demand from Google data, the last few weeks of November and the first few weeks of December were generally the best time to buy a new car. Most car buyers buy a new car when they have the urge, have extra money, or have the need to buy a new car.
Our data also indicates that most people have the urge, extra money from tax returns, or need to buy a car during the first handful of months of the year, and not withstanding crazy promotions subsidized by the government, such as the Cash for Clunker deal, if you buy a new car later in the calendar year, you'll get a better deal.