When is the best time to buy a car?

Not everyone knows how the car market works. The new car market in particular. The iron rule: it is most profitable to buy a car in late December or early February. Do you know why?

The sales plan:

This is due to the discounts that dealers give. It is December they are very accommodating but not in honor of the New Year and Christmas. They only have a sales plan to close. All dealers have a plan. If you meet this requirement, you will receive a substantial bonus from the manufacturer/importer. If you don’t, you can continue to live the way you want, even if you have to close.

Many people who work in companies that also have a plan know what I mean. There are quarterly bonuses and bonuses, and then there are annual bonuses. Annual bonuses are the most impressive. Only a fool would refuse them willingly. Therefore, they try to fulfill the plan by all means.

There are many ways for dealers, but the easiest is to sell cars with great discounts and gifts. It is more profitable to sell with gifts because for them the “gifts” are much cheaper than for you. And also as gifts they can offer accessories and extras, for which they usually charge 2-3 times their market value.

At the end of the year, the dealer is ready to sell the car at such high discounts that it leaves it with no profit or even loss. And all because the bonuses for the completed annual sales plan will pay off and maintain the loyalty of the importer.

There are, of course, nuances here. Not all dealers are on fire with the plan. For example, some dealers sell popular models – not only do they not give discounts, but they dump hundreds of thousands of extras that are impossible to refuse. You may not take anything from them. You have to look for those to whom you have to sell the car. If not in your city, then in another. If not from one dealer, then from another. After all, sometimes instead of a budget car you can buy an unpopular brand, but a higher class for the same price.

The effect of “last year’s car”.

There’s another reason dealers try to ditch cars before New Years. Because in the new year it will be last year’s car. It’s like a new car, but it can’t be sold for the same money as a new year’s car. And if in December the effect of “last year’s car” is not very strong, in early February they will be ready to get rid of last year’s cars at a loss.

Obviously, if you don’t sell a car now, the chances of selling it in March, April and May are close to zero, so dealers are willing to offer any discounts. Especially if, as I said, the model, color or equipment is not salable.

Help with work:

Of course the car finds its buyer, but the dealer does not need illiquidity. He has to release the money he gave for this car to buy another, more liquid one. In short, the money has to work. The more trades, even with minimal profit, the better.

In addition, at the beginning of the year, as a rule, all manufacturers, without exception, increase the prices of cars. Taking into account the weakening of the ruble, we can expect a price increase of at least 5% in early 2021 – and even on domestic cars.

The price increase does not apply to last year’s cars, of course, because they were bought at the old prices. While some dealers try to present the non-increase in prices as a new discount, it is a bluff.

Therefore, February is also a good time to buy a car. January is usually a drop in sales. Everyone celebrates, long vacations, everyone spends on New Year’s presents – no time for cars. And managers equip themselves – they eat caviar with butter, which they earned in December, having fulfilled the plan. In general there is a silence.

And in February comes the realization that the bonus money is gone, there are no queues in the showrooms, because everyone who wanted to buy, bought in December and new sales plans are there anyway. They have to be fulfilled somehow, and there is still much to do. It’s less than two months to the end of the quarter, January was practically wasted, we need to catch up. In addition, sales of last year’s illiquid cars are being boosted by the CEO, who promises a higher percentage of sales.

Bargain to the bitter end:

And the most important thing to remember: don’t be afraid to negotiate with the manager in the showroom. Do not show that you are strongly interested in the purchase. Don’t feel bad that you wasted the manager’s time, that he looked after you, brought you a coffee and you have to buy his car – no! It’s his job, it’s marketing, it’s psychology.

Go negotiate. Go to one dealer, to a second, to a third – demand a written commercial offer from each and do a second round, showing a better offer from your competitors. Don’t be shy, negotiate, negotiate like in an oriental bazaar. There are examples where people have reduced the price of the car by 20% or even more. If you save money, you have earned money. There’s no need to throw money and show the manager how awesome you are – that’s exactly what he needs.


In 2022 almost everyone will have a car, and some will have more than one, and today it is very easy to buy one, as there are millions on the market, and even if you don’t have any money, you can buy one thanks to a car loan company who provides car loans, so don’t miss your chance to get a good car.