What’s the best time of year to buy a used car?

What’s the best time of year to buy a used car?


p>If you have the luxury of waiting for a more convenient or bargain-friendly time to shop for a used vehicle, it’s worth waiting until the market offers an advantage to buyers. When a lot of people are out buying new cars, that also means that they are trading in or selling their old cars — creating a used car market flooded with options. Sometimes there are a lot of great new cars on the market, paired with good financing deals, and lots of buyers jump on the bandwagon. If you can wait until winter, you’ll probably pay a bit less than you’d pay in the summer.

Typically, more used cars are sold in the spring and the summer, which means sellers are more eager to make a sale during the cold weather months [source: Sharifi]. It’s also helpful to pay attention to car-buying trends in the news. It increases their chances of finding something they like — and it also gives them some room for negotiation, knowing that there are plenty of other options and they can walk away from a deal that’s going sour. And it’s easier to get a good price: A private seller who just bought a new car is probably eager for the money, and a dealer will be eager to move one unit off the crowded lot to make room for another. This should result in lower prices and, possibly, a bigger inventory — you will have a better selection of car types, models and prices.

If you’re planning to sell your own car or trade it in toward a purchase, you might not get as much money for it as you’d like. Shoppers have an advantage when they have a lot of different vehicles to choose from. Keep in mind, though, that this situation works both ways.

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