What is the slowest month for car dealerships?
The Best Time to Buy a New Car
Dealerships are pressured to sell during certain periods, so catching them during these times will give you maximum negotiation leverage. Not only will you land a better deal, but it will be a much easier negotiation process.
I’m going to start from the best time of year to purchase, and take you all the way through to the best time of day to purchase.
Best Time of Year
Not everyone has the luxury of choosing exactly when to buy a new car. If your current vehicle gets totaled or stolen, you pretty much have to replace it right away. But for those who can wait, there are a few times during each year that offer the best negotiation opportunities.
Most insiders agree the best time of year to purchase is the week between Christmas and New Year. Most people aren’t shopping for cars during this time, and every dealer is striving to meet end-of-year sales goals. This is especially a good time to purchase a leftover model. Manufacturers tend to offer large rebates just before the end of the year to clear out all remaining models.
If you’re considering the most recent models, January and February are good months to buy (as long as incentives don’t drop much from end of year). Sales are usually slow and you’ll take advantage of the fact that many manufacturers raise prices as the year progresses.
Certain holidays offer good buying opportunities since manufacturers tend to offer special incentives. President’s Day is one of the best holidays to shop for a new car. It occurs during the 3rd Monday of February, when sales are slow and inventory should be plentiful. Other good holidays are 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Thanksgiving weekend.
Best Time of Month
All dealerships work in monthly cycles. Sales, commissions, and bonuses get calculated on the last day of each month.
Many high-volume dealerships make most of their profit through manufacturer bonuses when they hit certain sales goals. If the dealer hasn’t sold enough cars to qualify for these bonuses, the pressure to sell near the end of the month can be tremendous.
You should start negotiating during the last 4 or 5 business days of the month. You may not get the price you want right away, but as the last day of the month approaches, it’s common to hear back from dealers agreeing to a deal as long as you purchase that day.
Best Time of Week
The best time during the week to purchase a new car is on the slowest days. This would be Monday thru Thursday.
When there isn’t much foot traffic in the dealership, the pressure to sell increases and not only will you be given more personal treatment, but you’ll likely land a better deal. It’s even better if the weather is horrible, such as when it’s pouring rain — you can bet there aren’t many people shopping for cars that day.
Whatever you do, don’t try to negotiate a deal on the weekend. This is when everybody else is out shopping and the pressure to sell isn’t as great.
Best Time of Day
The best time of day to negotiate is late morning thru late afternoon. Again, this is the slowest time for a dealership (see a pattern here?).
You don’t want to start contacting dealers first thing in the morning, because that shows you can’t wait to buy the car. You also don’t want to contact dealers after 5PM, when other car shoppers start showing up after work.
Contacting them an hour or two before closing is also another good time to start your negotiations. Most employees are eager to go home and landing a deal at the end of the day is a nice bonus — even if they don’t make much profit.
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About The Author
Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
New and Used Cars Most Likely to Bring Deals in Today’s Market
The slowest-selling new and used cars could bring negotiation opportunities even in today’s market
By Julie Blackley
It took 37.2 days for the average new vehicle to sell in June and 52.1 days for the average used vehicle, according to a recent study by car search engine iSeeCars.com. Even in today’s market with inventory constraints from the ongoing microchip shortage, there are new and used cars that have remained on dealer lots for an extended amount of time. While the typical car buyer is likely unaware of a vehicle’s average selling time, knowing this important information could help you save money when you purchase a new or used car.
How does understanding a vehicle’s selling time lead to potential savings? It’s because cars that take longer to sell can present shoppers with valuable negotiation opportunities. Dealers will likely want to get rid of these cars even if it means lowering the price. These slow-sellers indicate the supply of these vehicles is higher than the demand, which could mean the car is priced too high or isn’t as desirable as its competition.
Which new cars are the slowest sellers? iSeeCars analyzed over 224,000 new and used cars sold in June to determine which vehicles remain on the market for the longest amount of time.
Slowest-Selling New Cars
These are the 10 slowest-selling new cars, which include a mix of vehicle types from American manufacturers.
|Slowest-Selling New Cars- iSeeCars.com — iSeeCars|
|Rank||Vehicle||Average Days to Sell||Average Price|
|2||Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Limited||78.3||$51,921|
|4||Jeep Grand Cherokee WK||73.1||$46,296|
|7||GMC Sierra 1500 Limited||70.3||$59,902|
The slowest-selling new car is the Lincoln Nautilus luxury midsize SUV, which takes 80.6 days to sell on average. It’s joined by an additional Lincoln vehicle, the Corsair compact SUV in fifth.
Lincoln is the luxury division of Ford, and three SUVs from the mainstream automaker make the list including the subcompact Ford Ecosport, the midsize Ford Edge, and the midsize Ford Explorer.
Three carry-over models make the list, including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Limited, the Jeep Grand Cherokee WK, and the GMC Sierra 1500 Limited. These vehicles are all a continuation of the last generation models, which were all redesigned for 2022. The Silverado 1500 Limited, Jeep Grand Cherokee WK, and the GMC Sierra 1500 Limited served as a stopgap as their manufacturers ramped up inventory of the redesigned models.
Rounding out the list are the Ford Mustang and the Chrysler 300, which both have potent engines and are likely suffering in sales because buyers want more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Slowest-Selling Used Cars
The list of slowest-selling used cars is dominated by Nissan models across all vehicle types, which account for nine of the 10 vehicles on the list.
|Slowest-Selling Used Cars — iSeeCars|
|Rank||Vehicle||Average Days to Sell||Average Price|
|1||Nissan Titan XD||106.6||$40,572|
Three Nissan pickup trucks make the list including the first-ranked Nissan Titan XD, which is the slightly heavier duty version of the second-ranked full-size Nissan Titan, and the Nissan Frontier midsize pickup. Two Nissan sedans make the list including the Maxima large sedan and the Versa subcompact sedan as well as four SUVs: the midsize two-row Murano, the midsize three-row Pathfinder, the compact Rogue, and the full-size Armada.
Also making the list is the midsize, two-row Ford Edge, which takes 64.2 days to sell. The Edge doesn’t stand out in the popular midsize SUV segment, and its own stablemate, the Ford Explorer, is considerably more popular.
When buying a new or used car, it’s not only important to understand how long a vehicle spends on dealer lots but also to understand why it is a slow-seller. Although these slower-selling cars can provide leverage for a bargain, consumers should do their research to understand why there isn’t high demand for these cars. This will ensure the issue is one they can overlook before they’re driving off the dealer lot. The iSeeCars free VIN check includes over 200 data points to equip car shoppers with the information necessary to make an informed car purchase, including how long a car has been on the market compared to its average selling time.
More from iSeeCars:
iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $342 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.
How To Take Advantage Of A Car Dealer’s Slow Season
For most dealerships, between January and March very little inventory is moved. This means salesmen are a bit more likely to strike a bargain with you. If you can pay in cash, wholesale, you can potentially save $5k on a new car—just be savvy and don’t settle for anything less than a single price.
Essentially, you’ve got to tell the salesman that you will not pay a penny more than the price they quote you, all extra fees included. Often what happens is, they’ll tell you the MSRP, then tack on associated fees when you get to the paperwork. Some of these fees are legitimate, some of them are an underhanded salesperson trying to see what he can get you to pay for.
The thing is, you’ve got a mixed bag with dealerships. There are definitely honest salesmen out there. And there are unscrupulous Danny DeVito-style swindlers. (Not that the actor is actually underhanded, but many of the characters he plays are.) So what do you do? Well, you’ve got to know what your budget is, and you’ve got to be firm.
Here we’ll cover a few more tips to help you get the best possible deals during a dealership’s off months.
Know What You Want, And What You’re Willing To Pay
It’s best not to finance a vehicle if you can afford it, because you can get a better deal that way. With this in mind, you’re going to get the best deals if you shop used. People are unlikely to buy new cars between January and March. They’re very unlikely to buy used cars during this time. So lean on that, and get ready to haggle.
Set the price you’re willing to pay, and when you see a vehicle in that range, deliberately pitch two or three grand under what you think the dealer will give you after negotiations are finished. You might even go as low as five grand under that expectation. Then you can open up the haggling.
Now here’s the thing: dealers are almost always going to be better at haggling than you, so you’ve got to apply lessons from Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal here. You must be willing to walk if you can’t come to an agreement. Flashing some (but not all) of your cash can help. Sellers know if you’re really interested, they can push you a bit.
But if they see cash and you about to walk, that amps up the pressure on them. In the primary season, you’ve got less leverage. In the slow season, they’ve got commissions that must be protected; so they’re more likely to take a hit so they can sell a car.
Offer To Make Trades
Trade-in value can be a way of offsetting price, but be careful here. You’re never going to get the full value of a trade-in at a used or new car dealer, because the dealership has to renovate your vehicle to their selling standards, and that costs money. So your vehicle will likely be appraised slightly below the value it can command.
Even so, you may be able to get closer to legitimate Kelley Blue Book value during the off-season; so this may be the tactic you use. You will accept price X, but only if value Y is assigned to the used vehicle you’re trading in.
Bring Somebody Along With You
When it’s two on one, there’s a little more pressure. When there’s more pressure, you’ve got a higher likelihood of getting the deal you want. Bring a ringer. It’s best if the person you bring along to help you haggle knows more about cars than you.
If they don’t, then assure they act like they do, and share a lot of sidelong glances with them while the both of you rub your chins in thought. That salesman needs his commission; if he feels he’s about to lose the sale, he may even be the one to offer a discount. The thing to be careful about in this situation is a female salesperson—if you’re male, that is.
The flirt game is strong when there’s a commission on the table, and a fine figure can cut your strategy right out of your brain if you’re not careful. Just remember: she’s interested in selling the car, not dating you. Be sure whoever you bring along as moral support knows the score and won’t be taken in by a wink or a smile from a pretty lady.
Getting The Best Deal You Can
Approaching a dealer with more than one person, exploring trade-in options, and knowing what you’re willing to pay from the outset can help you maximize your buying power during the off-season of a dealership selling new or pre-owned vehicles. For more tips, tricks, insight, and the occasional humorous bit of writing, be sure to check out our blog at Anybody’s Autos!