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Jamal Matveyev
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Is This A Good Time To Buy A Car is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories, except where prohibited by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.

is this a good time to buy a car

In terms of the best time of the year, October, November and December are safe bets. Car dealerships have sales quotas, which typically break down into yearly, quarterly and monthly sales goals. All three goals begin to come together late in the year.

The J.D. Power predicts average transaction prices to reach $45,971 in the third quarter of 2022, which will be a 10.3 percent increase from the same time last year. A higher demand and a lower supply are contributing to this price increase.

If you are looking to buy a new or used car, this lean inventory and competitive market will likely mean that you will pay a higher base price and receive fewer discounts until the shortage is resolved.

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Incentives, or those discounts dealers and manufacturers advertise to tempt you into the showroom, started making a comeback. Almost every factor that contributes to car affordability helped shoppers in February, from falling prices to rising incomes. Monthly payments finally began to inch down from an all-time high set last December.

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Microchips are created with silicon crystals, which need time to grow. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, microchip assembly requires about 700 steps over a 14-week period. AutoForecast Solutions estimated that over 13 million vehicles were cut from production worldwide between the beginning of 2021 and August 2022 due to the chip shortage.

In the first half of 2022, the increase in the average cost for new vehicles began to level off. Average costs for new cars have fluctuated month-by-month but have remained expensive. Unfortunately, prices crept up again at the end of 2022 as Kelley Blue Book recorded an all-time-high average price of $48,681 for new vehicles in November.

According to the CarGurus Index, used car prices started off 2022 around $30,500 on average. That price stayed between about $30,300 and $30,800 for most of the year. But when autumn came around, prices began to fall. The index shows the average cost dropped in September and dipped below $29,000 in December. If this trend of falling prices continues, 2023 could be a good time to buy a used car.

If you began a lease before prices ran up to record highs, it might be a good time to buy out your lease. The car dealership or leasing company set the buyout price when you began the lease, but your car may be worth more now. This means you can pay less than market value for your leased car to purchase it.

That said, there are still some signs of hope for those looking to purchase an affordable vehicle this year. Below, Select takes a closer look at how consumers can find the best deals without spending more than their budgets allow.

According to a recent report by Cox Automotive, the number of new and unsold vehicles available held steady at 1.09 million. While this was technically a small improvement over last year's 1.07 million vehicles available, the numbers are still nowhere near what they used to be prior to the pandemic, when there were easily 2.55 million vehicles available in July 2020 or 3.69 million vehicles available in July 2019.

Unfortunately, Shefska says it's going to be a long time before manufacturers can get that number back up, but there are several ways to give yourself a bit of an advantage when it's time to purchase your next vehicle if you simply cannot wait any longer.

In the meantime, consider using public transportation more or getting around via ride-share services if your budget allows. If you must purchase a vehicle this year, check your credit score and bank account first to see what you're able to afford without neglecting any other financial responsibilities.

Edmunds, a Carmax-owned automotive information website, agrees that buying earlier in the week is best. Their experts say this is more about the level of attention you can expect from a salesperson than about getting a better deal.

As a result, car shoppers today face a limited selection and price hikes from either dealer-added (often non-negotiable) accessories or "market adjustments." Discounts of any sort are scarcer than the cars themselves, leaving the buyer with no negotiating power. There's also a greater sense of urgency to make a quick decision on a deal because the car may not be there if you take the time to think about it.

This means that these are far from normal times in terms of both the selection of cars available and the lack of discounts you may encounter. If you need a new vehicle today, we suggest starting your shopping process sooner rather than later since the chipset shortage will likely affect pricing and inventory at least through 2022.

If you're shopping for a new or used car in today's difficult marketplace, please see "Car Buying Tips for 2022" for our experts' targeted, data-driven advice. Note that the article below was originally written before the chip shortage when vehicle prices were relatively stable and predictable. If the shortages continue, there may be a so-called "best time to buy" for the foreseeable future. The best time in the current market is when you find a dealer that has the vehicle you want and is willing to sell it to you at MSRP or better, without any additional options that you may not need.

That said, many of the major elements of this story still ring true. Outgoing models are more likely to get a discount, highly anticipated new models are less likely to be discounted and you're more likely to get good service during the week than on a busy weekend. When the automotive market stabilizes, there's a good chance that the deals will fall into patterns similar to those described below.

Buyers are always looking for a way to game the system and save money on major purchases. Much of this thinking revolves around zeroing in on the best time to purchase a particular item. Need a new TV? Shop on Black Friday or around the Super Bowl. Need a new winter coat? Shop in January.

It's no different for cars. Ask anyone, "When is the best time to buy a car?" and you'll get answers ranging from the end of the month to "wait until the new models come out." There are as many theories on this topic as there are days in the year. And, oddly enough, there is a grain of truth to many of them.

  • End of month

  • End of the calendar year

  • Best month to buy a car

  • Best day to buy a car

  • End of the model year

  • End of the car's design cycle

  • End of the car's life cycle

  • Three-day weekends

  • Black Friday

  • Best time to buy a used car

Simply put, here's our advice: The best time to buy a car is when you need it and feel ready to buy, regardless of the time of year. Car buying can be stressful, and it can take more than a month to go from deciding what to buy to actually closing the deal. Why add to that pressure by trying to squeeze your shopping into a certain day of the week or a holiday weekend when everyone has the same idea?

When the month is coming to an end, dealers might be a few cars short of a sales quota that would win them a big bonus. Salespeople will have more motivation to make a deal with a buyer and might deeply discount cars, making up any money lost with the bonus. This is the time when you shouldn't sleep on the car deal. Keep in mind, however, that if the sales team met its quota earlier that month, salespeople may not be as motivated to give you the screaming deal you might be expecting. This is difficult to know ahead of time. But if you're in the midst of negotiating and the dealer offers you a super-low price, take a moment to ask your salesperson why the dealer is willing to potentially lose money on this sale. If the reason makes sense to you, and the price is considerably better than your research says it should be, it could be a sign the dealer is trying to make a sales goal.

If you're feeling nervous about buying in a short end-of-month timeframe, test-drive the car in which you're interested earlier in the month and close the deal as the end of the month approaches. Also, many new-car incentive offers are good for a few days after the month ends, which gives you a bit of a buffer.

While the data shows that December is the best time of the year to buy, there are also a few other viable months. In other words, if you need a car in January, there's no need to wait 11 months to get a good deal.

If you need a car in October and want to get the best deal, you might want to wait until December, even though you'll run the risk of having fewer cars to choose from. Waiting will give you more time to do more research on the right car for you. You'll also be able to gather more price quotes.

Early in the week: This tip is more about the level of attention you can expect from a salesperson than about getting a killer deal. Weekends are typically the busiest time at a dealership. The salesperson might be juggling multiple customers, and the finance office is likely to be a bottleneck. But if you show up on a Monday or Tuesday, there will be less foot traffic. You can ask plenty of questions and the transaction should take far less time. In some parts of the country, however, dealerships are closed on Sundays. And as a result, Monday is a pretty busy day of the week. If that's the case for you, go on a Tuesday or Wednesday. 041b061a72


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