When is the best time to buy a car?

14 minute read Published on Nov 23, 2020 by BrokerLink Communications

When is the best time to buy a car?

Buying a car is a significant financial decision that often involves a fair amount of contemplation and research. After all, your choice of wheels can have a profound impact on your daily life, your budget, and your overall satisfaction behind the wheel. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when to buy a car, there are indeed optimal times when you can make the most out of your investment.

In this blog, we’ll explore the art of timing when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. Whether you’re a budget-conscious buyer, a savvy negotiator, or simply looking for the perfect moment to drive home your dream car, we’ve got you covered. So, fasten your seatbelts and join us as we uncover the secrets of when to make that car purchase a roaring success.

What are the best days, months, and seasons to buy a car?

Purchasing a car is a significant financial commitment, and making the right decision at the right time can save you money and ensure you drive away with a vehicle that suits your needs. So, when exactly is the best time to buy a car?

End-of-the-year deals

The end of the calendar year is another excellent time to consider purchasing a car. Dealerships want to clear out their existing inventory to make space for the next year’s models. This can lead to significant discounts, promotions, and financing deals. Here’s why you should keep this in mind:

Model clearance

As the year comes to a close, dealerships want to sell the current year’s models before the new ones arrive. You can often find discounted car prices on these outgoing models.

Dealer incentives

To help dealerships move inventory, car manufacturers sometimes offer additional incentives or bonuses at the end of the year. These can translate into better deals for buyers.

Tax benefits

Depending on your location, purchasing a car at the end of the year may offer tax advantages. Check with a tax professional to see if you can benefit from year-end tax deductions.

End-of-the-month advantages

One of the most well-known strategies for car buyers is shopping at the end of the month. Dealerships often have monthly sales quotas to meet, and salespeople are often more motivated to close deals as the end of the month approaches. Here’s why this can work to your advantage:

Sales quotas

Many dealerships have monthly sales goals that salespeople are expected to meet. As the end of the month nears, salespeople may be more willing to negotiate to secure a sale and meet their quotas.

Managerial pressure

Sales managers often apply pressure on their teams to reach these quotas. This added pressure can translate into more flexibility in pricing and financing options.

Clearance sales

Dealerships might offer clearance sales at the end of the month to move older inventory and make room for newer models. This can result in discounts and promotions that can save you money.

End-of-the-quarter opportunities

In addition to the month’s end, consider the end of the fiscal quarter as an advantageous time to buy a car. The fiscal calendar for car dealerships often aligns with the standard calendar quarters March, June, September, and December. Here’s why the end of the quarter can be a great time to purchase a vehicle:

Quarterly targets

Dealerships, like many businesses, set quarterly sales targets, sometimes these targets come with bonuses for the salespeople. With this in mind, salespeople may be more motivated to close deals at the end of a quarter to meet or exceed these targets.

Dealership incentives

Car manufacturers often provide incentives to dealerships based on quarterly performance. Dealers may pass these incentives along to customers in the form of discounts or special financing offers.

Holiday weekends and special events

Holiday weekends and special events are notorious for offering car buyers unique opportunities. Dealerships frequently run promotions and sales events during these times. Here are some holidays and events to watch for:

  • Victoria Day weekend is often associated with car sales events in Canada. You can expect to find special holiday deals, promotions, discounts, and extended dealership hours during this time.
  • Labour Day weekend typically features car sales events, making it a great time to purchase a car.
  • While Boxing Day is primarily known for shopping discounts, some Canadian dealerships also participate by offering special deals and discounts on vehicles. If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s worth checking out the deals available on Boxing Day.
  • New Year’s Eve and the New Year’s Day holiday represent optimal moments for purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle. You can typically expect a flurry of exclusive year-end sales events accompanied by attractive financing and leasing offers.

Seasonal Factors

In regions with distinct seasons, the demand for certain types of vehicles can fluctuate with the weather. Understanding these seasonal trends can help you time your purchase effectively:


Car manufacturers typically release new models in the fall. This is essential if you’re not overly concerned about having the latest model. When new models are introduced, dealerships often reduce prices on the previous year’s models.

These vehicles are still brand new but may come with substantial savings. As buyers are drawn to the shiny new models, there’s less demand for the outgoing ones, which can work in your favour when negotiating the price and land you a good deal.


In colder climates, demand for SUVs and four-wheel-drive vehicles often increases during winter. Consequently, prices for these vehicles may be higher during this time.

Spring and Summer

Convertibles and sports cars tend to be more expensive when demand is higher in the spring and summer buying seasons. Buying a car like this in the fall or winter can lead to better deals.

Whether you’re eyeing the end of the month, year, or a special holiday weekend, timing your car purchase can help you drive away with a vehicle that not only meets your requirements but also leaves you with peace of mind about your financial investment.

Is there a best day to buy a car?

Yes! Certain days of the week or year can provide more advantageous circumstances for leasing or buying a car. Choosing the right day when embarking on your car shopping journey not only holds the potential to save you money but also enhances the overall ease and comfort of the buying experience:


Mondays often bring a more tranquil atmosphere to dealerships, creating an ideal setting for a leisurely test drive and unhurried negotiations. With fewer customers milling around, you’ll likely find the showroom less bustling, allowing you to explore your options with greater ease and comfort.

However, it’s worth noting that since weekends are often the busiest times, salespeople might be preoccupied with catching up on the weekend’s inquiries and appointments. As a result, response times on Mondays could be slightly slower, and you might encounter some delays in getting the information you need.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a relaxed and less hectic buying experience, Monday’s lower foot traffic can offer you precisely that. It’s a day when you can take your time to assess different models, ask questions, and gather insights from the sales team without feeling rushed.

Long weekends

Dealerships often feature some of their most enticing sales offers during holiday periods, although these times can be hectic due to increased customer traffic. Some of the weekends where you’re likely to encounter highly promoted deals in Canada include Victoria Day, Labour Day and Canada Day.

Among these, Victoria Day stands out as an excellent opportunity for car buyers. This holiday marks the beginning of the summer car sales season, typically bringing forth a wide array of appealing offers from both dealerships and automakers.

Likewise, Labour Day weekend presents a favourable chance to secure a deal. It aligns with the onset of the fall sell-off season when automakers introduce their next year’s vehicle models. Dealerships, in turn, aim to clear out the previous year’s inventory, often resulting in attractive discounts and incentives.

When is the best time to buy a used car?

When buying a used car, there are many things to first consider, including when is the best time to buy. Many of the principles regarding the timing of your new car purchase can also be applied when buying a used car. However, one exception comes to holiday weekends and major sales events. In such cases, it’s generally recommended to wait a few days before making your purchase, and here’s why.

During the sale event itself, much of the sales staff is usually quite busy attending to car shoppers who are interested in the advertised deals on new cars. This means that they might not have sufficient time to provide the necessary assistance to used-car buyers.

Moreover, when individuals purchase new cars, they often decide to either sell or trade in their old vehicles. While this will give you more used car options to choose from, these used cars typically need several days for cleaning, inspection, and transfer to the dealers’ used car lots. Therefore, it’s best to wait a few days after a big sales event before heading to a dealership for a used car.

Is there a bad time to buy a car?

Purchasing a car is a thrilling experience, but it’s also a significant financial commitment. While we often discuss the best times to purchase a vehicle, it’s equally important to be aware of when it might not be the best idea. After all, as we’ve already covered, timing can significantly impact the cost and overall satisfaction of your car-buying journey. So, when is the worst time to buy a new or used car?

The beginning of the month

While the end of the month can be a prime time for car buyers, the beginning of the month might be less advantageous. At the beginning of the month, dealerships typically reset their sales quotas. Salespeople may be less willing to negotiate aggressively until they’ve had more time to assess their monthly goals. Moreover, manufacturer incentives and promotions may be less attractive at the start of the month.

During the peak of winter or summer

The weather can significantly impact car shopping, especially during extreme seasons. Car dealerships in colder climates often raise prices for SUVs and four-wheel-drive vehicles during the winter months when there’s higher demand. If you can, wait until spring or fall to purchase these vehicles when prices tend to be more reasonable. As for summertime, convertibles and sports cars are often more expensive when the demand is higher. You may find better deals during the colder months!

When the latest models just hit the showroom floor

While it may be tempting to purchase the latest model as soon as it’s released, it might not be the most financially savvy move. New cars can depreciate rapidly in the first year. Buying a brand-new model as soon as it’s released can mean losing a significant portion of its value in a short time. Also, car dealerships are less likely to offer substantial discounts on new, in-demand models. Waiting a bit can lead to more significant savings. Plus, brand-new models may have unforeseen issues that haven’t been discovered or addressed yet!

When the car dealership is low on inventory

Buying a car when the dealership’s inventory is limited can limit your choices and result in less favourable terms. A reduced inventory means you may not find the exact make, model, or colour you want. Plus, dealerships may charge more for the remaining cars, knowing that customers have fewer options.

Do I need to purchase a new car after I’ve been in an accident?

Being involved in a car accident can be a distressing and disruptive experience, and one of the many questions that arise afterward is whether it’s time to consider purchasing a new car. While the decision ultimately depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage and your personal circumstances, we’ll guide you through the key considerations to help you determine whether it might be the right time to purchase a new vehicle after your accident.

The extent of damage

The severity of the damage to your car is a crucial factor in deciding whether to buy a new one. If the damage is minimal and repairable, it might not necessitate the purchase of a new vehicle. However, if the repairs are extensive and the cost approaches or exceeds the current market value of your car, it might be more financially sound to consider a replacement.

The age and mileage of your vehicle

Consider the age and mileage of your vehicle before the accident. If your car was already approaching the end of its useful life or had significant mileage, it might make sense to take the accident as an opportunity to invest in a newer, more reliable vehicle.

If you have safety and reliability concerns

Your safety is paramount, and if your vehicle’s structural integrity has been compromised in the accident, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. If you have doubts about your car’s safety even after repairs, or if the accident has raised concerns about the potential for future mechanical issues, it might be time to consider a more dependable option.

The repair costs and your insurance coverage

Review the repair estimates and assess whether your insurance coverage will cover the costs. Keep in mind that even if the repairs are covered, the accident history can impact your car’s resale value and potentially lead to higher insurance premiums.

Deciding when to purchase a new car after being in an accident involves careful consideration of factors like the extent of damage, safety concerns, repair costs, and even your evolving needs. It’s essential to prioritize safety, reliability, and peace of mind when making this decision.

How to score the best deal at the dealership

Are you ready to hit the road with a shiny new set of wheels? Whether you’re eyeing that sleek sedan, a rugged SUV, or a zippy little hatchback, one thing’s for sure: getting the best deal at the car dealership can make your experience a whole lot smoother. Getting the best deal at a dealership involves a combination of research, negotiation skills, and timing. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to secure the best deal when buying a car:

Do your homework

Start by getting to know the make and model of your desired car. Understand its features and specifications, and read up on reviews to make sure it’s the right fit for you. Then, head online to find the fair market value of the car you’ve got your eye on. Determine whether you plan to lease your car or finance your vehicle.

Don’t limit yourself to just one car dealership. Explore car prices, promotions, and customer reviews at several dealerships in your area. After all, variety is the spice of life! And don’t forget to brush up on the basics of auto financing. Know your interest rates, loan terms, and how your credit score plays into the equation. It’s like navigating the twists and turns of the loan track.

Timing matters

Dealerships often have sales quotas, making the end of the month or fiscal quarter a golden opportunity for negotiation. Also, year-end clearance sales are a real treat. Dealerships want to make room for the latest models so that you might find some fantastic discounts. Furthermore, special promotions during holidays like Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, and Boxing Day are the pit stops you’ve been waiting for.

Build a relationship

Creating a good rapport with your dealership can steer negotiations in your favour. Building a friendly relationship with your salesperson can go a long way, as a positive vibe often leads to more flexible terms. And always treat dealership staff with respect and professionalism.

Test drive and inspect

Before you seal the deal, take your potential new ride for a test drive and inspection. Get behind the wheel to ensure the car suits your preferences in terms of comfort, handling, and performance. You may also want to consider letting a trusted mechanic give the car a once-over, especially if you’re purchasing a used car that was previously involved in an accident. This allows you to check under the hood for hidden treasures or issues that can be handy during negotiations.

Show off your negotiation skills

Now, let’s talk numbers. Decide on your maximum budget and stick to it. Don’t let the allure of a new car take you off course financially. Launch your negotiations with an offer below your actual budget. This gives you room for the salesperson to counteroffer.

Make sure to negotiate for extras like extended warranties, winter tires, maintenance packages, or upgrades. These can be the cherry on top of your deal. Consider collecting written quotes from multiple dealerships to use as leverage in your negotiation.

Finally, keep in mind that negotiations can take time, and be prepared to walk away if the terms don’t align with your expectations. Sometimes, walking away from the table can be your strongest negotiating move.

Make sure not to overlook the details

When you’re closing the deal, make sure you’re signing up for exactly what you negotiated. Be sure to scrutinize all the paperwork before signing. Verify that it accurately reflects the agreed-upon terms. Familiarize yourself with the warranty coverage and any additional warranties you may have purchased. Lastly, ensure the final price, interest rate, down payment, and monthly payments align with what you negotiated.

Don’t forget your car insurance

Timing truly is everything when it comes to purchasing a car. Remember, whether you’re cruising into the dealership at the end of the month or waiting for that holiday weekend sales event, the best time to buy a car ultimately aligns with your individual needs and financial goals. It’s all about finding the perfect moment to hit the road in your dream car.

And speaking of hitting the road, don’t forget one crucial aspect of car ownership: insurance. At BrokerLink, we understand that protecting your investment is just as important as finding the right time to buy. Let the BrokerLink team be your trusted partner in navigating the world of auto insurance.

From liability coverage to accident benefits to no-fault insurance or low-mileage car insurance, we can help you find the right comprehensive coverage tailored to your specific needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for car insurance in Toronto, Edmonton, or Vancouver, our team will ensure you have the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.

But our support doesn’t end there. BrokerLink is here to help answer any questions you have, such as whether you should purchase car insurance before or after buying a car. In the unfortunate event of an accident or claim, BrokerLink is by your side, offering guidance and support throughout the claims process. We’ll work diligently to ensure you receive the assistance you need, making the often complex and stressful claims process as smooth as possible so that you can get back on the road with peace of mind.

So, as you embark on your car-buying journey, make sure to consider your insurance needs as well. Happy car shopping and safe travels!

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