Car Buying; the “Where” and the “When”

By May 2, 2016Car Buying


Where should I buy it?

Although we see more of the car buying process happening online, visiting an automotive dealership is still a critical part of the process. According to Google Trends, search interest for “car dealerships near me” has doubled in the past year. And of those that used their mobile devices as part of the purchase process, one in three located or called a dealer on their mobile device. In addition to distance, car buyers look at other trends when looking to purchase a vehicle – some of them include seasonality, timing, to get the best deal!


Seasonality plays an important role for the used car shopper. Dealerships need to be on high alert in the Winter months – which offers the greatest potential discount to car buyers.  Every February, for instance, there is a spike in search interest for “cars for sale” possibly due to people anticipating a big tax return.  Summer is another important seasonal moment. When the temperatures rise, so does the interest in car shopping. Search interest for “lease deals” peaked last Summer, up 20% compared to 2014 according to Google Trends. One thing to note is if you have your heart set on a particular make or model, inventories can also become more limited during these peak times, so it is important to weigh the discount vs. getting the car you really want.

Timing; End of the Month, Quarter, Day and Time

As far as timing goes, leverage the best discount possible with the dealership at the end of the month. Also, buying a car at the end of a quarter might increase savings. Why is this a prime time to purchase?  It comes down to an auto dealerships goals, most automakers set sales goals for dealers, and then dealers set similar goals for themselves. Often, these goals include bonuses if they achieve them, which is a big incentive for auto dealers or salespeople who close extra car sales at the end of a month/quarter. Also, buying a car at the end of the day or week (Sunday) can also play into pricing. An eager dealer or sales person won’t let you leave if they know you are serious about buying which can also lead to savings.


Start doing some research online by getting price quotes from multiple dealers before you go to the dealership to purchase. Also check if a car company is offering any bonus perks like cash back or special financing. If you are buying a used vehicle auto makers, like Ford, may offer lower pricing or special rates on CPO vehicles as an incentive – which can save you by having lower monthly payments. Also, refer to your bank to see if you can get a low interest loan, and then go to the car dealer to see what their financing offer is. Generally banks offer a 4% low interest loan.

Owning it…Our Tips? Shop for your ideal car early in the month or season, and purchase it later in the month or quarter/season. Get your test drives out of the way, and begin narrowing your list. When the last few days of the month come around, start visiting automotive dealerships to start the final negotiating process and own your ride!

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