The Best Time to Buy For New and Used Car Values

by Don Elliott on December 28, 2011

For people who are not actively engaged in buying and selling cars every day, it might seem like the time to buy a car is when you are ready. While that is certainly an important factor, getting the best car value can be obtained by following some patterns in car dealerships.

For car buyers who have done their homework, the difference between a very good car value and missing the absolute bottom dollar price may be only a few hundred dollars. Everything you need to know about the best available prices is available on your computer. The trick, of course, is finding a car dealer who is willing to sell you their car at the slimmest of margins. You can also find some great deals at your local auto auction, if you’re not going up against a competitive bidder.

Depending on the car models on your list, there are some times that are better than others to shop for the car that you want. For example, convertible cars bring higher prices on an early spring day than they would bring on a cold rainy November afternoon. Trucks with snowplows sell better in the fall than they do in the summer. has published their ten best days to buy a new car. In 2011, seven of the ten best days happen to fall in December. New Years Eve is the best day of the year to buy a new car. Buyers will find discounts from Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) will average 9.3%. Also included in the top ten days are December 27 (8.8%), December 28 (8.7%), December 29 (8.7%), and December 30 (8.9%). If you’re thinking about buying, don’t miss out on these next couple of days!

The 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 tops this year’s list with the biggest incentives at 31.7% off, or a bit more than $7000 off of the 22,230 MSRP. The 2012 Jeep Liberty should be available for 21% off the $24,155 MSRP, according to The bottom line here is that the last week of the year provides some of the best opportunities to buy a new car at a great price.

Beyond manufacturer and dealer incentives, dealer inventory also helps to drive the best new car value. When there is a large supply of a specific model available at most dealerships, dealers are more likely to offer greater discounts. also tracks inventory days on the lot. Large SUVs are currently in the highest supply with 86 days in inventory. The shortest supply of cars are subcompact vehicles with only 23 days worth of cars at dealerships.

Before you rush out to buy that new car, remember to do your shopping online first. Check out,, or for discounts and manufacturer incentives in your area. Incentives will vary widely by year, make, and model, but you should be able to find a decent new or used car value for a car this New Years Eve!


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