Dye Autos Denver Area Truck and Automotive Blog
They say timing is everything. When you’re thinking about the best time to buy a used car, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you pick the right time. And if you don’t? It could cost you BIG if you don’t get the timing right.
Timing and discounts are nothing new, which means those who pay attention to the calendar come out on top. The discounts even fluctuate based on what day of the week or time of the month you buy.
Here at Dye Autos, we have over 100 years combined experience in selling cars. We’ve seen it all and we’re happy to share our knowledge with you.
Before we reveal the #1 insider’s tip for the best time to buy a used car, let’s talk more about timing.
- Always buy a used car before your current vehicle leaves you stranded.
- Always be prepared when you go to the dealership to buy a used car.
- If that timing coincides with the best times on the calendar to buy, you can get a great deal.
Some people think that shopping on busy weekends means the dealer will give a discount. The data, however, shows that isn’t 100% true. Visiting a car dealer in the middle of the day or on some weekends won’t necessarily help shoppers get a great price.
One good strategy is to shop on a Monday. TrueCar’s buying data shows that buyers saved an average of 8.1% on Mondays, compared to Saturdays (7.77 percent) or Sundays (7.49 percent).
On Mondays (or other weekdays, to a lesser extent), the salesperson and customers will have more time to negotiate the best deal. A side benefit is that most lenders will be open for business on a weekday, so you can arrange and finalize your auto loan before you leave the dealership.
The #1 Insider’s Secret: “End of The…”
There’s something about deadlines that motivates us dealers to give smokin’ deals on cars. The best times to buy a used car are at the end of the….
1. End of the day
Make your offer later in the day. If a salesperson hasn’t racked up a sale all day, he or she may be more amenable as the minutes tick toward closing time.
2. End of the weekend
Car dealers have weekend goals as well as monthly goals. Various cars on the lot need to move to make room, so management puts up bonuses on specific vehicles to sell them fast.
If the car or truck you want is on that list, especially if the salesperson hasn’t sold it by Sunday afternoon, you can grab a sweet deal by going in at the end of the weekend.
3. End of the month
You can get a great deal at the end of the month. Dealerships are always motivated to sell cars, but at the end of the month their motivation increases exponentially. If you want to take advantage of the dealer’s urgency to meet their monthly goals, start your negotiation a few days before.
4. End of the year
Every dealer has annual quotas and there are bonuses for salespeople who meet certain annual figures. Take advantage of this. If you can wait, buy your new car in the last two weeks of December, when dealers are dying to beat their quotas. Annual sales bonuses are sometimes incentive enough for dealers to knock off up thousands from the price.
If you can’t wait until the end of the year…
Some buyers can’t wait until the end of the year to buy a used car. Don’t worry. There are opportune buying times year-round. Just remember the #1 Insider’s Secret “End of the…”
You’ve done it. You’ve decided to buy a new car to replace your old car. There are a lot of important decisions you need to make now and one of them is whether or not trading in your car is beneficial.
How does it work when trading in your car?
When the amount you owe on the car is less than the trade-in value, the process is pretty straightforward.
Say you still owe $5,000 on your car and a dealer offers you $6,000 for it as a trade-in. The dealer pays off the $5,000 loan for you and then you transfer ownership of the car to the dealer. You can use the $1,000 difference as a down payment.
When the amount you owe on the car is more than the trade-in value, the dealer still pays off your loan. This leaves a balance due to the dealer which you can either pay in cash, or sometimes, roll that amount into the new loan you’re getting on the new car. Various factors like creditworthiness, terms and payment amounts govern which options will be available to you.
Do’s and Don’ts of Trading in Your Car
- Use online tools to appraise your car’s value. Edmunds.com and kbb.com are two great resources to appraise your trade-in’s value.
- Be honest with yourself about your car’s trade-in condition. The more forthright you are when using online appraisal tools, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to trade it in. Very often, people come into the dealership with an overly-optimistic idea of what their car is worth, only to find that reality is less optimistic.
- Give your trade-in curb appeal.
- Clean the exterior and interior well.
- Remove small dents.
- Fix window glass defects.
- Bring all vehicle paperwork with you. You will need:
- Certificate of title (if you don’t have it, the DMV can tell you how to get it replaced). Note: if you have an outstanding loan on the vehicle, this will not apply since the bank has your certificate of title.
- Current registration.
- All your car keys and the owner’s manual.
- If you still have a loan on the car, you’ll need to have your account number or a payment stub.
- Maintenance records. These help support your claims about whatever prior damage your car has had and the repairs it has undergone.
- Don’t fly blind. After you’ve learned what your car is worth via the online appraisal tools, obtain 2-3 dealership quotes or estimates. Information is power so get all the facts before you take the plunge.
- Don’t be unrealistic about your trade-in’s value. We all have attachments to our cars because most of us spend a good portion of our lives in them. However, don’t expect any added “sentimental” value once it’s time to trade in your car. Treat it as a transaction, nothing more.
- Don’t over-fix your trade-in. It’s beneficial to spruce up your car before trading it in, but be sure to set a budget for small fix-ups. Perform simple maintenance and cheap cosmetic fixes (like fixing scratches), but don’t spend so much money that you end up losing money on the trade.
- Don’t forget to pack all your car’s accessories. Trading in your car means you are trading in everything that goes along with it. Make sure the original owner’s manual and any extra keys are in the vehicle when you arrive at the dealership. Dealers like used cars that still have all the accessories and may even give you a better deal on your trade when everything is there.