Buy a Used Car
Buying and Selling Cars

When to Buy a Used Car

If you’re in the market for a used car, is there really a perfect time of year to buy one? The answer is a resounding yes!

As strange as it might sound at first, research shows that various factors mean that there are definite times to avoid. There are also times of the year when you’re most likely to snag yourself a sweet deal.

So let’s take a look at exactly when to buy a used car.

It’s All About Inventory

If you want to know when is the best time to buy a used car, you need to think about inventory. Car dealers get their used car inventory largely from buyers who trade in their old car when a new model becomes available. 

The latest new car models typically come out around late summer or early fall. That means that buyers of those cars won’t trade in their used cars until that time.

When new models hit the market, then the new car side of the business gets moving. This leads to dealers having more used cars for sale, boosting your chances of getting a great deal. 

When To Buy A Used Car

Car dealers will start to build up their inventory of used cars during the fall. When’s the best time to buy a used car? January.

By January, dealers have had their used car inventory hanging around for a few months. They’re looking to clear this stock and make way for new. The different factors impacting buyers and dealers all collide and make January the best month to sniff out an awesome deal. 

But this doesn’t mean that January is the only month when you can get a great deal. Late fall and early winter are times when dealers have plenty of used car inventory that they want to move.

When Not to Buy A Used Car

Now you’ve seen when’s the best time to buy a used car, we can work out when not to buy a used car. The worst months to buy a used car are April through October. You are much less likely to get a great deal during these months. 

In the springtime, there’s high demand for vehicles and inventory may be lower. This pushes up prices and makes it harder to get a great deal. Look out though for certain holidays, which may bring up promotional deals. 

What to Look For When Buying A Used Car

Knowing what to look for when buying a used car can help you to avoid a lot of headaches down the line. Check out the vehicle history, thoroughly check the frame for rust or damage, and get an impartial expert to look under the hood.

The best age to buy a used car is up to the five-year mark. Some cars will still be covered by warranties up to this point. They will also start to depreciate significantly after five years. 

The Verdict: When to Buy a Used Car

If you’re figuring out when to buy a used car, make sure it’s when dealers have inventory they want to shift. Later in the year is usually best, with January coming in as the best month to buy.

For more great hints and tips about all things auto, check out our Auto Repair and Maintenance sections today!