The Best Time to Buy A Car? End of the Year + End of the Month + End of the Week

Kia Forte Compact Car

What are you waiting for?

This has become common knowledge: The best time to buy a car is the last few days of the month when dealerships and sales people are more motivated to hit or surpass their sales goals.

And, we know that as the new models start to make their way onto dealer’s lots, typically in September and October, that prior model year prices become more attractive. This may be because the new models carry a price increase, or because dealers purchased the cars from the last model year and need to resell them. And of course, both of these things together should make for a perfect time to car shop.

But, it gets better. There are even more reasons that this is the best time of the year to buy a car.

Further reading: How car dealers make money

Acura Sports Car Has The Soul Of The Nsx Super Car

The fleet of Acura ILX A Spec models; this popular sports sedan has been redesigned for 2019 Photo: Scotty Reiss

Car Sales Are Generally Down

It’s still only a slight decrease versus a few years ago when new car sales hit record highs, but still, the pressure is on. This means that manufacturers are sprinting to the year-end finish line with incentives like cash back, special pricing and low-interest rates to encourage you to buy. And, dealers who haven’t met their sales goals are super inspired to strike a deal.

Further reading: Sidestep the sales pressure and get a no-haggle deal from Costco

Used Car Sales Carmax

CarMax, a popular outlet for used cars. Photo: CarMax

Used Cars are Very Competitive

Remember that record sales year we had a few years ago? Well, many of those cars were leases that have now made their way back onto dealers lots, this time as used cars. And, since they rolled out new with lots of great technology and packed with premium features at good prices, many of the used cars on the market offer a lot for the money. It’s enough to make you think twice, and the dealer, too: they are often more interested in selling a new car than a used car, so they may offer a better deal.

Further reading: Negotiate like a pro with our 10 tips for success

World Car Awards Best Cars

The Jeep Cherokee redesigned for 2019, and the most fuel-efficient Cherokee ever! Photo: Scotty Reiss

2018 Models Are Clogging Dealer Lots

If you’re among the buyers who look for deals on outgoing model year cars, you’re in luck: According to, there are quite a few 2018 models on lots looking for their new owners. The percentage of 2018 models that fill dealer inventories are:

  • Mazda: 62.5 percent
  • Audi: 52.9 percent
  • Dodge: 51.7 percent
  • Ford: 49.7 percent
  • Mitsubishi: 49.3 percent
  • Jeep: 48.2 percent notes that Subaru, Acura, and Infiniti have less than 10 percent of 2018 cars on dealers lots. It’s unlikely you’ll see many deals from those brands.

Further reading: Learn to decode that window sticker! Here is our guide

2019 Kia Sportage Ex Kia Suv

The Kia Sportage that Christa Thompson picked as her new car. Photo: Christa Thompson

SUV Sales are Outpacing Sedan Sales… And Yet, There Are Still Many Sedans for Sale

We’ve heard about the demise of the sedan. Ford announced they will stop building sedans for the US market and GM axed a number of sedans in recent cutbacks. But Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, and others are still committed to their customers who love sedans. And, they are great for people who love a deal: Sedans typically cost 10%-15% less than a comparably equipped SUV. So if you’re looking for a great deal this week and can drive a sedan, focus your search there.

Further reading: Not sure you really need a new car? How to tell if a new car can wait

2019 Kia Forte Compact Car Redefines The Economy Car With Great Tech And Details

Kia can always be counted on for a great deal, between approachable prices and great technology and features. The 2019 Forte shows Stinger-inspired features including a refined grille, steely headlights, and lowered turn signal lights. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Some of the Deals That Expire With the Drop of the Ball Over Times Square … or Shortly After

Most end of the year deals actually end January 2nd, so you have a bit of breathing room. Here are some of the deals we found:

Chevrolet: employee pricing deals plus cash incentives on Equinox, Trax, Traverse, Suburban, Tahoe Silverado, Camaro and more can mean up to 20% off the MSRP.

Ford: Zero percent financing and cash back on some models can mean very affordable monthly payments on models such as the F-150 pickup truck, the Edge and the Fusion sedan.

Hyundai is offering cash back on 2019 Kona, Elantra, Ioniq, Santa Fe and more; for the 2018 models there’s cash back AND zero percent financing.

Kia has zero percent financing or $3,000 cash back on many 2019 models, including Soul, Sportage, Sorento and Optima

Nissan has cash back and zero percent financing and cash back, as well as special interest rates, on many models including the Sentra, Altima, Maxima, Rogue, and Murano.

RAM Trucks can be purchased with zero percent interest and no payments for 90 days.

Toyota is offering zero percent financing on the Tacoma pickup truck, Tundra truck and the RAV4 SUV, as well as low interest rates and cash back on other models.

Jeep has cash back or zero percent financing on a number of 2019 models

Mazda is offering low interest rates, cash back and no payments for 90 days on many models including the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6.

If You Love To Shop, This Is Your Season: There Are Deals Galore This Year From Zero Percent Interest To Cash Back, Even On 2019 Models!

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss