Why buying a car in winter is a smart move Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive financial calculators and tools that provide objective and unique content. This allows users to conduct research and compare data for free – so that you can make financial decisions without trepidation. Bankrate has agreements with issuers such as, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are displayed on this site are from companies who pay us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on this site, including for instance, the order in which they appear in the listing categories, except where prohibited by law. Our mortgage, home equity and other home lending products. However, this compensation will not influence the information we publish, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not include the vast array of companies or financial offerings that might be open to you. SHARE: Vasily Pindyurin/Getty Images

4 min read . Published March 07, 2023

Kellye Guinan Kellye Guinan. Written by personal and business finance Contributor Kellye Guinan is an editor and writer freelance with over five years of experience in personal financial. She also is employed full-time at the local library, where she assists people in her community gain access to information on financial literacy, as well as other topics. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances with concise, well-studied information that breaks down complicated topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate promise

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You have money questions. Bankrate has answers. Our experts have helped you understand your money for over four decades. We continually strive to give our customers the right advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to strict standards , so you can trust that our content is truthful and precise. Our award-winning editors and reporters create honest and accurate content to help you make the best financial decisions. The content we create by our editorial team is objective, factual and uninfluenced by our advertisers. We’re transparent about how we are in a position to provide quality content, competitive rates and useful tools to our customers by explaining how we make money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the promotion of sponsored goods and, services, or by you clicking on specific links on our website. So, this compensation can affect the way, location and when products are listed in the event that they are not permitted by law. We also offer mortgage or home equity products, as well as other products for home loans. Other factors, like our own website rules and whether a product is offered in your region or within your self-selected credit score range could also affect how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include the details of every credit or financial product or service. Winter in colder climates often means less foot traffic at auto dealers , and more pressure to sell quotas. Dealers typically receive the new model year at the close of summer, they are keen to get the model year prior off the showroom. If you plan your purchase to buy it for the winter months, you could benefit from the benefits of slow sales. If you’re looking for a car now it is possible to benefit from a car market that is recovering from the strains caused by the pandemic. Vehicle supply levels have increased following the shortage of microchips that slowed the production of new vehicles and led prices to shoot up. As inventory levels rise and prices begin to fall. However, deals and incentives aren’t as prevalent as they were prior to the pandemic and therefore, deciding when to buy wisely can still prove beneficial. Dealerships are trying to achieve quotas. It’s not a secret that dealerships operate on monthly and annual quotas. These commissions and influence bonuses are offered by both the dealership owner and suppliers that the dealership contracts with. This is the reason why the last day of the year is often the most lucrative time for sales . Salespeople are not only in a rush to meet their monthly quotas and targets, they’ll also be looking to snag last-minute sales for the end of the fiscal year. Of obviously, not every dealer follows a Jan- December financial schedule. In general, however you might be able to use the system to help negotiate the price. End-of-year sales franchise dealershipsdealers who have an established relationship with a manufacturer may offer on new cars starting from the current model year. But year-end sales are common regardless of the dealer’s franchise or independent status. As dealers try to meet sales quotas, you might see big drops in the sticker price alongside rebates. If you’re not a skilled negotiator, make use of sales during winter. This could help you secure a good bargain. You could get a great rate of interest by applying for a car loan at the appropriate time of year can also aid in obtaining a favorable interest rate. Reach out to multiple lenders and request rates to make sure you are getting the best offer. Even even if you’ve got a low credit score, it is still possible to get the auto loan. The fact that you have a credit score will help increase in getting you loan approved. Keep the following in mind when looking for auto loans: Research loan types and . Negotiate for the best terms. Make sure that all promises are in writing. Know the details. Fewer people are shopping The cold winter months and the busy holiday season tend to hinder people from visiting car dealerships. The slow traffic at dealerships extends into January and February, making the perfect months to shop for a vehicle, says Mike Quincy, auto tester and writer for Consumer Reports. The regardless of the time of the year. Quincy suggests that you find out what the dealer’s cost is and then increase it from there, rather than down from the sticker price. “You’re just probably going to be a much more enthralled audience for a salesman when you go in the winter months because there aren’t many people around,” Quincy says. “These techniques should be successful.” New models are being released Dealers usually start receiving new models around the beginning of summer or beginning of autumn. That means the current model-year vehicles that were never taken off the market have depreciated in value. “A leftover model, in general, can be a good deal in the case of a driver who drives their vehicle into the ground,” Quincy says, noting the range could be between 100,000 and 200 miles. And even if , waiting for the most recent models to hit the lot is worth it. In the end, depreciation will continue to take its toll. It will still be as great, however you may be able to get a better deal due to the fact that it’s an older model. The winterized options are available. A part of your negotiation plan should be to include winterizing your vehicle. Beyond comfort elements, such as heated seats and steering wheels, focus on snow tire and winter windshields as part of the package. “If you’re not willing to make that investment then your safety could be threatened,” says Lauren Fix Car expert and editor-in-chief of Car Coach Reports. The cars with the most powerful tires may not fare as well on snowy roads. Snow tires typically cost the same as all-season tires, but there may be extra charges for the installation of these tires when purchasing an automobile. Winter is also a good time to drive around in a car you’re considering purchasing. This is particularly important if you live in regions where winter weather is prevalent. When you test your driving skills with snow or slush on the ground, you can gauge the driving experience the vehicle in the most difficult conditions. When to wait until spring Winter can be a good time to grab a great bargain, but it’s certainly not the only occasion to shop. If you’re willing to negotiate the price and , it might be a good idea to wait until spring or later to begin shopping. Most manufacturer offers are on new cars and if you’re purchasing used, there’s no reason to go shopping in winter. Additionally, you don’t want to be caught in cold or icy weather when your car you’re buying isn’t winterized to the best of its ability. If you’re looking for a used vehicle through a private sale and you’re not likely to find bargains in winter. It could also be difficult to schedule a personal meeting to examine the vehicle. Car shopping in warmer climates may actually be worse in winter since the weather is more comfortable. Most advice anticipates you live somewhere with an extremely cold winter, which is why you might want to wait until temperatures climb in the spring to go shopping. If you’ve got a winter bonus that can be used to make a large down payment, hold off until spring. The more money you need to take out, the more you’ll save overall — even if you miss the bigger winter deals. This may sound counterintuitive, but dealerships will start receiving models for 2024 in the latter half of 2023. If you’re looking for an 2023 model, hold up until the summer of. This way, dealers are advertising the 2024 model and you can get a good deal on that “old” models. The bottom line In general purchasing a car during the winter months can help you find a lower price. With low pedestrians and a shift to new inventory, there is plenty of room to negotiate a good price. It is essential to calculate what you are able to spend on a car prior to applying for a car loan or credit score and compare to find the most affordable deal. Find out how the interest rate can impact your monthly payment and the total cost of your car loan cost using our .


Written by personal and business Finance contributor Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer who has more than five years ‘ experience within personal financial. She also is an employee full-time at her local library where she helps her community access information about financial literacy, among other subjects. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since the end of 2021. They are enthusiastic about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances by providing concise, well-studied facts that break down otherwise complex subjects into bite-sized pieces.

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