1. Think about sales tactics
Salespeople have targets to hit, and this is likely to impact your negotiations. Most targets need to be hit at the end of each month, but if you decide to pop into your local car dealership with just a few days to go and your salesperson has already hit their monthly targets you could find yourself without the bargaining power you’d hoped for.
Instead, aim to buy a car from your dealership during the last few weeks of the quarter. You’re more likely to get a good deal this way if your salesperson is trying to get a few strong sales in ahead of deadline. The end of the quarter is typically March, June, September and December – so these could be the best times to shop for a car.
2. Visit the showroom during the week
The showroom is likely to be quieter mid-week. You have a better chance of a salesperson giving you their undivided attention, and therefore they’re more likely to enter into negotiations with you.
If you opt to buy a car at a weekend or other busy periods, you’re essentially in competition with all the other shoppers. A salesperson might not be open to giving you the best deal if someone else is right around the corner prepared to snap the car up at a higher price.
3. Look out for new registration plate releases
If you’re buying a new car, March and September could be good months to buy as new registration plates are launched then. Dealers will be under pressure from manufacturers to sell so you can swoop in and get a good deal on some brand-new wheels.
If a used car is for you, April and October — the months after new plates are launched — could work out well, as there’ll be an influx of second-hand cars that have been traded in for new ones once the new registration plates have launched. The more cars the dealership has on their forecourt, the more likely they are to want to strike a deal for you to take it off their hands.
4. Keep up with the trends
Car dealerships keep up with the trends, so you may bag yourself a bargain during key sales periods such as Black Friday, Boxing Day or New Year. These are likely to be busy periods but with a myriad of offers on the cards you could end up with a fantastic deal.
It’s also a good idea to sign up to a few car dealership newsletters, so you’ll know if they’re hosting any special events. Many car dealers offer great bargains during these one-off events and you won’t want to miss out.
5. ... and know when to buck the trends too
It’s obvious when you think about it, but how many convertibles must car dealers sell in the middle of winter? You can get the best deal if you buy in advance of the seasons changing. For example, a 4x4 is more likely to be popular in the winter months so you could get a better price by negotiating for your new 4x4 in the height of summer.