Best time of year to buy a car

Photo does not have a caption

HOUSTON – Car buyers usually see the deepest discounts on new and preowned vehicles during the last month of the year.  Auto dealers tell consumer expert Amy Davis that manufacturers roll out all kinds of deals in December to meet their own sales goals. 

"Right now that market is extremely competitive with manufacturers just vying to try to get just a little bit more of that market share," explained Billy Frank of Clear Lake Infiniti

One of the best ways to get an end of year deal on a new vehicle is to buy a 2017 model of a car that is getting a make-over for 2018. Frank said consumers can get up to $8500 off the price of a 2017 QX80 because the 2018 has a new look. Frank says waiting later in the month can sometimes pay off, but the difference in price between buying on December 5 and December 30 won't be huge. 

"The variance is not gonna be thousands of dollars," he said. "You're talking about hundreds of dollars."

Toyota's December incentives don't come out until December 5th; but right now you can get a 2018 Camry or 2018 RAV4 for 0 percent financing for 60 months. Expect better deals on December 5th. 
Honda is giving up to $6000 off its 2017 hybrid vehicles.

The 2018 Ford Expedition is an all new body style, so you can get up tp $7700 off of a 2017 plus other dealer incentives. 

Frank says you should be able to ask any dealer what their invoice price is and what incentives the manufacturer is offering, but much of that information is already online. 

He recommends website to look up the invoice price of any vehicle. The website will even tell you the price you should try to get a vehicle for at each dealership based on recent sales. 

We asked and Frank said that Hurricane Harvey didn't have a big impact on inventory for new or used cars. He said car sales were down in 2016, so there was already a little surplus in inventory this year before Harvey hit our area. 

About the Author:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.