Great news – the winter time is a great time to shop for deals on new and used cars. With winter weather, the looming tax season and holiday obligations keeping potential buyers away from car lots, dealers experience a substantial decrease in customer traffic between the months of December thru March. And as the law of supply and demand commands, less demand and more supply means lower prices:
Demand is Low — Shop Around!
Because customer traffic from dealership to dealership is sporadic during the winter months, deals and pricing can vary greatly, even between car lots that are on the same block. With this in mind, never settle for the first deal you come across. If the dealership down the road has more cars in stock, they may be more willing to negotiate. But you will never find out, unless you are willing to shop around.
You Have the Salesperson’s Attention — Start with your lowest offer.
When shopping in the summer, you are competing against a myriad of customers, and unfortunately you may not always have the salesperson’s undivided attention. But in the winter, you may be the salesperson’s only customer of the day. This means they are desperate to make a sale, and they will be more willing to negotiate.
Last Year’s Model is Less Expensive — Buy the older model!
What happens to the 2012 model car when the calendar year turns to 2013? It becomes outdated, even if it is still brand new. But because the car is now last year’s model, the dealer has to offer it at a much lower price tag – just to move it off the lot.
Even older cars, that are slightly used but less than five years old are great buys. These vehicles often have many of the same features of the newer models, but due to deprecation, they will be listed at a significantly lower price tag.
Icy Roads are Dangerous — Look for a winter ready car!
When buying a car in the winter, its ability to tackle snowy and icy roads should be top of mind. If the car is new, ask about features like traction control, All-Wheel Drive (AWD), heated seats, and anti-lock brakes. When buying used, those same features need to be considered, but you will also need to have the tires, battery and cooling system inspected to ensure that they are ready for sub-zero temps.