*This is a collaborative post.
The automotive industry is as vulnerable to seasonal change as any other part of the economy. At certain times of year, vendors are more eager to sell, and motorists more eager to buy. It’s also worth factoring in the effect that adverse weather will have on your buying decision. If you’re willing to wait for the perfect moment, you could end up saving hundreds, or even thousands of pounds on that new car you’ve been looking at.
So what should we bear in mind when shopping for a new car?
Look for Seasonal Vehicles
Certain sorts of vehicle are suited to certain sorts of weather. It’s a lot easier to sell a convertible when the sun is shining outside the showroom. Thus you’ll be in a better position, as the buyer, to leverage a bargain during snowy weather. The opposite is true when it comes to four-by-fours, of the sort sold by Peter Vardy. These tend to sell best during autumn and winter, and less well during summer.
Every year, the numbers on the licence plates of new cars will change. This occurs first in February, and then again in August. Sales tend to slow down at this time of year, as buyers wait for the new plates to come out. When they do, there’s a short surge in demand again. You can take advantage of this by buying before the switch happens, but bear in mind that any discount you’re able to extract will be offset a few years down the line, because your car will be worth that little bit less on the second-hand market.
What about short-term trends?
We shouldn’t just consider what time of year it is when we go in to buy a new car. We should also consider what time of day, or week it might be. If it’s a Friday, and the salesperson has a sales target to meet, then they’ll be more inclined to be generous. Showrooms also tend to be quieter during the week, so you can be sure of their fullest attention. The same logic applies to quarterly targets – which is why New Year’s Eve might be the best time to buy. Bear in mind, however, that the quota system of the dealership might not line up precisely with the end of the month – so try to tend on the side of safety and head in that little bit earlier.