The Risks of Buying a Car in May

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Figuring out the right time to buy a new car is never easy. Waiting too long can lead you to miss good deals while jumping the gun can cause you to pay more than you should. It is a delicate process where you want to do everything you can to get the most savings possible.

While there are certain beneficial times of the year to get savings on a car, there are also certain periods where car prices are quite high. One such period is springtime, or more specifically, the month of May. You never want to pay more money than you have to when getting a car, and to help you avoid that, this guide will show you the risks of buying a car at the wrong time.

Why You Should Never Buy a Car in May

The Risks of Buying a Car in May

Purchasing a car in spring is one of the biggest mistakes that buyers make. Spring is sunny, bright, and filled with a sense of renewal. People are out, and the drab grey of winter is rapidly coming to a close. Those positive feelings generally make people excited and get them to make large life changes, which includes buying a new car.

However, no matter how bright or inviting the spring time is, May is the worst time to buy or lease a new car. There are several reasons for that, but one of the largest is the fact that many people have just cashed their tax refund checks. A lot of cashed checks mean a lot of customers walking around with extra money in their pocket. Dealers know that, and they will take advantage of it.

More people eager to buy means that dealers do not have to work as hard to gain business. Rather than offering you the discounts or good deals they would during slow months, they can pass on tough customers because they know more will come to their lot.

When it comes to getting a car you always want to be in a position of power. Negotiating is a big part of getting a good deal, and when you have no negotiating power, you lost a lot of your leverage. If dealers don’t have to work for your business, then you lose a lot of power.

Another big reason to avoid buying a car in May is general pricing. With more potential buyers out looking for vehicles, dealerships have less incentive to lower prices. In fact, in a lot of cases, they may raise them. Truecar’s Data shows that discounts off of MSRP during the months of March and April are only 6.7 and 6.6 percent. That is much lower than some of the later months of the year when dealerships are trying to unload old products.

Though many people may think that springtime, which is full of different holiday events, might be a great time to snag a discounted vehicle, that is not true. In fact, a study from shows that the month of May had 26 percent fewer deals on average than other times of the year. If you’re looking to get something, you want to avoid that month as much as possible.

The Right Time to Buy

Avoiding May is important when it comes to getting a good deal on your car. However, many people may also wonder, what is the best time to buy? The answer is the end of the year. The winter months, according to the same iSeeCars, are chock-full of different special events and discounts. In fact, the research showed that Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, and Christmas Eve make up 4 of the 6 best times of the year to find a good deal.

End of the year sales come up quite a bit, especially because dealerships are eager to unload old cars to make way for newer models. That will then give you the negotiating leverage you don’t get during the spring time.

The Springtime is for Sun, Not Cars

Cars are never going to be cheap. However, if you take the time to understand the different ebbs and flows of the market, you should be able to nail down the best time to make a purchase. While May is a great month full of sunshine and warmth, you want to spend your time at backyard cookouts and hiking trails, not dealerships.

Of course, if you must buy a car in May, then you should try to get one at the end of the month or at the end of the quarter. While the deals there may not be as good as the ones you would get during the big end-of-year blowouts, you could still save yourself a sizeable chunk of change.

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