This question is on the top ten list of most common questions I’m asked. The answer is “Yes”, you usually can save money when you buy new car at the end of the month. You also can save money on used cars, but not nearly as much.
The caveat is not to wait until the end of the month to begin your search and do your research. Be sure you’ve done your due diligence in choosing the right car for you and gotten competitive out-the-door bids from at least 3 dealers. You should have checked TrueCar and Costco pricing as discussed in my previous two blogs. If your reading this in my newspaper column, you can access all of my blogs at www.EarlOnCars.com.
Once you’ve gotten your best price on the specific car you intend to buy, you should “sit tight” until the end of the month. You will be “deluged” with warnings by car salesmen that this price won’t be good unless you buy the car now; or, this car will be sold if you don’t buy it right now. Ignore these threats. Toward the end of the month recontact the dealer that gave you his best out-the-door price. In case you don’t know the definition of an out-the-door price, it’s THE PRICE YOU WRITE YOUR CHECK OUT FOR, HAND IT TO THE SALESMAN, GET IN YOUR NEW CAR AND DRIVE IT HOME. Don’t accept anything less just because they say it’s an out-the-door price.
Here are all the reasons you can get a much better price at the end of the month. (1) All car salesmen are paid on a monthly commission based the number of cars they sell in each month, and there are usually bonuses at the end of the month. (2) Sales managers are paid the same way. (3) The auto manufacturer pays the dealership end of the month bonuses. (4) Both manufacturers and dealers pour on their advertising at the end of the month which increases the competition between dealers. (5) Car dealers and auto manufacturers are “insanely competitive (I know because I’m insanely competitive…just ask anybody who really knows me.) Competition is your best friend when you’re buying a car. The end of the month is a perfect storm of competition between auto manufacturers and between car dealers. (6) Auto manufacturers and car dealers generate their financial, profit and loss statements monthly. They place huge emphasis on making their net profit forecasts. The typical car dealership will sell more new cars in the last 10 days of the month than he did in the first 20. (7) I’m writing this article on December 14 and you’ll be reading before the end of the year. THE END OF THE YEAR IS LIKE THE END OF THE MONTH “ON STEROIDS”. It’s the perfect time to buy your next new car.
A final word of caution on not venturing into a car dealership at the end of any month without having done your due diligence. The same factors that I just described can work against you, if you’re not fully prepared. Because car dealers want to sell you a car so bad at the end of the month, they’re likely topromise you anything they must, to make it happen.