When is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?

You can walk into a car yard and purchase a brand new car anytime you like. But if want to get the best bang for your buck – and let’s face it, we’re all on a mission to save some cash, it’s crucial you buy when the market is right. A new car is a serious purchase. So you need to think about your purchasing strategy seriously to secure a ride that’s perfect for your personal and business needs.

It’s easy to get caught up in the exciting factors of buying a new car. The colour of the vehicle, the features that will make your purchase a ‘winner’ or the sound system you want it to have. Then there are the more important considerations, like its make and what price tag will be attached. Few of us actually delve deep into the science of when is the best time to buy though. And that factor alone can save you thousands – if you get it right.

When you go into your local dealer the salesperson that you deal with works on the retail side of the business; they offer great service, but it comes at a premium price – an expensive one at that. If it’s time to upgrade and you’re ready to take the plunge for a shiny new purchase, be smart about when you go shopping. Impulse purchases are rarely cost-effective.


So, what is the best time of year to buy a car? When is the best month to buy a car? When do cars usually go on sale? Are you going to give up your old clunker now or would you be better off waiting a few more months or leasing one for the time being?

Here are some helpful pointers to assist you out in your quest to know the best time to buy a car in Australia.

End of the month

Why is ‘end of the month’ one of the best times to buy a new car in Australia? Thankfully you don’t have to wait until the EOFY to purchase a new car at a great price. If you’re in the market to buy before then, waiting until the end of the month can save you a ton too. This is the time salespeople are aiming to achieve their targets and most dealerships already know whether they’ll hit their monthly sales goals, so they could end up offering month-end discounts to car buyers. They’re on a mission to make as many sales as possible, which means there’s more room for negotiation. And that can bring in bigger and better deals for you to snap up.

This tip applies to any month of the year. Aim to get your bargaining skills on within the last 5 days of the month to gain the biggest incentives. With any luck, the car dealer is missing the one sale he needs to meet his monthly quota and you’re the lucky person that walks in.

Dealers also need to achieve certain sales volumes to qualify for manufacturer bonuses. Whether these are offered on a monthly or quarterly basis by specific manufacturers, dealers set monthly goals judiciously for them to qualify for these bonuses. So, by the end of the month, if a dealer finds itself a few cars short of hitting the mark, they could slash down prices to meet their target.

Who knows? You could end up being the winner here by choosing the end of the month as your best time to buy a new car.

Last quarter and year-end holidays

The period from October to December is also considered the best time to buy a car. Since a lot of car manufacturers release new models around this time, dealerships are extremely motivated to clear their inventory of existing vehicles. Also, around this time, they would also be concerned with hitting their last-quarter sales goals.

December, in particular, is a very good month to buy a car as this is when you’re likely to get the highest discounts for the last quarter. You could even get a lot of incentives in the process, including zero percent financing, deferred payment and cash back offers.

This usually goes on further well into the new year when end-of-year sales remain active and plate-clearance deals may even get better. So, if you can wait things out till this time, then good for you as the likelihood of you getting significant savings is much higher.

At the end of financial year

End of financial year sales aren’t just reserved for major shopping centres, car yards are also celebrating tax time with significant savings attached. Late June is when dealerships are looking to finish their financial year with a bang. And that means bringing the prices down on both new and used car models for everyone to enjoy. The EOFY sales are hardly a secret though, so beware you’ll be competing with other buyers too.

Aside from obvious car price discounts, you can negotiate with dealers for additional bonuses like roadside assistance, accessories (e.g., alloy wheels or window tinting) or an extended warranty. If you’re getting a novated lease, this time could be great for your employer too since business buyers can get a tax advantage when they claim the car purchase as an expense.

New year, new car

Purchasing a car early January is a great way to start the New Year off. It’s also the perfect time for discounted prices on new models. The final week of the year and the first week into the New Year both offer fantastic deals for any buyers wanting to keep some cash in their pockets.

Vehicles with the previous year’s build plate attached are generally harder to shift into the New Year, making dealers more aggressive than usual with trade-in and price cuts. Dealerships are focused on clearing out old stock to make room for the new. Some car yards will continue these New Year sale campaigns into February too, but it’s better to get in early to avoid missing out.

Car run-out sales

Similar to consumer goods, there’s such a thing as a period when everything must go as fast as possible. When it comes to vehicles, there are the so-called car run-out sales. However, dealers won’t tell you about these upfront so you can get an even higher discount.

You need to know how long a certain car model has been on sale or when the newest version is likely to be released. Armed with this information, you could be in a pretty strong position to work out an even better discount than what’s on the price tag.

But before you start bargaining hard, conduct some preliminary research to see when the new model is expected to be available, what improvements or new features it has and at what price. If it happens that the bargain price you’ll probably get is not so significant considering the cost of purchasing the new release, it might be worthwhile to get the latest model after all.

Whatever the case may be, getting as much information as you can will help you negotiate effectively and hopefully end up with the right car at the best price.

Model changeover

When new models hit the car yards, the excitement of owning the newest and shiniest model on the market brings in a rush of buyers. But with that rush comes higher demand and therefore, higher price tags. Eventually, the honeymoon phase wears off though and prices come back down to something a little more practical. If you want to save money, the best time to buy a new car is during these model changeovers.

As the model in question comes to the end of its honeymoon period, dealers are eager to get in with the new and out with the old. And it’s these end-of-model years that generally get the best discounts. So it pays to be aware of the vehicle model’s life cycle and any ‘new model year’ introductions. Buying model that’s about to be outdated (even though it’s still brand new), will give you a point of leverage in haggling as its resale value will suffer from the arrival of the new model.

In the middle of the week

If you want your new car NOW and can’t wait to the end of year or month, savings can be had in the middle of the week too. They won’t be as huge as the opportunities mentioned above, but they will be higher than shopping for a new car at the worst possible time (weekends).

On average, buyers can save up to .61% more when purchasing a new car on a Monday as opposed to a Saturday or Sunday. This is because dealerships are busiest on the weekends, driving the demand up and giving salespeople the opportunity to sell to the next person if your offer isn’t reaching the target they’re after.

All year round

For the serious penny-pinchers, it’s possible to buy a new car at any time and still reap the rewards. Yes, you read right! Using a fleet buying service like EasiBuy gives you access to deep discounts all year round. The process involves fleet companies dealing directly with the fleet sales team on your behalf, which opens the doors to savings across the year. Through EasiBuy, you get fleet pricing any time of the year.

Want to find out more about Easifleet’s new ‘easy’ offering for your next car purchase? Chat to one of our staff to learn how you can save.

Set a realistic goal and budget

One major thing you need to remember before going to the car bargaining table is to set a realistic goal and budget. Getting the car of your dreams is great – but at the end of the day, you need a car that’s completely functional, safe, fuel-efficient and reliable.

Therefore, buy a car that’s within your budget. Other expenses, such as emergency ones, can crop up anytime – so it’s important to not invest too much. You also need to consider monthly car payments and maintenance, as well as any expenses that come with buying a new car, such as stamp duty and the vehicle registration transfer fee.

So, whether you’re buying a new car by month’s end, during a holiday sale or some other time, make sure you calculate initial and future expenses. Best of all, time your purchase right to get the best deal.

Or you could go for a car salary sacrifice. To know how you can benefit from this arrangement and get a new car in the process, please contact Easi Fleet.