Used car sale for best deals - Advise please

KeepGreen2010 Forumite Posts: 2
Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
Hi all,

I wanted to know when is the time of the year to buy a used car please. Thank you 


  • CliveOfIndia
    CliveOfIndia Forumite Posts: 782
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    The very best time of year is .... today.
    Seriously, it depends on so many factors, many of which are not applicable in the current climate.  It also depends on what sort of car you're buying, and whether you're buying privately or from a dealer.
    One old chestnut is that winter is the the best time to buy a convertible - not many people are wanting to buy one then, so you could haggle a good price.  Conversely, it could be argued that a decent 4x4 gets more expensive in winter as everyone decides they want to buy one at the first whiff of snow on the horizon.
    If you're buying from a dealer, it always used to be said that buying just before the end of their sales "quarter" was best, as they may need to make just a couple more sales to hit their bonus target. so would do you a good deal.  Similarly, just before the new registration plates are issued (if you were after a new car), as they'll want to get rid of old stock, and most people will hold on a couple of weeks in order to get the prestige of having a "new" plate.  By the same token, they'll have a glut of used cars just after the new plates are issued as they'll have a lot of part-exchanged cars to shift.  I suspect that those arguments are not quite as relevant these days, the way the market is currently.
    I don't think there really is a "best" time, to be honest.  It's far more important to take your time to have a good look around, make sure you compare lots of potential cars and make sure you thoroughly inspect and test drive any car you're interested in, and make sure the car is right for your lifestyle (do you need good road handling, good off-road ability, acres of luggage space, is fuel economy more important than anything else ...what is important to you?).  You'll save far more by taking your time to find the right deal and not rushing into things, than you will by buying at a particular time of year.
  • born_again
    born_again Forumite Posts: 11,741
    10,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Hi all,

    I wanted to know when is the time of the year to buy a used car please. Thank you 

    When you need one?
    Life in the slow lane
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Forumite Posts: 1,886
    1,000 Posts First Anniversary Name Dropper
    With the shortage of used cars most of the old guides of at the end of a quarter or when the registrations change are not that valid now. You don't really even get seasonal variances anymore in prices.

    It can take time to find a car you want these days, so the bigger window you can give yourself the better.

  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Forumite Posts: 13,205
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    It might not be linked to time of year or time of the financial cycle as much as how long a car has been in stock.  
    Take this example (first result for me on a random search):
    The first part of the reference is the date the advert was placed.
    Yesterday in this example so not much likelihood the dealer is keen to see it gone.
    If the car had a much earlier listing date, the possibility of a deal might well be somewhat higher.

    Obviously, time or year and financial cycle will still have some influence.
    Maybe the best thing to do is try to buy a convertible at the end of September that has been on the forecourt for 10 weeks ;)
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