When it comes to typical winter purchases people usually think of thick coats, warm hats, mince pies, hot chocolate and turkeys. However the winter months can be a a great time to pick up a new car (especially certain types) and this post will outline some of the reasons why.
Dealerships are Quieter in the Last Quarter of the Year
You’ll typically find that dealerships offer discounts at the end of each quarter to meet targets (all lease cars are also delivered through a network of specially selected dealerships). With the month of December typically being quieter anyway, the end of quarter discounts in this period are usually extra “juicy”. This means whether you are buying direct or leasing, prices will likely be more attractive in the run up to the end of Q4.
Timing is everything if you’re looking to take advantage of the seasonal ups and downs of the car market. Therefore sacrificing a bit of your Christmas budget and shopping around from December through to February can really reap rewards.
Strike when the Iron’s Cold
Just like any business car suppliers are swayed by the highs and lows of supply and demand. If you’re able to obtain a car out of season you can save a lot of money. For winter this would be soft top and convertible cars, demand for these is obviously highest in the summer months, and so any unsold stock is usually slashed in price when things get cold.
The opposite goes for 4×4 and all-road vehicles, if you can pick up one of these during summer you’re likely to be able to get a great deal on the opening price.
Hit the February Gap Before New Plates are Released
Typically sales of new cars are highest in March and September when new registration plates are released. This means in the month’s immediately before things can quieten down a little for suppliers, as people hold off for the new plates to come out. Therefore February is a good winter month to place an order for those seeking out special offers.
Get in the Queue Early
Unless you are wanting a basic car with no additional extras you will likely need to go with a new factory order to get the specification you want. The thing a lot of drivers don’t understand however is that manufacturers don’t constantly produce models throughout the year. There are certain build slots which you need to book into, the sooner you can do this the quicker you’ll be able to have your new car delivered.
As orders are quieter for new cars in December and around the new year lead times on certain new factory builds can be a lot quicker. If you don’t want a long wait before you can actually be driving around in your newly ordered car getting things booked in during winter is sensible.
Winter is a Bad Time to Enter the Used Car Market
New cars are reliable and consistent throughout the course of the year. However when you’re in the market for a used vehicle the winter months can be a more difficult time to buy in. When you’re buying a second hand car you always have to go for a test drive to make sure that everything is in full working order and it handles okay. If the weather conditions are less than optimal then you’ll be driving a lot more cautiously, and some issues might not come to your attention compared to if you were driving in summer.
With a new car you can expect a consistent level of quality and they all come with manufacturer’s warranties now. Therefore as an all year round option new cars really are a better choice.