The best time to buy a car from a used car dealer

According to the author of Ecclesiastes, Pete Seeger and The Byrds “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” 

Although the phrase was coined thousands of years before the invention of the internal combustion engine, it’s as true for buying a used car as it is for planting, sowing and reaping.

Here are our top tips for when to buy a car from a used car dealer.

Before you buy, shop around and do some research. Why not check out our blog post on getting the best deal for a used car? .

Work out your finances first before you start shopping around.


New registrations

The best time to buy a used car is around the same time that new vehicles are registered: March and September.

As new vehicles appear in showrooms, the forecourts of used car dealers are filled with trade ins. The stock of used car dealers tends to swell towards the end of these two months, giving anyone looking to purchase a premium used car a lot more choice.

Many people like to buy the latest newly registered car, but fleet operators and car hire firms often buy brand new cars in March and September. With increased stock and choice there is more competition among sellers.

Buyers who are less fussy and want to go for something that is less in demand, could wait until later in April or October to find newer used cars that remain unsold.


New models

Another good time to buy from a used car dealer is when manufacturers are giving their brands a facelift. Keep an eye on the motoring press for news of upcoming new models. Outgoing models will be found in used car dealers’ stock, and you could get a lot of car for your money as owners trade in their cars for the latest model.

Buy convertibles in winter

If you’re looking for a convertible for top-down summer motoring, look to buy in the autumn and winter months.

Buy 4x4s in summer

If it’s off-road, winter road-holding 4x4 capabilities you need then look to purchase these in the spring and summer months.


Sales cycles

December and January are a quiet time of year for used car dealers, so it may be possible to find ones offering good discounts on used stock.

Purchase at the end of a financial quarter, i.e. March, June, September and December.
Some advisors believe that shopping towards the end of the month when sales staff are looking to meet or beat targets is a good time to buy a used car. You could try a quiet period of the week, so try a Friday towards the end of the month.

Sales events

Keep an eye on the local press. Many used car dealers will have sales events at traditional times of the year such as Boxing Day, Bank Holidays and the increasingly popular US import, Black Friday, at the end of November.

Visit us online to see our latest stock of premium used cars, find the one for you, then call us to book a test drive.