The best day of the year to buy a car

Dealers are anxious to clear the lot and meet sales targets at the end of the year.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 18, 2013 2:45PM

This post comes from Allison Martin of partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyLooking for a brand-spanking-new ride with all the bells and whistles?

Couple shopping for car © Don Mason, Blend Images, CorbisYou're in luck, as New Year's Eve is right around the corner. "The last day of the year is going to be the day that a consumer is most likely to get the best possible value when buying a new car," Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told MarketWatch.

Dealers have annual sales targets to meet and excessive inventory to clear off their lots in return for the hefty bonuses that manufacturers dole out. And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goals.

Among the perks offered to entice consumers to buy before the end of the year are cash rebates, cut-rate financing and lease deals, notes Forbes.

In most cases, the 2013 models will offer the most incentives, as dealers want to make room for the newly designed 2014 models. However, the options may be limited because eager consumers who have already snatched up the most fancy and visually appealing models have left you with little to choose from, says Forbes.

On the other hand, this isn't such a bad thing as it strengthens your case for bargaining with ­­car salesmen even more. Their trash, or excess inventory, is your treasure.

Not sure which automakers offer the best incentives? Forbes suggests that you start with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan and Volkswagen, which are offering the most appealing deals on 2013 models.

Before you head out to the lot on New Year's Eve, check out our car-buying tips to ensure you get the best deal on your new ride.

Most importantly, keep in mind that the final sales price is ultimately determined by what you are willing to pay. If the dealer doesn't agree to your terms, simply walk away.

Do you plan to head out on New Year's Eve to purchase a car?

More on Money Talks News:


Dec 18, 2013 6:09PM
Best day to buy a car is when you can afford it!
Dec 18, 2013 4:48PM
I've been inthe car business 31 years. This article is pure crap....
Dec 18, 2013 5:01PM
The only way this article could be true is if the dealer needed one to a few more sales on the last day to meet a number.  If you already made the number or aren't even close, selling few cars at a great price just means no profit.
Dec 18, 2013 8:08PM

If you listen to the ads, everyday is the best day.  But, for me, yesterday was the best day.  So, I have missed it already.  So, sinice I have missed yesterday to buy a car, I think I will just wait until yesterday comes back.

Dec 18, 2013 5:07PM
this is garbage most sales are based off of manufacture rebates and incentives
Dec 18, 2013 5:31PM

Buy a left-over 2013?


You better get a GREAT deal and drive it forever as any 2013 vehicle is now worth about 70% of its sticker price!

Dec 18, 2013 5:20PM
The best time to buy/ lease a car is when you needed it.  Car dealers will always give you a deal if you work them hard enough.  This article is showing how little MSN checks their facts.  There is always rebates except when a car comes out for the first time.  0% can also lead to a higher monthly payment, because manufactures will not give you the maximum rebates when you do the 0%.  If it is a choice between $2000 to $3000 in rebates and 2.49%  or 0% with no rebates or $500-$1000, I will take the extra rebates any day.
Dec 18, 2013 10:49PM
cars are pretty amazing, people get in drive, get out day after day with very little trouble. on a whim they get in and drive across country. they are so much better than they were even a few years ago. they go over 300,000 miles, in the past they were used up at 80.000 miles .
Dec 19, 2013 12:19PM
I wonder how many people will read this and go car shopping on New Year's Eve. A lot full of buyers kind of kills your negotiating power, doesn't it?
Dec 18, 2013 4:53PM
Good day to buy a new car = when dealer offers ZERO % financing.
Dec 18, 2013 4:48PM
Dec 19, 2013 10:50AM
I can't speak for all car manufactures but I do know that GM's year end runs through January 2nd.  That being said, there isn't much left of the 2013's on Chevrolet lots.  If your looking for a Sonic, or a 2500 series truck the world is your oyster, otherwise forget it.  As advice from Kelly Blue Book take it with a grain of salt.  Their advice and vehicle value system can be really off the mark at times.  Case in point, I once had a customer get upset at me because the vehicle appraisal was off a good bit from what KBB said it would be.  Sure enough, after punching in the vehicle specifics I too arrived at the same value on KBB.  Problem was, you could purchase a brand new one for less than KBB said the customer's one year old vehicle was worth.  So use KBB as a guideline, not as gospel.
Dec 18, 2013 5:15PM
Worked for me a few years back when I snagged a brand new 2007 year car in the final days of 2009, and picked it up Jan. 2, 2009.  Saved thousands, as the dealer really wanted to get rid of a car they had in stock for 18 months!
Dec 19, 2013 12:46PM
Best day to buy a car is when the Salesman is drunk.BYE
Dec 19, 2013 11:33AM

I bought a brand new Nissan for my daughter when she was home for Christmas one year. There was a substantial year-end rebate being offered and we went in on the next to last day of the year when I knew they were anxious to make a deal.

It's the only time I ever bought new and I know I did well.

Apart from that one time I avoid new car dealers like the plague and instead take my business to a dealer in town who sells top-end late model used cars and doesn't try to rip you off with bogus fees and add-ons.

I not only save $$$ but my valuable time as well by not playing their stupid games.... 



Dec 19, 2013 11:32AM
Its not the deal you get its the deal you think you get.
Dec 18, 2013 10:00PM
Dec 19, 2013 2:24PM

This article is about 14 years behind.  The "carryover" monies have long been gone.  The rebates now are about the same as they were in Memorial Day sales.  The only difference is that the 2013 inventories are low.  The dealership I work at has had 2014's since March.  The old rule of thumb that the new models come out in Sept/Oct and therefore the dealers need to move to previous year is old news. 


This article is just another misinformed media attack on the auto industry.

Dec 19, 2013 5:01PM
All you salesmen commenting on this article need to get back to work!
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