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Why now is the best time to buy a new car

December has a reputation for being the best time, but statistics suggest you may get a better deal in August -- and you've already missed the second-best opportunity for low prices.

By Credit.com Aug 12, 2014 11:24AM
This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com on MSN MoneyIf you're looking for a deal on a new car, August may be the time to hit the dealerships. An analysis of new-car sales data by TrueCar shows average August prices as the lowest available throughout the year: about $169 lower than the average prices of any other month.


Couple shopping for car © Don Mason, Blend Images, CorbisThe analysis looked at new car and truck prices each month over the past five years, and August emerged as the clear time for bargain hunting, with the average new vehicle costing $29,296. December is commonly perceived as the time to get a good deal on a new car, because it seems like fewer people would venture out to car lots in the winter, and it's the end of the year, but TrueCar's data showed December had the most expensive average price: $31,146. That's $1,850 more than new vehicle price tags in August, on average.


When you may want to buy a new car

Dealers lower prices in August in an attempt to clear out older inventory, the TrueCar analysis found. In its report, TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter said consumer perceptions of the best time to buy new automobiles has changed as data on the industry has become more readily available, because rather than choosing when to shop based on conventional wisdom, consumers can make numbers-based decisions by looking at price-trend data.


Following August, in which a car buyer saves an average of $716 off the annual median new-vehicle price, July has the lowest average new-car prices.


How to get a good deal on a car

Timing is only one way to save money when purchasing a new vehicle. Consumers factor a variety of things into auto affordability, like gas mileage, the value of optional features and a variety of personal preferences, but one of the things that makes a big difference in the total cost of a new car is the buyer's credit history.


If you're financing the new vehicle, your credit score will have a large impact on how much that loan costs. The best interest rates are typically available only to buyers with the best credit, and the lower your credit score, the higher you can expect your interest rate to be. If your credit is in bad shape now, and you can put off buying a new car, you may want to consider delaying your purchase until you can improve your credit, despite the low prices available this month.


When you're thinking about buying a new car, check your credit reports and scores to see if you can improve your standing before you fill out a loan application. You'll also want to build up a fair amount of savings, because a smaller down payment often corresponds to higher loan rates. To see how your credit may affect the cost of your auto loan, you can look at two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com. Keep in mind you don't know what scoring model your lender may use in evaluating your loan application, but by focusing on improving your basic credit behaviors, you're more likely to boost your scores, no matter the model.


More from Credit.com


44Comments
Aug 12, 2014 3:23PM
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Woot it's on average 169$ less this month !!!! Let me rush right out and buy a 50-65 k vehicle that is worth half that to save 169$

lol I will get right on that.

Aug 12, 2014 3:07PM
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Cars are a necessary mode of transportation for many people but the mfg.'s have gone crazy with the bells and whistles and pricing.... very few need a car like this, its more a point a to b situation. I say buy used and good old clunkers, over time save ton's of money for retirement.
Aug 12, 2014 7:18PM
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According to car salesmen, the best time to buy a car is during any day that ends in "y."

 

 

Aug 12, 2014 5:40PM
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When to get a new government?  The best time is now to remove our lying corrupt politicians from office.  We should all be commenting on this crap.  Our soldiers paid the price for political advancement and elections during their speedy removal from Iraq, now they are going to pay the price again for that blunder.  Now look what's in the news and msn is too afraid of us to comment on:


"Several U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a decision to send at least 70 extra military personnel to Iraq was likely later in the day, but that internal discussions continued and a final decision had not been made."


That's just a toe-hold to get more soldiers into the country.  If you read history, then you know Korea and Viet Nam both began with only a handful of soldiers sent in.  I say it is time that our political leaders take up weapons and lead the way into battle the way it was in the old days.  If they believe in something, then they should be out in front facing the danger and prepared to die for those beliefs along with our soldiers. 

Aug 12, 2014 2:02PM
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You just told me to buy a winter coat so my down payment went poof. Now what am I supposed to do? And to top it off, didn't you previously tell me to wait until the end of the month for the best deal?
Aug 12, 2014 1:58PM
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With all the new regulations expect car prices to be considerably higher next year. Now is the best time to buy, but it's cheaper to keep what you have and fix it. Who needs a new car?
Aug 12, 2014 9:30PM
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I don't buy new cars ever. I buy late models with low mileage and save a lot of money. Why should I take new car deprecation, besides that I drive them till the wheels fall off anyway.
Aug 12, 2014 8:23PM
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Just one comment: The story is about buying a new car, but the Cadillac models shown in the image are from 7-years ago. True, Cadillac has a timeless look, but that is pushing the limit.
Aug 13, 2014 7:19AM
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The best time to buy a car is when its a year old, has low mileage and is only 75% of the original price...



I cant believe MSN deleted that comment !!!

Aug 12, 2014 2:13PM
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Anytime is the best time to buy a new car.  All the dealerships are whoring them out in the advertisements on any given weekend.  All the monies available today will be available tomorrow or next month. 


Apparently things are slow at truecar, so they are just ramping up their exposure and advertising.  What will they tell you next month.


MSn do your homework and get familiar with the car business.


If you have bad credit, it's never a good time to buy a car.  Bring at least $1000 or more down, a copy of your last 3 paychecks or bank statements, a copy of your phone and electric bill, and 5 references.  Buckle up for a long visit at a franchised lot.

Aug 13, 2014 10:11AM
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The feds low interest rates are pumping up the price of cars too. 3% loan on a car, unheard of. We used to pay 10% or even 13% with good credit and that meant the prices had to be lower in general to be affordable.
Aug 12, 2014 5:22PM
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If you're OK with getting the current model year rather than the upcoming model year, then yes, July and August are the best times to get a new car.  Dealers are under enormous pressure to sell off the current model year cars to make room for the incoming new model year cars, so they're more likely to give the customer the best deal.  December is a good time to buy, but not a great time, because although dealers will give good deals because they're under pressure to meet their yearly quotas and get their bonuses, there is only one model year available and dealers aren't under pressure to get rid of one model year to make room for another.
Aug 13, 2014 12:50PM
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I'll buy a new car when it costs more to repair than the one I have is worth.

runs just fine thank you.

Aug 12, 2014 3:58PM
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New car, no thanks!  I would buy a 20 yr old style car.  Don't need all the computer crap or  POLLUTION crap on a vehicle,it costs more to maintain. I would love a double barrel bazooka though, so i can make my way down the road through all the idiots on their computer crap.
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"When to buy a new car........ NOW"! ............ for christ's sake, NOW! ...........LOL!

If you need a car, get one, otherwise, don't make obama's dreams come true!
Aug 15, 2014 9:04PM
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buying a new car today is pointless....buy a good used car and save money...are we not here to learn to save money, not how to spend it...The big question is does it fall into the following lists...the Need list or the Want list...do you really Need that New car, or do you just Want It.....

, I do not even own a car anymore....if I Need a car I just go and rent it.....Put the money in the bank, or at least put it on paying off some of your bills, like that high interest credit card...If you really need a car buy a good used one, or go to an auction and buy one....

Aug 18, 2014 8:45PM
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when I take my car for periodic maintenance I browse around and laugh when I see the shocking price tags. they can't sell you a car if you don't go near the car dealers.
Aug 13, 2014 2:19PM
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Ask yourself what the reason is for Al Sharpton to go to Ferguson MO.  Stir the pot!!!!!
Aug 17, 2014 9:07AM
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Its NEVER a good time to buy a NEW car. A recent study found only 50% value remaining after just 3 years. My neighbor who is a car salesman said " You can charter a Helicopter for 4 with a bottle of champagne to carry you home, cheaper than you can drive that NEW car home from the Dealership"

Do the math.

Aug 12, 2014 5:06PM
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Of course August prices are lower, come September the car is considered a year old already (model year).  It can be a good deal if the current model is not changing much, but it should go cheaper if a new model is replacing it.  Most have taken the majority drop after the first 3 years.
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