Buying a new car is a big deal financially speaking, so it’s only natural to want to get it right, regardless of whether this is your one and only car purchase or just one of many. The main priority is, of course, to get the best deal possible on your new motor, so what do you do? You budget carefully, shop around, and make sure to negotiate hard on the day. However, there is one more thing to consider, and that’s the time of year.
Because of buying patterns in the market, some months of the year are actually better than others when it comes to finding a deal – and one of those better months is February. Here’s why now’s the time to get out there and grab a deal.
Take advantage of the new plate registration season
Twice a year, new registration plates are issued on new vehicles. Those dates are 1st March and 1st September. To the casual observer, this might not seem anything worth fussing about, but it actually makes a massive impact on sales, which can help your cause if buying in the month prior.
A lot of buyers want to wait until a new plate day to get a new car, so sales are slower than usual. From the other end, dealers are also keen to clear older reg stock off their lot before the arrival of the shiny new plates. Both of these factors combine to create better buying conditions for anyone who isn’t bothered about what their new car’s registration says.
What type of car are you looking for?
Buying a convertible in winter might seem like a rather ill-conceived idea on the face of things. However, it can be a shrewd move if you’re set on getting one ahead of the summer. Seasonal conditions can affect buying habits with regard to certain types of cars, meaning your typical dealer, particularly on a used lot, might be more open than usual to strike a deal on a drop-top Mazda MX5, for example.
Going after popular models at unpopular times is a good way to find some additional value – you’ll just need to keep that roof up for a few months.
Things don’t necessarily speed up after January
January is the classic down month of the year across the world of commerce and industry. Everyone is glum and skint after the new year and nobody wants to go out and buy anything. The result is widespread January sales and poor takings for businesses across the board, but a good time to buy something big if you do have the cash.
As the clock strikes midnight on 1st February, nothing changes. Yes, things will gradually pick up as we enter spring and summer, but February is still a notably slow time of the year, and dealers will still be keen to offer a few bargains in order to hit their targets come the end of the month.
Is there any difference in what to look for when buying new or second-hand?
Are there differences in February deal-hunting between those looking for a new car and those looking second-hand? To some degree, yes.
Where the new registration period is concerned, those wanting a new car are best looking in February while dealers try to clear old stock. Meanwhile, used car buyers can benefit from waiting until after the start of March to take advantage of the influx of part-ex stock arriving from new reg buyers. Beyond that, both the new and used car markets will suffer from similarly slow periods that encourage better deals, and both will have less popular models through the year.
It might not be the ideal time to fork out a lot of money, but that’s fundamentally what makes February a good time to buy. So, if you have got the budget, make sure to get deal-hunting across the next few weeks, and hopefully, you can walk away with a new motor at a bargain price.