The trick to finding the right time to buy or sell your car is not much of a trick at all. Using these common-sense strategies will help ensure you get the best deal possible, no matter which side of the table you’re on.
WHEN TO BUY A CAR
The trick to finding the right time to buy a car is not much of a trick at all. If you’ve ever been swept up in the retail cycle at your local shopping centre, you may have noticed that there are predictable patterns of sale times that follow the seasons and times of the year. When you start to take notice, you will see a similar pattern emerge at many of your local car dealerships. Common times to find a bargain on the showroom floor include:
End of Financial Year:
At the end of the Financial Year, the business wants to ensure they have as little stock as possible. Many car dealerships will advertise promotions at this time of year and you may be familiar with the ‘run out sale’ or ‘includes on road costs’ that are typical at this time of year. Don’t take the advertised price for granted though, make sure you negotiate the best price possible and aim to have extras that you value included in the final sale price. Don’t fall for adding paint protection into the final price - take it to your local Magic after the car is yours and have it done for a fraction of the price.
End of the Calendar Year:
In the largely commission based landscape of car sales, dealerships and sales representatives themselves are often working their tails off to meet their sales targets at this time of year. There is also the added challenge for dealerships to move on cars with the current year’s build date before the newer model arrived. Time it right and a negotiation at this time of year could really go in your favour. Just don’t forget that buying a car at Christmas time can mean a bunch of costs like rego and insurance compounding at the same time each year that you're outlaying more than normal.
End of the Month:
Similar to the end of the year targets, many dealerships and sales representatives also have monthly targets to meet. So head in during the last week of the month and try out your negotiation skills and see if you can bag a bargain.
Before a New Model Release:
Showroom and test drive vehicles, as well as older stock that hasn’t been moved on by the end of the year, are often offloaded for thousands of dollars less than their value just before the new model arrives. The car on the showroom floor often has added features and modifications that the standard models don’t come equipped with, so you can really come away with a steal. Though always make sure you do your homework on the new model as they are often equipped with extra safety and luxury features with no change to the standard sale price - which could end up being better value in the longrun.
WHEN TO SELL A CAR
The best time to sell your car isn’t necessarily just a time of the year, but generally more to do with the age, condition and value of the car. You could consider selling your car:
Around the 3 Year Mark
Cars tend to depreciate a lot in the first few years of their life, particularly if you have a luxury model. Really enjoy your car for a few years and then as the marginal depreciation levels out you could consider moving it on to a new owner. Make sure you keep your car in top condition with regular washing and waxing at your local car wash to ensure that it holds its value as much as possible.
Before it Drives 100,000km
If you plan to keep your pride and joy for a few years longer, you might consider selling it before it reaches 100,000km on the odometer. There is a psychological barrier that will deter people from wanting to pay your asking price when you go past this point, even if you’ve kept your car in showroom condition and parked it in a garage every night.
With Plenty of Time Left on the Rego
Having a few months of rego up your sleeve means that interested buyers won’t be up for another expense soon after they buy the vehicle. This can be the icing on the cake for a buyer who has a tight budget.
Away from Other Car Sales
When dealerships are promoting run out sales and their car sales increase, a flood of second-hand cars also hits the market. Try and sell your car before the times of year that dealerships typically run sales or release new models for a better chance at your asking price.
Always ensure your car is in tip-top condition before you list it for sale. If the paintwork is looking a little dull, consider a cut and polish or paint cleansing treatment from your local Magic to bring back its shine and impress the socks off potential buyers.