Why buying a car in winter is a smart move Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our mission is to help you make better financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. We also allow users to conduct research and compare information without cost, so that you can make financial choices without trepidation. Bankrate has partnerships with issuers, including but not restricted to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make Money The deals that are displayed on this website are provided by companies that pay us. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the sequence in which they appear in the listing categories in the event that they are not permitted by law. This applies to our mortgage or home equity products, as well as other home loan products. This compensation, however, does affect the information we publish, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not cover the vast array of companies or financial offerings that might be open to you. SHARE Vasily Pindyurin/Getty Images

4 min read Published March 07, 2023

Written by Kellye Guinan. Written by Personal and business finance writer Kellye Guinan is an editor and writer freelance with more than five years of experience in personal finance. She is also an employee full-time at her local library, helping the community to access information on financial literacy, in addition to other topics. Edited by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to manage their finances with clear, well-researched information that breaks down complicated topics into manageable bites. The Bankrate guarantee

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You have money questions. Bankrate has the answers. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades. We are constantly striving to provide our readers with the professional advice and tools needed to make it through life’s financial journey. Bankrate adheres to strict standards standard of conduct, which means that you can be sure that our content is honest and reliable. Our award-winning editors and journalists create honest and accurate content to help you make the best financial decisions. Our content produced by our editorial team is factual, objective, and not influenced through our sponsors. We’re honest regarding how we’re able to bring quality content, competitive rates, and helpful tools to our customers by explaining how we earn money. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products and, services, or when you click on specific links on our site. Therefore, this compensation may affect the way, location and in what order products are listed in the event that they are not permitted by law for our mortgage home equity, mortgage and other home loan products. Other factors, like our own website rules and whether the product is available in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact the manner in which products are featured on this site. We strive to provide the most diverse selection of products, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service. In colder climates, winter means less customers at auto dealers , and more pressure to meet sales quotas. Dealers typically receive the new model year at the end of summer, many are keen to get the model year prior off the lot. If you plan your purchase to buy it for the winter months, you might be able to profit of lower sales. If you’re looking for a car now and you’re interested in a car, you could profit from a market that is slowly recovering from the effects of the pandemic. The supply of vehicles has increased following the microchip shortage that occurred recently that slowed the production of new vehicles and led prices to skyrocket. As inventory increases the prices are beginning to drop. However, deals and incentives aren’t as popular than they had been prior to pandemic which is why arranging your purchase carefully can be beneficial. Dealerships are working to achieve quotas. It’s not a secret that dealers operate on monthly and annual limits. These commissions and influence bonuses are offered by both the proprietor of the dealership as well as the manufacturers that the dealership partners with. This is the reason why the last day of the year can be the . Not only are salespeople being pressured to hit their monthly targets, but they’ll also want to make last-minute deals for the end of the fiscal year. Of obviously, not every dealer is operating on a January-to- December financial calendar. But in general, you may be able to use the system to better negotiate a deal. Sales at the end of the year Franchise dealershipsdealers who have a direct relationship with a manufacturer might offer new cars that are in the model year currently. But sales at the end of the year are not uncommon regardless of the dealership’s franchise or independent status. Because dealers are trying to meet their sales goals and targets, there could be significant drops in the sticker price in addition to rebates. If you’re not a strong bargainer, you should take advantage of winter sales. This could help you secure the best bargain. You may secure a good rate of interest by applying for an auto loan at the right time of the year can aid in obtaining a favorable interest rate. Reach out to multiple lenders and request interest rates to ensure you’re getting the most favorable deal. Even even if you’ve got a low credit score, it’s possible to still get an auto loan. The fact that you have a credit score will help increase in getting your loan approved. Keep the following in mind when shopping for automobile loans Consider researching loan types and . Make an effort to negotiate the best terms. Receive all promises in writing. Be aware of the fine print. A smaller number of people are shopping cold of winter and a busy holiday season can keep people from car lots. The slow traffic at dealerships extends into January and February, making them great months to shop for a vehicle, says Mike Quincy, auto tester and writer at Consumer Reports. It doesn’t matter what season. Quincy recommends that you know the price of the dealer and then work your way up from there, instead of going down from the price of the sticker. “You’re just probably going to be a much more enthralled customer for the salesperson when you go in the winter months because they don’t see many people,” Quincy says. “These techniques should be successful.” There are new models coming out. Dealers typically start getting new models at the end of summer or the beginning of autumn. This means that cars from the model year which haven’t been taken off the market have depreciated in value. “A leftover model could be worth it for the driver who drives their vehicle into the ground,” Quincy says, noting that could be 100,000 to 200,000 miles. Even if you’re waiting for the most recent models to arrive is worthwhile. In the end, depreciation will still take its toll. The car will still be as great, however you might be able negotiate a lower price due to the fact that this is an old model. The winterized options are available. A part of your negotiation plan should include winterizing your car. Beyond comfort factors, like the heated steering wheel and seats, concentrate on winter wipers and snow tires as a part of the overall package. “If you’re not prepared to invest in these items, your safety is being at risk,” says Lauren Fix the car expert and editor-in chief of Car Coach Reports. The cars with the most powerful tires may not fare as well on snowy roads. They typically cost the same as all-season tires, however there are extra charges for the installation process when you purchase the car. Winter is also a great time to drive around in any car you’re contemplating buying. This is particularly true when you reside in areas where winter weather is prevalent. By test driving with snow or slush on the ground, you can gauge the driving experience your car in extreme conditions. When to wait until spring The winter months can be a great time to grab a great price, but it’s not the only occasion to shop. If you’re willing to negotiate price and are willing to compromise, it may make sense to wait until spring or later to begin your search. The majority of manufacturer offers are for new vehicles and if you’re purchasing used, there’s no need to shop in winter. Also it’s not a good idea to be caught in cold or icy weather in the event that your car isn’t winterized to the best of its ability. If you’re looking for a used vehicle through an auction or private sale it’s less likely to find bargains in winter. It may also be harder to set up a appointment to look over the vehicle. Shopping for cars in warmer climates may actually be more difficult in winter because the weather is typically more pleasant. The majority of advice suggests that you live somewhere with an extremely cold winter. Therefore, you may want to wait until temperatures climb in the spring before you go out shopping. If you or the chance to use a winter bonus that can be used to make a large down payment, hold off until spring. In the end, the less cash you have to withdraw and the less you’ll pay overall , even if it means you missed the more substantial winter deals. This may sound counterintuitive however, dealers will begin receiving 2024 models in late 2023. If you’re interested in a 2023 model, hold on until the end of summer. That way, dealers will be advertising the 2024 model and you can find a great deal for that “old” models. The bottom line is that in general buying a car in the winter months can help you find a lower price. With less pedestrian traffic and a shift towards new inventory, there is ample room to negotiate a fair price. It is crucial to figure out what you are able to spend on a car prior to applying for an auto loan and also to check your credit score, and then shop around for the most competitive price. Find out how the interest rate will affect your monthly payments and your total car loan cost by using our .


Written by Business and personal Finance writer Kellye Guinan is a freelance editor and writer who has more than five years ‘ experience within personal financial planning. She also is a full-time worker at her local library where she helps people in her community get information about financial literacy, among other topics. Written by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing concise, well-studied information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into digestible pieces.

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