Consumer IQ, How To

The Best Days in December to Buy a New Car

If you’ve been waiting for a good reason to buy a new car, here is the best one of the year: According to car-buying site, TrueCar.com, December is shaping up to be a great month for consumers to hit the dealership lot.

TrueCar.com forecasts that six of the year’s ten best days to get a great deal on a new car will fall between now and the end of the year, offering car buyers amazing deals on 2011 and 2012 models. New Year’s Eve, December 31st,will be the second best day of the year to purchase a vehicle, with an average discount of over 9.3 percent from the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

Best Days to Buy in December

Date                        Expected Average Discount

12/24/2011                        8.7%
12/27/2011                        8.8%
12/28/2011                        8.7%
12/29/2011                        8.7%
12/30/2011                        8.9%
12/31/2011                        9.3%

Year-End Sales Push

Dealers want to clear their lots of excess inventory so they can earn their end-of-year bonuses and avoid paying taxes on unsold vehicle stock. They do this by offering sizeable cash-back rebates, super financing discounts, and special lease deals, which means great pricing with discounts of up to 32% on some new car models.

“Manufacturers offer some of their highest incentives in December, especially on outgoing model-year 2011 vehicles to open up space on dealers’ lots for 2012s,” says Jesse Toprak, Vice-President of Industry Trends for TrueCar.com. “They’re also offering discounts on 2012s in stock that may have been around for a few months, so they can clear aging inventory off their lots.”

Be Prepared to Choose from the Dealer’s Inventory

You may be able to get a better deal if you wait until December 31st, but the car you’re looking for may not be in inventory by the time you get there. Keep in mind that most vehicles are packaged according to each model’s trim levels and can’t always be purchased to specific requirements without a special order. After all, you could theoretically build one of a hundred, or even a thousand, different configurations and it’s not possible for the dealers to have every possibility in their inventory.

A TrueCar.com Special Offer for Mint.com Users

If you’re shopping for a new car during the holiday season, try visiting TrueCar.com before you head to the dealership. The site shows you what other people actually paid for a new car in your area within the last 30 days. Not only can you save thousands of dollars off of MSRP by getting a price protection certificate from TrueCar.com, but between December 15th 2011 and January 31st 2012, Mint users can also get a free $100 gas card with their vehicle purchase. Click on the link above, and once you have completed your purchase, call 1.888.718.9057 to claim your gas card. Happy car shopping!