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When’s the best time to buy a car?

Time your next car purchase to get the most savings.

You might be ready to buy your new car right now, but when is the best time to buy a car? To save the most you might want to time your purchase to take advantage of discounts. Even waiting for the beginning of the week might get you a better deal.

Best times to buy a new car

Check prices around these times to get some of the best deals.

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Compare car loans from top providers

Name Product Filter Values Minimum credit score APR Loan term Requirements
PenFed Auto Loans
Starting at 1.79%
3 to 7 years
Active membership with PenFed
Low APR car loans from a well-known credit union.
No minimum credit score
3.9% to 27.9%
18+ years old, annual income of $4,000+, no active bankruptcies
Get pre-qualified for used car financing and receive competitive, personalized rates. Car Loans
Varies by network lender
Varies by lender
Must be a US citizen with a current US address and employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income.
Apply with a simple online application to get paired with a local auto lender. No credit and bad credit accepted.
CarsDirect auto loans
No minimum credit score
Varies by network lender
Varies by network lender
Must provide proof of income, proof of residence, and proof of insurance.
Save time and effort with this lending service specializing in beginner-friendly or subprime car loan.
Auto Credit Express Car Loans
Must be employed full-time or have guaranteed fixed income of at least $1,500/month and be a current resident of the US or Canada.
Get connected with an auto lender near you, even if you have bad credit.
Monevo Auto Loans
3.99% to 35.99%
3 months to 12 years
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident and ages 18+.
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
Good to excellent credit
Starting at 0.99%
Varies by lender
18+ years old, good to excellent credit, US citizen
Compare multiple financing options for auto refinance, new car purchase, used car purchase and lease buy out. Car Loans
Starting at 1.89%
550+ credit score, no open bankruptcies, $24,000+ annual income, US citizen or permanent resident, 18+ years old
Get up to four offers in minutes through one simple application. Multiple financing types available including new cars, used cars and refinancing.

Compare up to 4 providers

What kinds of discounts can I expect?

Once you know the right time to buy, it’s important to know what sort of discounts and deals you can expect.

  • Cash back rebates. Cash back typically applies to the purchase price of the car you’re looking to buy, and not all models offer the same deal. You’ll have to research rebates separately, but it’s a good way to lower the overall cost of your next car.
  • Financing incentives. If you have excellent credit, you may qualify for interest rates between 0% to 5%. These rates are often advertised to get people through the door, so unless you know you have the credit, don’t expect to receive this good of a deal.
  • Special buyer discounts. Recent college grad? Military personnel? First-time car buyer? There’s a strong chance you’ll be able to get a discount from the dealer or manufacturer.
  • Leasing programs. Many manufacturers encourage buyers to lease by advertising low monthly payments. These can be beneficial for people who want to have the newest car every few years, and if you catch a dealer at the right time, you may be able to negotiate the price down even lower.

Keep in mind that many of the special discounts listed here are for new car buyers. This shouldn’t stop you from shopping for a used car and negotiating a good deal, but most rebates and low financing will only be given to buyers looking to purchase new.

Compare car loans

How else can I save?

Timing your next purchase isn’t the only way you can save on your car loan. You might also want to:

  • Consider a used car. Used cars are typically cheaper than new cars and come with the added benefit depreciating less over time.
  • Consider a certified preowned car (CPO). Want a new car? CPO programs allow you to buy a used car that the manufacturer has updated with features that would come with a newer model.
  • Trade in your car. If you already have a car, trading in your old vehicle can knock hundreds or thousands of dollars off your new car price.
  • Consider a midlevel model. While high-end models might come with more features, consider whether you’re willing to pay that price difference for something that might not affect your driving experience.
  • Shop around. Comparing cars from different types of sellers as well as financing offers can help you save on the total cost of your car. You’ll know what kinds of rates and terms you’re eligible for and might find something better than what your lender is offering.

Bottom line

There are a lot of considerations that come into play when you’re deciding whether to buy a car. Now you don’t have to worry about when to buy. Just be sure to compare your car loan options before hitting the dealership to help you find the best deal possible.

Frequently asked questions

Check out even more information about the best time to buy a car with these answers to common questions.

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