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When’s the best time to buy a car?

Time your next car purchase strategically to get the most savings.

We all know that buying a car takes time to find the right vehicle and money to seal the deal. But it’s not just your time and money that matters. Keeping a shrewd eye on times of the business year and your dealer’s financial goals too can put a lot of money back in your pocket, right where it belongs.

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

Best times to buy a new car

Compare car loans from top providers

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Min. Credit Score Requirements
CarsFast Car Loans
4.90% to 29.90%
12-96 months
Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Browse thousands of vehicles from dealers across Canada and get matched with financing that meets your needs. Apply online to purchase a new or used vehicle and get the vehicle delivered to your door.
Loans Canada Car Loans
0% to 29.99%
3-96 months
Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Get access to financing from multiple lenders across Canada through a single application with Loans Canada. Bad credit, CERB and EI borrowers are considered.
Car Loans Canada
3.99% to 29.95%
12-84 months
Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Search thousands of vehicles online, including $0 down options, from dealers across the country and get matched with affordable financing options. Auto loans are also available to those with bad credit, consumer proposals and bankruptcies to help rebuild credit.
Coast Capital Car Loan
18-84 months
Able to service debt payment of $300/month
Finance or lease both new and used vehicles with competitive rates and flexible terms from one of Canada's largest credit unions. No credit union membership required for this product.
Canadian Auto News
3.99% to 29.95%
12-84 months
Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Answer a few simple questions to get matched with affordable financing options. Auto loans are also available to those with bad credit, consumer proposals and bankruptcies to help rebuild credit.
LoanConnect Car Loans
9.90% to 46.96%
3-120 months
No min. income requirement
Get access to 25+ lenders through LoanConnect's brokerage. Receive pre-approval in as fast as 60 seconds and get your funds in as little as 24 hours.
Canada Auto Finance
3-96 months
Min. income of $1,500 /month, 3+ months employed
Canada Auto Finance is a broker that connects borrowers with partnered local lenders. Financing for a new or used car is available for borrowers with bad credit, no credit, CERB, EI or bankruptcy.
Carloans411 Car Loans
1.90% to 19.99%
Up to 72 months
Min. income of $1,600 /month, 3+ months employed
Get connected with suitable lenders through CarLoans411. Finance your next car, van or truck with loans available in amounts from $500 to $50,000. Check eligibility for this loan through LoanConnect.
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
19.99% to 23.99%
36-120 months
Established credit history and own your home
Fairstone offers secured personal loans up to $50,000.

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 specific 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. Are you a student or a recent college grad? A member of the Canadian military or RCMP? Is this your first time buying a car? Have you recently bought or leased another vehicle from the same manufacturer? 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 with the latest perks and safety features 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.

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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 of depreciating less over time.
  • Consider a Certified Pre-owned Vehicle. Want a new car? Certified Pre-Owned programs allow you to buy a used car that has been thoroughly checked over and polished by manufacturer-trained mechanics to make sure the vehicle is both high quality and reliable. Certain manufacturers also have warranty options specifically for Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles that come into effect as soon as the new car warranty has expired.
  • 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. Be sure to take care of your vehicle and clean it up before taking it into the dealership for a valuation so that you can get the best possible price.
  • Consider a mid-level or basic model. While high-end models might come with more features, consider whether you’re willing to pay for upgrades that aren’t essential for your driving experience or won’t affect it that much.
  • Shop around. Comparing cars from different types of sellers and financing options from different types of lenders can help you save on the total cost of your car. If you choose to get pre-approved for a car loan, you’ll know what kinds of rates and terms you’re eligible for and can potentially used a good offer from one dealer or lender to negotiate a better offer from another.

Bottom line

Buying a car can seem overwhelming, from researching brands and models, to finding a trustworthy dealership, to securing competitive financing. Now, however, you know when you can most likely get the best deals. Be sure to compare all of your options and read the terms and conditions of your finance deal before pulling off your new ride.

Want to know more about buying a car including where to go, what to look for and how to pay for your vehicle? Read our guide to buying a car, which is jam-packed full of tips and information to make you a confident, knowledgeable buyer.

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