You Should Buy a Car This Week—Or On New Year’s Eve

Forget Black Friday. For great car deals, nothing beats the end of year for the best specials.


Did you spend your Black Friday sleeping in, deep in a post-turkey coma instead of out fighting the 140-million strong masses for new appliances, electronics, or a shiny new car? Rest assured: About the car, at least, you actually made the right call. As it turns out, the last few, bustling days of the holiday season are often a great time to snag a truly steep deal on a new car—with a few caveats. As usual, Quoted did your homework, so just grab a glass of egg nog and a cookie and read up.

Why December Car Sales are Seriously Good

There are multiple reasons cars are so cheap in December—first, of course, the year’s end means new models are just around the corner, so dealerships are often eager to move inventory and make room for next year’s models. Because those newer models are often in greater supply, pricing becomes flexible, explains TrueCar in an article for USAA. But in addition, TrueCar explains: “As the new calendar year approaches, dealerships are trying to meet year-end sales quotas that could reduce fees and taxes on year-end inventory,” they write. “Plus, sales people are trying to meet year-end sales quotas that may trigger bigger holiday bonuses.”

new car with filter

Plus, there’s the whole end-of-the-month effect: Salespeople often have both quarterly and monthly goals, and though you might not know whether a particular dealership or salesperson is feeling hungry, it’s certainly worth a stop by to see. According to AutoTrader: “It all comes down to dealership goals. In general, most automakers set sales goals for dealers, and most dealers set similar goals for themselves. Often, these goals include high-dollar bonuses if they’re met. That’s a big incentive for dealers or salespeople who close extra sales at the end of a month or quarter to help reach a goal.”

New Year’s Eve Deals 2014

TrueCar also found that New Year’s Eve should be the very best day to buy a car in 2014, based on 2013 data—better than Black Friday. The numbers break down this way: “The average percentage discount on Dec. 31 is 8.82%, compared with the 8.15% discount that can be expected the day after Thanksgiving,” TrueCar explains.

Buying a car on New Year's Eve could save you upwards of 9 percent.

But although the steep discounts are timed with the holiday season, this year’s forecast is actually not tied explicitly to consumer shopping: Instead, TrueCar explains, “Demand is less inspired by the holiday season and fueled far more by low gasoline prices, strong economic fundamentals and easy access to credit. RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak said his research indicates Asian car companies may be adding a bit of motivation by further discounting cars on the back of a cheap yen.”

The Caveat

Though you can often score a deep steal in December, do remember that not only is inventory usually reduced at the end of the year to make way for new models, but, depending on your tastes and personality (or those of the lucky recipient of the new car) you should also keep your own whims in mind: Will the 2014 model satisfy you, or do you want to wait and see what that shiny new 2015 feels like?