Don't Wait Too Long Before Buying a Leftover Model
To maximize savings, you want to wait until dealers start getting desperate to get rid of them, but you don't want to wait too long.
A vehicle is considered a leftover model when the newer model year starts hitting showroom floors. The leftover models need to be cleared out to make room for the new ones. Most cars become leftover models between July and October, and you will usually still find them on dealer lots until January or February - sometimes longer, sometimes less depending on the popularity of the vehicle.
Some car manufacturers wait until the very end of the year to introduce the new models, so it all depends on which car you're interested in. When a new model is introduced, that means the previous year's model probably stopped production a couple of months prior.
If a new model is introduced in September, the leftover version probably stopped production in July - which means there is a limited number of vehicles to choose from. If you wait too long to purchase one, you risk being stuck with colors and options you may not be happy with.
Generally, the most popular colors and styles get sold first, leaving the undesirable ones on the lot. Getting a good deal on a leftover model with the colors and options you desire is more an art than a science. You really need to keep an eye on the market and constantly be on the lookout for discounts and inventory.
If you wait too long, you're going to have a very difficult time locating a vehicle you'd be happy with. Therefore, you need to be proactive if you decide to buy a leftover model. You can't just assume the longer you wait, the better outcome you'll have. A lot of car buyers are taken by surprise when they realize the car they've been waiting for isn't available anymore. Don't let this happen to you.
My Recommendation for Car ShoppersTrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan
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About: Gregg Fidan
Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.