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The Best Time to Buy a Used Car

The best time to buy a used car is between Thanksgiving and the first week of January.

Used car prices tend to go through a predictable cycle in which they peak during the summer months followed by a downward slope hitting rock bottom around January 10th.

Prices tend to shoot back up quickly through February.

The difference in prices between August and January can be as much as 5%.

This is according to statistics compiled by Kelly Blue Book and CarGurus.com.

They examined past price trends on more than 12 million used cars since 2010.

Used Car Prices

One reason why used car prices bottom near the end of the year is because fewer people are shopping for a used car during the end of year holiday season.

Another is because used cars technically become one year older on January 1st which affects buyer's perceptions of the vehicle's worth.

Timing your used car purchase can potentially save you $800 on a typical $16,000 vehicle.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise 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

Gregg Fidan

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.

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