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GuideUsed Cars

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.






3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

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About The Author

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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