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When is the best time to buy a used car?

  • When is the best time to buy a used car?

Timing your purchase: how to get the best deal on a pre-owned vehicle

As far as we’re concerned, buying a used car is always a good idea; with a competitive market out there these days, you can pick up a car that feels like new without the hefty price tag that being manufacturer-fresh can bring. 

Whilst, in this way, you should always explore the option of a used car, there are certain times of the year when you’re more likely to get a favourable deal than others. We’re here to explain… 

When is it a good time to buy a used car? 

Let’s put it this way — it’s never a bad time to buy a used car, but if you’re after a bargain, bearing in mind these points in the year might land you with a fantastic deal…

1. Just after new number plates are released 

If choice is what you’re after, you should plan to start shopping when new number plates are released. Twice a year, in March and September, the latest models are registered, which brings about an influx of cars that those who are buying new are part exchanging.

In the age of Personal Contract Purchases, many can upgrade their cars after as little as 18 months, so you could bag yourself a set of wheels that has barely hit its stride. 

2. At the end of a quarter 

All car dealerships will have sales targets, and many of them will run on a quarterly basis. To make the likelihood of hitting them a little easier, many will put some tempting promotions out, such as zero-deposit finance, money off the purchase price, or a number of year’s free servicing. Start looking in March, June, September or December. 

These kinds of promotions will work out well for everyone; the dealerships sell more cars, and you get a sweeter deal!

3. Right at the start of the year 

It’s not only at the end of quarters during the year that dealerships are likely to run offers. As January is a month when people are typically recovering from their indulgence at Christmas (both personal and financial), promotions can make spending money in this cold, dark month a little more palatable. Starting the year off with a new car could see you save money in the months to come! 

4. Around public holidays 

When better to roll out a good deal than when a large proportion of the population are high on the thrill of an extra day off! Keep your eyes peeled for flash promotions to celebrate bank holidays and other national events. 

Bear in mind what car you want to buy

Vehicle dealers are as responsive to the seasons as any other industry, so it makes sense that negotiating on certain types of vehicles may be easier at different points in the year. For example, as the weather warms up, many more people will be thinking of buying a convertible, so there’ll be less wiggle room in the price as demand is high.

On the flip side, this is a great time to buy a big 4x4 — when everyone’s got their roof down, the prospect of icy roads and big puddles seems a million miles away. 

Protect your used car with Warranty First 

Whatever used car you go for, don’t leave yourself out on a limb once you drive it away. Even the best-prepared used cars can develop faults, as we know from supporting dealers across the UK, and the inconvenience and expense of unexpected failures can be a nightmare. A used vehicle warranty protects against these eventualities, giving you peace of mind should something go wrong.

Explore our used car policies on our website today — they’re tailored to your car, and your budget.