Does the day and time you close the deal on a car really matter? It depends how you define “matter.” You certainly won’t get 20% off a listed price just because you went shopping on a holiday.
However, according to a study by iSeeCars.com, you can get 5% or more off the price of a used car on several holidays. Considering the average used car transaction falls just below $20,000, that could mean an extra $1,000 in your pocket.
In other words, maybe you should keep a few hours free on certain holidays if you want a genuine bargain. To help narrow down your odds, iSeeCars crunched the numbers and found the top 10 holidays for scoring a deal of at least 5% off a used car’s price. Here are the best holidays for landing your next car.
10. New Year’s Day
If you’re nursing a hangover or otherwise spending New Year’s Day out of the loop, you might be missing out on a used car discount. After analyzing 48 million used car sales between 2013 and 2017, the iSeeCars team found 13.0% more deals going to buyers on January 1 than on the average day of the year.
Next: This October holiday brings even better chances for a good car deal.
9. Columbus Day
The holiday currently (and until further notice) known as Columbus Day falls on the second Monday of October. For most people, it’s that first chance to take a break after Labor Day and catch up on some sleep. (It’s also an excellent time to watch the MLB postseason.) If you went hunting for a car that day in recent years, you’d have found yourself 16.1% more deals than average.
Next: If you missed your chance on New Year’s Day, this January holiday offers even more deals.
8. Martin Luther King Day
The holiday commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King falls on the third Monday in January, and you can find 23.4% more deals than average on that day. As a used car shopper, you might call it the end of the best season. According to iSeeCars.com’s study, January places third (after November and December) among the best months for shoppers. After that, you have to wait until October to see similar activity.
Next: Before any champagne toasts, used car sellers look to close deals.
7. New Year’s Eve
For used car shoppers, the plot thickens as the year comes to an end. In fact, the last day of the year turned out to be a boon for consumers in the hunt for a bargain. New Year’s Eve featured 30.2% more discounts than the average day in the iSeeCars study. In other words, December 31 offers consumers more than double the percentage of deals found on January 1.
Next: Used car hunters could find a real treat on this holiday.
What are the chances you can get more than 5% off the average price of a used car on Halloween? Let’s just say trick-or-treat night offered shoppers 30.9% more opportunities than the average day in this four-year study. Since November is the best month for this type of search, you can think of Halloween as the first day of the playoffs.
Next: This day might be the most unlikely for car shoppers.
5. Christmas Day
While most people are sleeping in or checking to see whether Santa took a bite of the cookies you left out, some people are out there making deals on used cars. In fact, the iSeeCars study found 31.4% more deals for the used car shopper on Christmas. If you’re on the market, consider returning a seller’s call and taking a half-hour away from Miracle on 34th Street to find your new ride.
Next: The day before America’s great shopping frenzy is a solid time for used car shoppers.
4. Thanksgiving Day
In recent years, the day before Black Friday — commonly known as Thanksgiving — became a preview of the madness the following day guaranteed. People started camping outside department stores and other places that night to hold their place in line. Apparently, the trend rubbed off on used car sales as well. Consumers found 33% more deals on Thanksgiving than the average day.
Next: This holiday might be the last time people take calls for a week.
3. Christmas Eve
Whether you celebrate Christmas in full or consider it a welcome day off, it marks the beginning of nonworking period that ends on January 2. If the trends of the past hold, that means people are motivated to sell their cars and move on to the next project. Over a four-year period, buyers found 35.6% more vehicles with significant deals on Christmas Eve compared to the average.
Next: America’s biggest shopping day is also one of the best for used car consumers.
2. Black Friday
For iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly, the rationale behind Black Friday’s appearance on this list is simple. “Major holidays are a great reason for [dealers] to drop prices and offer promotions, especially on Black Friday, when there’s increased foot traffic from shoppers looking to buy gifts or shop for bargains,” Ly said. In fact, there were 37.5% more deals than the average on this day between 2013 and 2017.
Next: On this holiday in the best month for used car shoppers, you’ll find over 40% more deals than normal.
1. Veterans Day
Falling on November 11 (or the nearest workday), Veteran’s Day marks the height of used car-buying season for consumers. On this date, you’ll find a whopping 43.2% more deals than the average day. That makes your chances of finding a 5% discount or greater fairly strong. Phong Ly attributes this jump in availability to the unveiling of new model-year cars.
Once people trade in their old rides for a hot new model, dealers get ready to negotiate. According to this study’s results, they stay in the zone until late January.
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