Choosing the best time of the year to buy a car could potentially save you thousands of pounds. Here’s what to bear in mind:

  • In February and August many dealers offer some real bargains, while sales are slow as buyers wait for the new number plates coming in March and September. But If you take advantage of this lull, your ‘old’ number plates will make your car seem older than it really is, so it will depreciate faster.
  • At the end of each quarter – particularly the end of June and December – dealers may be keen to hit their quarterly sales targets and more likely to offer you a good deal.
  • Find out when new models or ‘face-lifted’ existing models are due out, then buy the previous version during its last few weeks in the showroom. Dealers will be want to shift this stock and be more likely to offer you a good deal. But remember that the older model will depreciate faster than the new arrivals, even though it’s roughly the same age.
  • Convertibles are more desirable in the summer, so there may be bargains to be had in the winter.
  • Demand for four-wheel-drive vehicles usually peaks during autumn and winter because of poorer weather, so you may get a bigger discount in the summer.
  • Showrooms are quieter on weekdays so drop in on a Friday – when the dealer will also be keen to meet their weekly target. This gives you a double advantage when bargaining with the salesperson.
  • Wait a few months after launch before buying a new model – by then there will be less showroom buzz about it so the dealer may well offer you a better deal.