When is the Best Time To Buy a Car?

In a Nutshell: The best time to buy a car is during the end of model years for new cars due to significant discounts, and during periods when manufacturers offer special incentives. For used cars, waiting for market prices to decline further can lead to better deals.


  • The end of model years is an optimal time to buy a new car, with significant discounts on outgoing models.
  • Manufacturer incentive periods offer unique opportunities for savings, making them ideal times for purchasing.
  • The declining prices in the used car market suggest waiting periods may lead to better deals for used car buyers.

 The Best Time To Buy a Car

Automotive expert Ben Hardy, known for his insightful commentary on The Ben Hardy Show, tackled a question that perplexes many prospective car buyers: “When is the best time to buy a car?” 

His analysis, deeply rooted in understanding market trends and economic principles, offers a nuanced view on this topic, which is essential for anyone considering a vehicle purchase.

Understanding the Market Dynamics

Ben Hardy starts by addressing the broader economic context which influences car prices. “Money itself is going to continue to get more and more expensive,” he says, hinting at the general trend of fluctuating interest rates and their impact on auto loans. 

This is a critical consideration for buyers, as higher interest rates can significantly increase the overall cost of purchasing a vehicle on finance.

Hardy also touches on the cyclical nature of the auto industry, pointing out that “manufacturers are going from one model year to the next,” which often leads to discounts on outgoing models. 

This pattern suggests that specific times of the year, such as the end of a model year, could present more favorable buying opportunities.

Manufacturer Incentives and Pricing Strategies

Delving deeper, Hardy discusses how manufacturers play a crucial role in determining the best buying time. 

“A lot of automakers this month are currently offering cemented rates,” he notes, indicating periods when manufacturers provide incentives that may not be available later. 

Additionally, Hardy mentions that automakers often plan to increase the prices of their vehicles, making earlier purchases potentially more cost-effective.

Dealer Negotiations and Market Pressures:

The state of the broader market also impacts car buying decisions. Hardy observes that “a lot of dealers are going to be more willing to work with you right now.” 

He links this to the dealerships’ performance over recent months, suggesting that buyers’ ability to negotiate better deals might be tied to market trends and dealership sales targets.

Used Cars: A Different Consideration:

When it comes to used cars, Hardy’s advice shifts. “The used car market is still consistently declining,” he points out, suggesting that delaying a purchase in the used car market could be advantageous as prices continue to drop. 

This aspect is especially relevant for those debating between new and used vehicles.

The Case for Saving and Cash Purchases

Hardy also proposes an alternative approach to car buying: saving to become a cash buyer. 

He explains, “If you can afford a car payment, then you can afford to put that money into a savings account.” This strategy can help buyers avoid the higher interest rates of auto loans and potentially negotiate better purchase terms.


In conclusion, Ben Hardy’s analysis reveals that a constellation of factors, including economic trends, manufacturer incentives, dealership negotiation dynamics, and individual financial strategies, influences the best time to buy a car. 

Hardy’s insights underline the importance of timing, research, and personal financial planning in making an informed car purchase decision.

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