When you're thinking about buying a used car, it's good to have a plan of action – and that action plan should include the best time to buy. You might be thinking that you plan to buy your next vehicle when you need it. But, depending on your situation, you may be able to get deeper discounts than you thought possible by planning ahead.

Buying Used Now

Coming into a new year can be a great time to buy a used car because it hits a few points that can really save you money. Plus, if you plan correctly, you may even be able to use your tax refund to help you get your next vehicle.

Let's look at a few reasons why now is a great time to buy:

  • Best Time to Buy a Used CarIt's winter – In states where all four seasons can be experienced, winter is an ideal time to buy a car, especially if you're not looking for a rugged winter-ready model. This is the time to shop for a used family sedan, or that convertible you had your eye on last summer. Not only that, but the offseason gives you a better chance to really take your time at a dealership, when not as many people are vying for a test drive at the same time. Keep in mind, however, that you should still choose a nice day to visit a dealer. Sunshine helps you get a better view of the overall condition of any used vehicle you might be looking at.
  • It's after the holiday rush – With Christmas Eve being one of the more popular car buying days of the year, the new year offers many lease turn-ins and trade-ins that are often priced to sell. Dealerships would rather sell these used vehicles now than wait to ship them to auction where they get even less money for them.
  • Tax returns can help – On top of shopping the expanded used car inventory at dealers in the offseason, your tax refund can be put to good use toward a down payment.

Buying throughout the Year

As the year rolls on, better car buying times – for both used and new models – tend to come at the end. The end of a month is usually better, as is the end of a year with the most discounts being offered in October, November, and December. These are times when dealerships are trying to clear out inventory and meet sales quotas.

Other “ends” that make excellent buying times are the end of a model year or the end of a vehicle's design cycle. This is when many leased cars and recent used models tend to flood dealer lots as drivers buy the latest vehicle or redesigned versions of a car they like. These models can make great buys as used vehicles, often at discounted rates since dealerships need room for more new inventory.

Not only do “ends” make good buying times, but certain holidays tend to feature car sales that are worth waiting for. Holidays with the biggest sales are typically President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Black Friday, and Christmas Eve.

The Best Time of Year to Buy a Used Car

Ideally, the best time to buy a used vehicle is before you need one. This way, you have time to prepare a budget, shop for the best deals, and line up pre-approved financing with the best interest rate. Sometimes, though, you don't have these luxuries.

If you need a car now and your credit doesn't allow you the perks of direct financing or has made rate shopping difficult, don't lose hope. This can still be a great time to finance the used vehicle you need, and Auto Credit Express wants to help.

Every day, we connect hundreds of people who are in these situations to local dealers that have the solutions they need. Our network of special finance dealerships spans the US with the lending resources that can help people in many credit situations, including bad credit, no credit, and bankruptcy. To get started today, simply fill out our free, no-obligation auto loan request form now!