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Tuesday / 16 July 2024
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Why December is a great time to buy a new car

December can be the best time to buy a new car as dealers try to get rid of stock to meet annual quotas, allowing you to potentially find a better deal or negotiate a bigger discount, and depending on where you are in the country, there might be fewer buyers around to capitalise on specials as most of them are already on holiday.

In fact, there are several advantages to buying your dream set of wheels in the last month of the year.

According to Ernest North, co-founder of digital insurance platform Naked, many dealers list low-mileage 2023 demo vehicles for sale towards the end of the year before the 2024 models come in. These are in high demand all year round and generally in low supply, so finding one readily available and within your budget may be easier to do during the holidays.

Furthermore, if you do discover a ride that ticks all the boxes, you may get a better trade-in value for your current car in December than you would in January as it would still be considered a “year younger.”

If you got a 13th cheque or bonus at the end of the year, this can also be put forward as a deposit on your new car which reduces the interest you pay over the term of the loan.

Time your purchase right, and you might even be able to register your vehicle in early 2024, given it’s within the legal requirement of 21 days, which may lead to a higher resale value.

“However, keep in mind that it is illegal to purposefully delay the transaction by signing a contract late so that the registration only happens in the new year,” said North.

Why December may not be a good time to buy a car

While there are upsides to buying a new car in the last month of the year, it can also be a bad time to pull the trigger on such a large purchase given the timing.

Depending on when your car was last updated, a facelift might be just around the corner. Usually, the upgraded model offers more technologies and features for a fractional increase in price, but should you not need these niceties, dealers generally run specials on older cars once the new one has arrived which may allow you to pick it up for cheaper.

Many people have a lot of additional expenses over the festive season, too, and will face big costs like school fees and books early in the next year for which an extra bit of savings could go a long way.

Any uncertainties or big changes lying ahead, such as a baby being on the way, a new job, or a potential house purchase, must also be factored into the buying decision as they could all make it tougher to afford that monthly payment on a new car.

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