Hurry: This Weekend Is the Best Time of the Year to Buy a Car

Considering springing for a new set of wheels? You're in luck—we're approaching the best time of the year to do it! This year is a little weird (shocker), but Labor Day in general is a good time to go car shopping.

Labor Day weekend may not be everyone’s favorite time of the year. It signals the end of summer vacation, the beginning of the school year, and the lead-up to several months of cold weather. This year, summer has already been a bummer, and Labor Day is marking the beginning of what could be a very difficult fall and winter. But there are some upsides to the holiday weekend. For instance, if you’re of the opinion that fall is the best of all the seasons, Labor Day is something to celebrate. And then there are the sales—in addition to these things that go on super sale over Labor Day, the weekend is also a great time to buy a car. Plus, here are some incredible appliance sales you’ll want to take advantage of.

Car buyers have a few different things going for them should they choose to buy a car over Labor Day. For one thing, most car sales experts agree that car prices drop at the end of the month, period. The car salespeople need to hit sales quotas, so they might be more willing than usual to sell cars for lower prices. Since Labor Day weekend coincides with the end of August, that’s one thumbs-up for car buyers.

Unfortunately, though, in 2020, Labor Day isn’t until September 7—quite a bit of time after the end of August. So many of the usual deals you’ll get when Labor Day lines up nicely with the end of August won’t be in play this year.

Another is pretty self-explanatory: the sales. Just like Memorial Day, Presidents’ Day, and Thanksgiving, Labor Day is a prime time for promos. But, again, this is complicated in 2020 because many dealerships are ending their promos at the end of August. According to Cars.com, several dealers, though, do have deals that last through the end of Labor Day; this includes Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and Nissan.

Most importantly, Labor Day coincides with a significant time of the year for car sellers. It’s the time car manufacturers start rolling out the new models for the upcoming year. And while this is like Christmas for many a wealthy car fanatic hoping to be the first to get their hands on brand-new models, bargain shoppers can also get great deals on the newly “outdated” models from the current year. The price drops on the unsold cars from the ending year’s model. Spoiler alert: That’s still a super-new, state-of-the-art car! Learn more about what happens to cars that don’t sell.

But…again, 2020 has thrown a bit of a wrench in this—and this time, yes, because of COVID-19. This year, car manufacturing came to a halt for the better part of two months, meaning that the supply of cars is down considerably, according to Cars.USnews. Car manufacturers are still struggling to catch up and produce enough cars to meet demand. So if you do go car shopping right now for a car that’s not a brand-new model, your options might be more limited than usual, especially if you’re looking to get a common, popular type of car. This is the best-selling car of all time.

On the flip side, brand-new 2021 models will likely be delayed, for the same reason.

So there’s no need to beat yourself up if you don’t end up buying a car Labor Day weekend—especially this year when car sales might not have their usual luster. While Labor Day is good, it’s just one of many good times to buy a car throughout the year. For instance, there’s a best time of the week to buy a car, and Bankrate actually believes that the end of the year as a whole—October, November, and December—is also a great time to buy a car. Car dealerships must meet yearly quotas in addition to monthly ones, and they’ll probably be more open to selling cars for lower prices. So Labor Day is a great weekend to buy a car that also ushers in a prolonged great time to buy a car. Learn more about how to score a good car deal with these tips car dealers won’t tell you.

Sources:

  • Cars.com: “What’s the Best New-Car Deal for Labor Day 2020?”
  • Cars.usnews.com: “The Best Labor Day Car Deals for 2020”
  • Experian: “Why Labor Day Weekend Is the Best Time to Buy a Car”
  • Bankrate: “When is the best time to buy a car?”

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a Staff Writer for RD.com who has been writing since before she could write. She graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and has been writing for Reader's Digest since 2017. In spring 2017, her creative nonfiction piece "Anticipation" was published in Angles literary magazine. She is a proud Hufflepuff and member of Team Cap.