Is It a Good Time to Buy a Car?
When you decide it’s time to shop for a vehicle, it can be a confusing and anxiety-inducing experience. One concern is finding the right car, whether you’re searching for one of the safest family cars, a fun-to-drive sports car, or a versatile SUV. But once you’ve settled on the right vehicle for your needs and wants, how do you figure out the best time to buy a car?
As the most expensive purchase the vast majority of people make aside from buying a house, is a car. Knowing the best time to buy a car in Ontario could save you money and get you the best bang for your buck.
Winter car sales can be a great deal
For obvious reasons, the winter months can be notoriously slow for car lots and dealerships across the country. The snow, ice, and cold keep many car shoppers hunkered down at home rather than snatching up a deal on a vehicle.
For people in the market, winter could be the best time to buy a used car in Canada – if you’re willing to brave the cold, that is. Since there are fewer shoppers, salespeople are often eager to work even harder to make a deal with you. And since there’s less competition for some of the more popular models they might have on the lot, the selection of vehicles during the December, January, February, and March months is often more diverse. Take your pick and see what the salesperson can do.
Interest rates are at an all-time low
If you’re like most car shoppers, your bi-weekly car payment is one of the most important factors in making a purchasing decision. When interest rates are high, it can significantly increase your payments and limit how many cars you can afford.
Currently, the Canadian interest rates for loans and vehicle purchases are at an all-time low. For car buyers, that can mean one of two things: you can get the same car for a lower payment than usual, or you can pay the same amount for a car that might be a little newer or have a few more features.
How much difference does the interest rate make? On a $20,000 loan, the difference between 6% and 8% is $19 per month over the course of a 60-month loan or a total difference of around $1,300! That’s money you could keep in your own pocket.
Plenty of low-mileage vehicles are available
When you’re trying to figure out the best time to buy a car in Ontario, you’re limited to the vehicles that are currently for sale in the market. Although there could be the best time of year to buy a used car in normal auto market conditions, the COVID-19 pandemic has created an ideal situation for car buyers across the nation.
In the past year, fewer drivers have been on the road due to lockdowns, work-from-home initiatives, school closures, and other circumstances. The result? Cars have had fewer kilometers racked up on the odometer. On average, Canadians drive between 15,000 and 20,000 km annually. But during the pandemic, that figure has been slashed. Drivers who are returning matured leases or have traded in their vehicles have recently given up cars with below-average mileages. That’s a bonus for anyone who’s looking to buy a car right now, and you’ll find plenty of vehicles in that category listed by Carnance.
Lower supply is keeping used car pricing strong
On the other side of the coin, the pandemic has strengthened used car prices. You might be aware that an eight-week shutdown in the spring of 2020 resulted in a shortage of new cars. Instead, car buyers turned to the pre-owned vehicle market to fulfill their transportation needs. Although it might be the best time of year to buy a used car, prices may be slightly higher than average for this typical period.
But that can also work in your favor if you’re trading in a car or if you’re looking at resale values down the road. Since the demand is relatively high for used cars, your trade-in commands a higher price than it might if the market was softer, meaning you’ll need to finance less of your vehicle purchase. As well, a strong, steady used car market will mean your purchase will depreciate at a slower rate, and that’s a good thing when it’s time to sell or trade it in down the road.
Buy a car when you need it
Can you wait to buy a car until the price is right, or do you need it now? Having that flexibility puts you in the best position. But for most car buyers, that’s not the case. It doesn’t matter what month is the best time to buy a car if your current vehicle is dilapidated, unreliable, or has been written off in a collision.
It isn’t feasible to rent a vehicle or borrow one from family until the best time to buy from a dealer rolls around. That puts pressure on you financially, since renting a car will cost you more per month than the payments to finance a used car. When your personal situation dictates that it’s time to look for a vehicle, it’s the right time.
Discover the right vehicle at Carnance
If you’re in Southern Ontario or the surrounding areas, check out the vehicles available from Carnance. If you have a little one on the way and need to upgrade to a more spacious vehicle, one of our SUVs or sedans might be a great option for you. If it’s come time to treat yourself to a luxurious vehicle at a great price, an Audi, BMW, Range Rover, or another premium brand might be the right fit. And if a fuel-efficient and reliable Hyundai is on your radar, check out the full range of models and trims in our listings.
Anytime is the best time to buy a car from Carnance!