Fall is the best time for car deals

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Anyone looking for car deals had better act fast, as fall is the best time to capitalize on discounts. Photo Credit: M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

There are numerous ways that one can find great car deals, some of which involve luck and some of which involve the very changing of the seasons. The thing is that car makers roll out new models in fall, which is the best time for good car deals.

Get thee to a dealership when the leaves turn for car deals

Fall is the beginning of many things. It marks the beginning of the end of a year, kids return to school and football season begins. For the car industry, it means new models are hitting dealerships.

The new model year for most car companies comes out the previous fall. One of the only exceptions is Lotus, but then again Lotus can only sell the Evora in the United States because air bag regulations preclude the new Elise and Exige, so no one cares.

How this benefits the consumer, meaning lower prices on new models in fall, is through a thing called “vehicle allocation.”

What is this vehicle allocation you speak of?

Vehicle allocation is a dealership incentive scheme from auto manufacturers. How it works, according to Car and Driver, is that a dealership receives a certain number of cars every so often. The number of cars the dealership gets, as well as the mix of models they get, depends on how many cars and how many of each model they sold the previous quarter, month, year or whatever.

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The number of new, hot models they get, therefore, depends on how many other cars they sold. Fall is a great time for car deals because a new batch of new cars is coming in. Some people, however, aren’t planning on buying a new car until the following spring or summer, a big time for sales. If a dealership sells a lot of the previous model year in fall, they boost their vehicle allocation and get more new models to sell later on.

Ergo, they are trying to clear lot space and boost revenue by offering new cars of the outgoing model year at near rock-bottom prices. The dark side is that some dealers don’t want some of the cars they get, as some Chevrolet dealers, according to The Truth About Cars, were very resentful about getting the Volt, because they weren’t selling.

What to look for this year

According to Time magazine, certain car deals are going to be better than others. Sedans and hatchbacks are going to be going for a bit less than normal. Some particular models singled out include the Ford Focus, Honda Accord and other models that are getting a significant redesign for the 2013 model year. A host of 2012 models, which are brand new, are just sitting on lots at the moment, so anyone looking to buy a new car may want to get their auto loan from bank paperwork in order.



Car and Driver

The Truth About Cars

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