The best time of year to buy a new car has arrived. Hear us out.

Car shopping sucks. Sure, you get a shiny new set of wheels at the end, but actually trawling the showrooms, dealing with dismissive salespeople and negotiating a deal can be tedious, overwhelming and expensive.

But there’s a simple way to help alleviate some of that burden. Shop at Christmas.

I realise that might sound counter-intuitive. I mean, why on earth would you want to go car shopping at what is already a very costly and stressful time of year?

But the truth is, it’s one of the most ideal times for cost-conscious, reluctant buyers to hit the showrooms. Here’s why…

Dealerships are relatively empty.

The festive season is holiday time for most people. For some that means heading out of town, for others just taking a mental break from major decisions like… yep, you guessed it, a new car purchase.

On top of that, it’s also a time people are looking to tighten the budget – not drop $30k on a Kia.

Both of these things bode well for those with the time and cash to splash, because not only will you have fewer people to fight against in the showrooms, you’ll also get more attention from salespeople.

The salespeople are especially motivated.


To you and me, December 31 means time to celebrate. To a new-car salesperson it means the last chance to meet their lofty monthly, quarterly and yearly target.

That slight element of desperation generally means more leverage for the consumer, so use it. Negotiate wisely and you're likely to score a lower price and wrangle a few extras/accessories than you might once the calendar ticks over.

Dealers start getting desperate.

Once the fireworks explode on New Year 2017, any cars built this year will suddenly seem positively ancient. This is precisely why dealers will spend the rest of December desperately trying to shift them.

The key here is the 'build date'. More than 'model year', more than the 'compliance date', 2016 build date cars are the ones that will carry the biggest savings this month.

And don't worry. They're generally not all that different, features-wise, to those built in early 2017, nor will they earn you substantially less when it comes time to sell them down the track.

So if you're in the market and you can manage it, get in soon. It'll be the biggest, most practical present you get this year.