The holiday season is the biggest shopping season, and it’s also a great time for car shoppers. If you’re looking for an affordable new car, you need to know that the biggest deals are offered only during the last months of the year.

The end of the year brings countless discounts, deals, and incentive offers for those shopping for a new car. Here’s why you need to act right now – before the year ends – if you’re looking for a new car at a rock-bottom price.

There’s a Surplus of 2018 Models

As the end of the year approaches, dealerships across the U.S. are facing a costly problem: there are too many 2018 vehicles still sitting on their lots.

Each year, automakers release an entire new lineup of vehicles. But when the next year rolls around, last year’s cars need to go. Dealerships can sell the brand-new model year at full price, touting these vehicles as the very latest and greatest.

Yet this year, sales are slowing. In October 2018, CNBC reported that dealerships everywhere were facing sluggish sales and a surplus of last year’s cars. Toyota dealerships in Missouri reported a 12 percent drop in car sales and a huge 23 percent decrease in truck sales. Other dealerships in Florida reported the same, saying sales fell by 13 percent in one month.

So how will dealerships sell these “old” but new vehicles? How can they move their extra inventory is no one is buying?

Dealerships Need to Make Sales

With so many of the previous model year’s cars sitting on their lots, dealerships need to move inventory. And there’s a ton of pressure on the dealerships’ salespeople to make sales and get rid of the older models.

That’s why the end of the year is such a great – and financially savvy – time of the year to buy a new car. As Kelley Blue Book reports, dealers are often short of their monthly sales goals and quotas as November and December draw to a close. If they don’t make their sales goals, they could face repercussions or lose out on big cash bonuses.

So, dealers need to motivate potential car buyers like you to make a purchase. This leads to deep discounts on cars of all sizes. If a few thousand dollars off the sticker price, a cash back incentive, or a low financing offer will get you behind the wheel of a new car, dealers will be willing to negotiate and offer you a better deal if you show you’re ready to buy. And they’ll do it right before the end of the month or year.

Cars See Their Lowest Prices of the Year Through December

Here’s one more reason you’ll want to buy a car during the end of the year. The absolute best prices of the entire year happen in December.

Thanks to dealerships’ sales quotas, the surplus of last year’s models, and the annual year-end sales that happen during this time of the year, there’s truly no better month to buy a new car than December. According to Kelley Blue Book, December sees the highest discounts on new cars of all 12 months. It’s the month when dealerships offer the biggest discounts off the MSRP – an average of a 6 percent discount – and the highest incentives.

Automakers give their dealerships the chance to mark down cars as low as needed in order to make sales and move the cars still sitting around at the end of the year. It’s during December that you’ll see offers for thousands of dollars in cash back, thousands of dollars slashed off the prices of new cars, and financing offers that can’t be matched any other month of the year.

So, if you act right before the end of the year, you could save yourself a huge amount off a brand new car, truck, SUV, or minivan.

How to Get a Great Deal On a New Car

As the end of the year approaches, you’ll want to be prepared to snag the car you’ve been searching for at a budget-friendly – or outright steal – of a price. With so many offers and incredible low prices, the end of the year is the time to save on the make and model you’ve always wanted.

In order to ensure you get the best deal out there, you’ll need to do your research before heading to your local dealership. Make sure you search online for current dealerships’ offers, incentives, and pricing. And you should also search for competitive pricing on the model you’re interested in so you know just how little others are paying for the same car. Armed with this information, you’ll be prepared to negotiate with a dealer to get an even better price.

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This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.