The Best Holidays to Buy a Used Vehicle: A Breakdown

If you’re like us, you probably have the answer to this question already primed and ready to go: “What’s the best holiday to go car shopping?” Christmas, of course. Right? 

Not so fast, Professor Assumption. Don’t make the same mistake we did. While used car lots are certainly ripe for the picking from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, the holidays aren’t necessarily the quintessential car-shopping season according to a recent study

So, when is the best time of year to buy a vehicle? The data paints a clearer picture.

Best Holiday for Car Deal

1. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Interestingly enough, the holiday to find the best used car deals near you isn’t Black Friday, Christmas or Veteran’s Day — it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. From 2018 to 2019, shoppers got the veritable pick of the litter on pre-owned vehicle sales, as there were almost 40% more deals than usual. 

MLK Jr. Day lands on the third Monday of every January, and auto dealers, sensing that shoppers will make the most of their long weekend, push stock heavily to get a headstart on the quarter. People also tend to trade in their vehicles around January, which increases dealerships’ available inventory.

In addition, since almost all new vehicle models have been introduced, customers look to buy the outgoing models and take advantage of manufacturer incentives, which are usually very generous.

2.Veteran’s Day

Typically, Veteran’s Day is the start of the “get a deal on a car” season. Automakers have released most of their new models, and car dealers get a jump on the holiday rush by offering loads more used car specials than normal. Overall, expect a usual Veteran’s Day to offer anywhere from 20% to 40% more sales on used vehicles.

New car finance offers and lease deals are also big on Veteran’s Day, as automakers want to move their outgoing models. Check out our Veteran’s Day car offers and incentives in South Florida, the Honda Military Appreciation special program and these tips to score a deal if you’re a military member or retiree.

3. New Year’s Eve

Since it’s the end of the month, quarter and year, New Year’s car sales are typically very good, as dealers aim to hit all their quotas. On average, consumers will see 20%-35% more used car deals than normal, and even more with new vehicles thanks to special sales events like Happy Honda Days.

Of course, the holidays are also a very busy time of the year at car dealerships, so plan in advance if you’re attempting to score a deal on a new or used vehicle over New Year’s. That means getting auto financing pre-approval, setting up test drive appointments, and requesting trade-in estimates as early as possible.

4. Christmas

Christmas is a great holiday to be a car shopper. Like New Year’s, Christmas is year-end, quota-hitting time for dealers, and shoppers can expect 20%-35% more pre-owned offers at their local used car lots.

Again, new vehicle deals on Christmas aren’t uncommon, either, with sales like Happy Honda Days stuffing shoppers’ stockings with loads of lease incentives and financing specials. 

5. Black Friday/Thanksgiving

Many people may think that Black Friday car deals are the best of the year, but they might be surprised to learn that the Thanksgiving holiday doesn’t always top the list — although, as you can see, it’s usually near the top. Shoppers can expect to find decent sales on both pre-owned and new vehicles over the Thanksgiving holiday, though how much packaged savings are available depends on the market. 

For instance, between 2013 and 2016, used car deals on Black Friday and Thanksgiving were up by an average of 37.5% over the normal; however, between 2018 and 2019, Black Friday sales on pre-owned vehicles were only up 2.7%. Overall, we tend to see sales on used automobiles typically increase by 15%-30% on Black Friday.

Used Vehicle Sales Near You

Rounding out the rest of the good holidays to purchase a vehicle are:

  • President’s Day – 15%-30% more sales
  • Halloween – 10%-30% more sales
  • Columbus/Indigenous Peoples’ Day – 15%-20% more sales
  • Labor Day – 10%-20% more sales
  • Tax Day – 10%-15% more sales

Not all holidays come with built-in car savings. These holidays frequently have fewer sales on pre-owned vehicles than usual:

  • Mother’s Day – 10%-30% fewer sales
  • Father’s Day – 15%-25% fewer sales
  • Memorial Day – 15%-30% fewer sales
  • Good Friday/Easter – 20% fewer sales 
  • Independence Day – 15%-20% fewer sales

About South Florida Honda Dealers

Used vehicles. New Hondas. Whatever you’re searching for, our South Florida car dealerships have deals to make you happy. Peek at our new Honda special offers or contact your nearest Miami used car lot to request a quote on a pre-owned car, SUV, truck or van this holiday season.