The best time to buy a new car is…

  • Flat summer months perfect time to negotiate discounts
  • Purchase before the emergency budget to save cash
  • Find out the best times to strike in the year, month and week

Buying a new car can be all about timing. Judge it to perfection and you can bag yourself a bargain.

With the country coming to terms with a coalition, still in the midst of recession and the scrappage scheme a distant memory, this could be a great time to get a deal on a new car.

The UK is only weeks away from an emergency budget and there's every chance that David Cameron and Nick Clegg's coalition could introduce a VAT increase in a bid to raise revenue. Finance experts believe the government could raise VAT by 2.5% to 20%.

With the hot weather and uncertainty surrounding the UK economy, dealerships are staring the barrel of a rather flat few months. As such salesmen, desperate to hit targets, will be more willing to agree discounts to get the business.

The newly formed goverment sets out its plans in the emergency budget on June 22 and while the UK prepares itself for more bad news this could play into the hands of new car buyers. Savvy customers might consider this a time to go for the jugular and secure a sizeable discount.

Not now? The best time to strike...

Traditionally, the quietest period for car dealers is the week in the lead-up to Christmas. Research states that December 18 is the best day of the year to buy a new car from a franchise dealer.

Big-ticket items are not on the radar for most during the festive season but discounts are more likely as salesmen try to meet their end-of-year sales. However, there is a snag: the dealer will also know that business slackens off during Christmas so they may not hold as much stock. This means you might have to compromise on your 'ideal' car.

Best time of the month?

Try to buy towards the end of the month. The majority of dealers struggle to sell enough new cars to earn their bonus payments and are more receptive to bit of serious haggling. If a dealer is short of its target, the last two days of any month (especially October and November as a dealer needs to shed stock prior to the holidays) can be a fruitful time for buyers.

Best time of the week?

Generally, the forecourt is less busy on weekdays. This is also a good time to visit as service will be better and the dealer may be more inclined to give you a better offer.

Golden oldies?

If you know when a facelift or a new version of the model you want to purchase goes on sale then you can save money if you buy the current generation. As long as you are not concerned about fashion trends and future resale values, you can save wads of cash with an 'oldie.