Why you should shop for a new vehicle on Labor Day weekend

Will you go shopping on Black Friday?

No, not the day after Thanksgiving, which still is several months away. But its car-shopping equivalent (according to Fortune magazine): Labor Day, which falls on Sept. 7 this year.

“Labor Day means the end of summer and one last long weekend to go car shopping,” says the “Car Negotiation Coach” at car-shopping website findthebestcarprice.com. “Car dealers are aware of this and typically offer their best car deals of the year … to entice buyers.”

Labor Day also follows hot on the heels of August, typically the strongest month of the year for car sales, and this year occurs during the hottest sales year in more than a decade.

Here are some reasons the website suggests may make it worthwhile to brave the crowds of shoppers:

  • A three-day weekend means people will have an extra day to go car shopping, so dealerships will ramp up their sales efforts with “events” and other promotions.
  • New models are coming out and dealerships will be running specials to sell their 2015s.
  • A lot of car shoppers visit multiple dealerships in one day, so dealers will go out of their way not to lose you to the competition during this important sales weekend.
  • Car sales people have restarted their monthly quotas and want to get a jump on September numbers in order to hit their bonus targets, especially since it’s the only holiday of the month.

And if you’re looking for four-wheel fun, dealers will be especially happy to sell you a convertible and sports car from their excess inventory because they are in lower demand during the fall and winter.

“High-car sales periods of the year, like Labor Day weekend, are a good time to buy a new car because dealerships are looking to push current-year inventory out to make room on the lot for [new] vehicle models,” according to USNews.com. “Some manufacturers also recognize these holidays are a good opportunity to encourage more purchases, so keep a lookout for discounts or rebates.”

But shopping on Labor Day isn’t without its shortcomings, some of which were noted by boston.com.

“The deals could get sweeter towards Labor Day, but then there will be less selection,” said Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds.com. “It’s a thin line to walk and the deal might not get much better if you wait.”

Buying a car ahead of the Labor Day weekend – like the week before – can offer certain advantages, Caldwell told boston.com. That includes getting more attention from sales associates, who “might be spread thin while dealing with other customers during [the holiday weekend].”

For more on how to shop for a vehicle on Labor Day or any other time, see our five-part series, “How I would shop for a new car (or used) in five easy steps”: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

And when you’re ready to buy, get a preapproved auto loan from  Santander Consumer USA, where you can apply through our direct lending unit RoadLoans. Or ask that Santander Auto Finance be one of the lenders your dealership contacts for financing.

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