Why Year's End May Be A Good Time To Buy A Car

Seven of the best days to buy a new car are in December. The year is almost over, and there is a last-minute push for big car sales.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Here in the U.S., car sales picked up this year, and dealers are hoping for a final burst of sales tomorrow. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, New Year's Eve may be the best day of the year to buy a new car.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If you watched any TV this holiday season, you've probably come across this commercial.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) It's the most wonderful sale of the year.

AARON BRAGMAN: That's typical around the end of the year, is to get those kinds of last-minute pushes for the last big sale of the year.

GLINTON: Aaron Bragman is an analyst with IHS Automotive.

BRAGMAN: Well, it's generally a good time for deals, because a lot of people are already in a buying mood. And so automakers will come out with that added extra incentive to try and get people to shop not only for maybe Christmas presents, but also for potentially a new car, as well.

GLINTON: Bragman says the end of the month is usually a good time to buy a car, because dealers have to pay taxes on their inventory, and they have to pay extra money to the car companies for those cars that stay on the lot.

BRAGMAN: The real reason is to try and get rid of inventory of the previous year. Nobody wants to try and buy a 2011 model year car in 2012. It's already considered last year's model.

GLINTON: Bragman says once the clock strikes 12:00, those new cars become last year's models - which is good for shoppers, not so good for dealers. Sonari Glinton, NPR News.

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