Yes, There Is a Best Time of Year to Buy a New Car
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Yes, There Is a Best Time of Year to Buy a New Car

Here are the weeks to mark on your calendar if you’re car shopping with a discount in mind

By PERRI ORMONT BLUMBERG
Mon, Oct 23, 2023 10:08amGrey Clock 3 min

You can save thousands of dollars on a new car by buying at the right time of year.

Typically, the best time to shop for a new car is when the new version of that same vehicle is about to go on sale, so dealerships will want to clear space for the new models. The closer you get to the new model’s arrival date, the more you can save on older models, said Lori Wittman, president of retail solutions for Cox Automotive.

“Savvy buyers who time their purchases around redesign releases, year-end clearances, tax season or other demand shifts can secure substantial savings,” said Zach Klempf, chief executive of Selly Automotive, a San Francisco-based software company.

This guide explains which weeks to mark on your calendar if you’re shopping for discounts on a car, and why these strategies hold true year after year.

  • What are the best months to start car shopping?
  • When are the best times of year to get a deal on a car?
  • What are the best months for buying electric vehicles (EV)?
  • If there is one best day of the year to buy a car…

What are the best months to start car shopping?

If buying the latest model or a specific color or trim isn’t a top concern, start car shopping in August.

Car buying is not unlike buying an iPhone: When new iPhones are released, old models will drop in price. Cars take up a lot more space than an iPhone, though, so dealerships tend to start discounting in the summer—a few months before new models arrive—to clear out inventory.

“Traditionally, automakers retool their factories for the new models in the summer, so that makes August, September and October a good time to shop for an earlier model,” said Wittman.

Look for cash-back programs and other incentives as manufacturers start clearing out their inventory, said Klempf.

“We’re currently seeing incentives return with strong interest rates and deep discounts on 2023 inventory,” said Wittman.

Start paying attention in the fall, from September to December. New models are typically released in the fall of the preceding year, with 2024 models announced in the fall 2023 and start arriving in October. For new car models released in the fall, dealerships will typically have units on-hand for same-day delivery.

When are the best times of year to get a deal on a car?

Big holiday “sales” at dealerships—think Memorial Day and Labor Day—are more of a marketing gimmick than an actual chance for deep discounts, according to Nathan MacAlpine, the founder of CarMate, a Los Angeles-based car brokership.

For used cars, MacAlpine said tax season, from early April to early May, is a sweet spot for buyers. When people get their tax refund back in the spring, a lot of them go car shopping. Dealerships compete for customers by offering deals.

“Just after tax time, I always find it’s busy on my end of selling cars, which means there are more discounts,” said MacAlpine.

What are the best months for buying electric vehicles (EV)?

EV sales are seasonal, too. The months leading up to the end of the year tend to be a popular time for EV buyers who want to take advantage of tax benefits before they expire, said Klempf.

Next year, this will be less of a problem: EV buyers will get up to $7,500 off the purchase right at the dealership, rather than wait months until filing their tax return to get the credit.

If there is one best day of the year to buy a car…

To time your car purchase for maximum savings, Cox Automotive’s Wittman recommends marking some dates on your calendar.

“The end of the month, the end of a quarter or the end of the year are also good times to find deals on both new and used cars,” said Wittman. Salespeople are under pressure to hit sales quotas at those times to earn bonuses for high sales volume, and they’re more likely to offer discounts to get deals done.

“My personal favorite time to buy a car is on the last day of a calendar year, in the evening,” said Klempf of Selly Automotive.

He personally helped family members secure end-of-year deals on Toyota vehicles, such as a gold-colored Camry, a hue that wasn’t in high demand. “We managed to negotiate a discount of nearly 20% on the car,” he said of the purchase, which was made near close of business in December. The dealership explicitly told them that they were striving to hit their sales quota.



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Should AI Have Access to Your Medical Records? What if It Can Save Many Lives?

We asked readers: Is it worth giving up some potential privacy if the public benefit could be great? Here’s what they said.

By DEMETRIA GALLEGOS
Tue, May 28, 2024 4 min

We’re constantly told that one of the potentially biggest benefits of artificial intelligence is in the area of health. By collecting large amounts of data, AI can create all sorts of drugs for diseases that have been resistant to treatment.

But the price of that could be that we have to share more of our medical information. After all, researchers can’t collect large amounts of data if people aren’t willing to part with that data.

We wanted to see where our readers stand on the balance of privacy versus public-health gains as part of our series on ethical dilemmas created by the advent of AI.

Here are the questions we posed…

AI may be able to discover new medical treatments if it can scan large volumes of health records. Should our personal health records be made available for this purpose, if it has the potential to improve or save millions of lives? How would we guard privacy in that case?

…and some of the answers we received. undefined

Rely on nonpartisan overseers

While my own recent experience with a data breach highlights the importance of robust data security, I recognise the potential for AI to revolutionise healthcare. To ensure privacy, I would be more comfortable if an independent, nonpartisan body—overseen by medical professionals, data-security experts, and citizen representatives—managed a secure database.

Anonymity cuts both ways

Yes. Simply sanitise the health records of any identifying information, which is quite doable. Although there is an argument to be made that AI may discover something that an individual needs or wants to know.

Executive-level oversight

I think we can make AI scanning of health records available with strict privacy controls. Create an AI-CEO position at medical facilities with extreme vetting of that individual before hiring them.

Well worth it

This actually sounds like a very GOOD use of AI. There are several methods for anonymising data which would allow for studies over massive cross-sections of the population without compromising individuals’ privacy. The AI would just be doing the same things meta-studies do now, only faster and maybe better.

Human touch

My concern is that the next generations of doctors will rely more heavily, maybe exclusively, on AI and lose the ability or even the desire to respect the art of medicine which demands one-on-one interaction with a patient for discussion and examination (already a dying skill).

Postmortem

People should be able to sign over rights to their complete “anonymised” health record upon death just as they can sign over rights to their organs. Waiting for death for such access does temporarily slow down the pace of such research, but ultimately will make the research better. Data sets will be more complete, too. Before signing over such rights, however, a person would have to be fully informed on how their relatives’ privacy may also be affected.

Pay me or make it free for all

As long as this is open-source and free, they can use my records. I have a problem with people using my data to make a profit without compensation.

Privacy above all

As a free society, we value freedoms and privacy, often over greater utilitarian benefits that could come. AI does not get any greater right to infringe on that liberty than anything else does.

Opt-in only

You should be able to opt in and choose a plan that protects your privacy.

Privacy doesn’t exist anyway

If it is decided to extend human lives indefinitely, then by all means, scan all health records. As for privacy, there is no such thing. All databases, once established, will eventually, if not immediately, be accessed or hacked by both the good and bad guys.

The data’s already out there

I think it should be made available. We already sign our rights for information over to large insurance companies. Making health records in the aggregate available for helping AI spot potential ways to improve medical care makes sense to me.

Overarching benefit

Of course they should be made available. Privacy is no serious concern when the benefits are so huge for so many.

Compensation for breakthroughs

We should be given the choice to release our records and compensated if our particular genome creates a pathway to treatment and medications.

Too risky

I like the idea of improving healthcare by accessing health records. However, as great as that potential is, the risks outweigh it. Access to the information would not be controlled. Too many would see personal opportunity in it for personal gain.

Nothing personal

The personal info should never be available to anyone who is not specifically authorised by the patient to have it. Medical information can be used to deny people employment or licenses!

No guarantee, but go ahead

This should be allowed on an anonymous basis, without question. But how to provide that anonymity?

Anonymously isolating the information is probably easy, but that information probably contains enough information to identify you if someone had access to the data and was strongly motivated. So the answer lies in restricting access to the raw data to trusted individuals.

Take my records, please

As a person with multiple medical conditions taking 28 medications a day, I highly endorse the use of my records. It is an area where I have found AI particularly valuable. With no medical educational background, I find it very helpful when AI describes in layman’s terms both my conditions and medications. In one instance, while interpreting a CT scan, AI noted a growth on my kidney that looked suspiciously like cancer and had not been disclosed to me by any of the four doctors examining the chart.

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