Winter months are primetime for scoring discounts.

The 2020 holiday shopping season in the US is officially on. The coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly affect the entire world from both the buyer and seller perspective, though auto dealerships are still keen to attract car shoppers with special year-end offers. Pricing is a bit different in the used car market, but the end-of-year rush is still popular for scoring good deals. But is it the best?

That's the subject of a new study from iSeeCars, which analyzed more than 32 million used car sales in the US from 2018 and 2019. To determine a "deal" the study compared selling prices versus market value prices, with a minimum discount of five percent needed to qualify. The study further crunched numbers to include specific times of the year, going all the way down to days of the week.

The study contains a plethora of interesting data, but with the festive season upon us, we'll focus on holidays and general times of year for finding the best bargains in the States. And no, this isn't the best time to plunk down cash for a new-to-you vehicle. But it's not bad, either.

Holiday Deals (percentage of more than average)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day 39.2%
New Year's Eve / Day 20.5%
Christmas Eve 18.1%
Veterans Day 11.9%
Thanksgiving / Black Friday 2.7%

While the best day for deals technically falls outside the traditional holiday shopping season, the end of the year is still a good time for finding a bargain. The top-five timeframe starts with Veterans Day, observed annually in the US on November 11, and ends with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of January. The study suggests the long weekend for MLK Day combined with typical mid-winter inventory buildups creates a perfect storm of savings for shoppers, making it the best day for buyers by a wide margin. On the flip side is America's Independence Day on July 4, which sees 18.6 percent fewer deals than average.

Based on this information, you can probably guess which time of the year sees the most used car deals.

Month Deals (percentage of more than average)
January 28.7%
February 22.1%
December 13.0%
March 12.6%
November 6.2%

The late fall and winter months fill out the top five list, but January and February stand well above the rest. You're more than twice as likely to find a good deal in January as you are in December, and despite the insanity that is Black Friday, November only sees 6.2 percent more deals than average. As for the worst time of the year to go bargain hunting? You guessed it – mid-summer with June and July both clocking in with 16 percent fewer deals than average.

 

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