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Are President’s Day Car Sales All They’re Cracked Up to Be?


At GasBuddy, we know how to find the best gas price but, with President’s Day approaching, we were wondering whether the urban legend is correct? Is President’s Day the best time to get a great price on a car? Before you break out all those dollar bills sporting mugs of our great U.S. presidents, we’ve looked into it so you can decide what route works for you.

Are You Getting The Best Price? Maybe. If you are looking for the most recent models, then President’s Day may work in your favor. According to Real Car Tips, car prices usually increase as the year continues so purchasing in the earlier part of the year could offer you a lower price. If you don’t mind buying the previous year’s model, better deals typically occur in November and December, in anticipation of next year’s release. If you have a particular make and model that you have to have, check the release dates to see when the newest models are introduced so you can time it to your advantage.

Incentives and Sales – Best Deal? President’s Day occurs in the long stretch between the Christmas/New Year’s holiday and Memorial Day so dealers try to bring you into sales room during a time when you may not be thinking of buying a car (or even going outside if you live up north where the weather is cold). Some sales may be the deal you’ve been waiting for (hooray!) but some may not be worth the trip. Also, be sure to check whether the promotion is only valid for the President’s Day weekend. Some incentives may not be exclusive to this weekend but are promoted via advertising in that way.

Do a Little Research- If you have patience, doing your due diligence and thoroughly researching the purchase may save you the most money versus a weekend promotion. Edmund’s provides some solid advice for purchasing a car. The highlights include:

  • Budget – Determine your budget and what you can afford.
  • Shortlist – Make a shortlist of cars in your price range.
  • Lease or Buy – Determine whether leasing or buying is the better option for you and your lifestyle.
  • Three quotes – Find price information online and contact dealerships via the Internet or phone to get a price to help you negotiate.

Even if you decide that President’s Day is THE DAY to buy your car given the incentives, addressing these questions and doing some research can still help you know the value of the car and where you can negotiate on price.

Schedule an Early Test Drive–  Showrooms are slow Monday through Thursday and usually packed on weekends when a sale is offered. If you don’t want to feel the added purchase pressure and deal with the crowds, schedule a test drive for earlier in the week. It will help you determine whether you even want that car. Also, if you are serious about a buying, you could try and negotiate the same promotion rate prior to or right after the holiday weekend. When it comes to buying a car, there is typically wiggle room.

So what do you GasBuddies think? Are sales worth dealing with the showroom crowds or can you get a better (or at least similar) price with some research and negotiation?

My goal is to make the lives of our GasBuddies easier with tips, information and advice related to traveling and saving money. I spend many hours driving around in my Toyota 4Runner with my two young kids and big yellow dog. I write for GasBuddy but I carry these other titles as well: wife, mom, marketing maniac, dog owner, commuter, carpool driver, soccer and basketball coach, family CFO, chef, runner, yogi, skier, lover of books, sports fan, semi-retired golfer, knitting beginner, want-to-be painter and vacation planner. Thanks for letting me help you perfect your pit stop!

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