How long do used cars sit on dealer lots, and can you use that information to your advantage?

How long do used cars sit on dealer lots, and can you use that information to your advantage?

When it comes to the purchase of used cars, there are a few pieces of information you can use to your advantage. One of them: Just how long has a car been with a dealer? If you can find the answer to this piece of information, you may be able to put yourself in a

When it comes to the purchase of used cars, there are a few pieces of information you can use to your advantage. One of them: Just how long has a car been with a dealer? If you can find the answer to this piece of information, you may be able to put yourself in a great position to get a good deal on a car.

How Long Does A Used Car Typically Sit With A Dealer?

Every car dealership may use different time periods, depending on a variety of factors, including overall space, current buying trends, and the type of used car inventory they are currently maintaining. However, the best guess, at the moment, is anywhere from 40-60 days. Anything more than that, and a car simply isn’t moving and is just taking up valuable space.

There is also this truism to keep in mind: The longer a car sits, the more it will be discounted. Again, each dealership has its own formula for pricing cars, but the longer it has been sitting, the deeper the discount. That’s why it is important that you try to track the length of time a car has been on a lot. Doing so may put you in a position where you can make a competitive offer.

How Can You Use This Information To Your Advantage?

If you can find out just how long a car has been sitting on a dealer’s lot, there is a good pricing strategy that you can use.

Information here is critical. Using other cars, see what you can gauge to learn about a car’s pricing strategy. How often are cars discounted at the lot in question – every 30 days? After 60? After 90? Once you find that out, find a car you want, and start to track it. If it is still on the lot before one of the key discount metrics, make an offer that is below the current list price, but above where it’s discount would be. This works for you, as you get an offer below its current list price. It also works for the dealer, as they won’t have to discount a car again.

However, there’s a key catch with this strategy: It assumes that a car will sell once it has been discounted. If you don’t think that’s the case, it is better to wait for the car to be discounted before making an offer. 

As you can see, this can be more art than science, as you have to make a judgment call about if a car will sell upon an additional discount. However, getting this information right can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

Daniel Hughes
Daniel Hughes
ADMINISTRATOR
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