Seasonal trends support car shopping this holiday

November 30, 2011 12:00 AM

With economic uncertainty still hanging like a cloud over the country, many are not considering expensive purchases in addition to gift-buying this holiday season. However, those that do have some extra cash on hand might do well to consider buying a used car, as CarGurus predicts that now is one of the best times to buy a used car this year.

Using seasonal trends from years past, the site found that used car prices tend to dip between Thanksgiving and New Year's, primarily due to a decrease in demand. This year, the website is predicting average savings of $800 for cars that are priced in the $20,000 range.

"In these challenging economic times, adding 'car' to the holiday shopping list might seem crazy, but now is actually the optimal time of year to find a great deal on a used model," said Langley Steinert, founder and CEO of CarGurus. "Demand is low during the holiday season, and that translates to lower prices on used vehicles and higher leverage with dealers eager to lock in sales."

Still, this may not be an economic reality for everyone this holiday season. For those that would rather hold onto their current car, it's a good idea to invest in some auto maintenance before the cold weather sets in. A set of new tires and a radiator flush & fill can do wonders for a car's performance in the winter months. 

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