When is the best time to buy a motorcycle? When the prices are at their lowest. As to when that is... well, it depends. Numerous factors go into determining the price of a motorcycle, with the season being one of them. By doing your research and timing your purchase correctly, you could end up with your dream motorcycle for just a fraction of its normal cost. Whether you're planning on buying online or at a dealership, here's everything you need to know about the optimal time for buying a motorcycle.
Buy Mid Week
If you want to land a great price on a motorcycle, do yourself a favor and don't set foot over a dealership's doorstep during the weekend. Dealers are smart: they're not going to offer big discounts during the busy weekend period. Monday to Thursday is when dealerships see the least footfall, and these are the days they're going to be happiest to offer a discount to push up mid-week sales. The problem is, these kinds of spur-of-the-moment sales are hard to predict. If the dealership has already had plenty of customers through its doors that week, it's not going to bother offering any discounts. Unless you've got the time to pay daily visits to the dealership on the off chance you land on a slow sales day, stay connected with them via social media instead. That way, you'll be among the first to know of any mid-week flash sales. It's also worth checking whether the dealership offers a newsletter - if they do, sign up. As well as letting you keep abreast of any sales, you might even get some handy discount codes.
Buy in February
As revzilla.com notes, dealers have monthly quotas to meet. In a lot of cases, sales commissions aren’t structured very well and will favor units sold over profit dollars. Typically, dealers are always going to be better positioned to meet those quotas in longer months - and yes, even one day makes a difference. If the month has 31 days, wait for a month with 30 days to make your purchase. The fewer days there are in the month, the less time dealers have to make up their quota, and the better chance you stand of getting a great deal. Even better, do as gomotoriders.com suggests and wait until February. On average, February is 8 percent shorter than the typical sales month. If the dealer needs to move a set number of motorcycles during a shorter month, they're going to be desperate for each and every sale. This puts you in a much stronger position to negotiate on price. If you can, wait it out till the tail end of February when the desperation is at its peak. It may sound slightly cruel, but if it gets the dealer a much-needed sale and you a great price, then everyone's a winner.
Save It For Winter
Summer is the time the call of the open road is at its loudest. It's no coincidence that the summer is also the busiest time of year for most dealers. Although you might sometimes get lucky, as a general rule of thumb, you can take it for granted that the busier the dealership is, the less inclined they're going to be to cut a deal. Ultimately, they don't need to: if they're already shifting plenty of units as it is, why would they bother cutting their prices?
As motorcycle.com says, the best time to strike is in the dead of winter. As most dealerships close out their fiscal year on December 31, any motorcycles they've still got hanging around after the Christmas splurge are likely to have a nice discount attached to them. Even if you live in warmer parts where summer is an all year long affair, you can still take advantage of sluggish winter sales in other parts of the country by buying online. Even if you have to pay for shipping (although shop around and you should be able to find a dealer willing to cut you a deal that includes free shipping), transportation shouldn't cost you much more than $500, regardless of where you're shipping to and from.
There are, however, a couple of problems with this strategy. If the dealer isn't desperate for sales, they're not going to bother cutting you a deal when they know they'll get much more for the motorcycle by waiting it out until spring. Then there's the fact that delayed gratification is an annoyance most of us could do without. If you've got your heart set on a particular model and it's only April, do you really want to wait it out for 8 months until you get to ride it? Finally, there's the risk you lose out on the motorcycle of your dreams by playing a waiting game. If a new motorcycle is getting a lot of press, you might need to pre-order and get your deposit down now to secure it.
If you're flexible about what motorcycle you buy and don't mind hanging on to your old model for a while longer, then it definitely pays to wait for winter. If you're fixated on a particular new release and don't want to risk losing out, then you might need to suck it up and pay now, regardless of the season.
Wait for the Holidays
Time your purchase around some of the year's big holidays, and you should be able to get a good discount. According to chopperexchange.com, some of the best holidays to buy include:
As Black Friday falls during the winter months (a traditionally slow period for dealerships), you're almost guaranteed to find a good deal. Even private sellers might be willing to cut you a deal to mark the event.
Labor Day Weekend is the time the entire automotive industry gets a little free and easy with its prices. If a dealership plans on offering some discounts over the holiday, they'll usually start advertising the fact several weeks in advance.
When everyone begins tightening their belts after the Christmas splurge, dealerships start getting a little desperate to clear their old stock in preparation for the new year. Play your cards right, and you could land a very attractive deal.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith