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These are the best and worst times to buy a used car

A new study has found when is the best time to buy a used car.

Photo courtesy of Jules Frazier Photography

A new iSeeCars study has analyzed over 32 million used car sales to see what the worst times of the year are to buy a used car. The company focused on whether consumers would be able to find more or fewer deals than average. A deal being defined as savings of five percent or more, which amounts to over $1,100 off the price of the average used car at $22,008.

"The months and holidays toward the end of the year are often touted as a great time to find a used car deal, but it's the beginning of the year that provides the most deals," said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. "Conversely, the summer and early fall months are the least likely to bring used car deals for consumers."

Before you make it a December to remember, check out the best and worst times to buy a used car.

10 Worst times to buy a used car

10.) October - 5.5% fewer deals than average
9.) Mother's Day - 10.9% fewer deals than average
8.) May - 14.7 % fewer deals than average
7.) August - 14.7% fewer deals than average
6.) Memorial Day - 14.7% fewer deals than average
5.) September - 15.0% fewer deals than average
4.) Father's Day - 15.5% fewer deals than average
3.) July - 16.2% fewer deals than average
2.). June - 16.9% fewer deals than average
1.) July 4th - 18.6% fewer deals than average

10 Best times to buy a used car

10.) Thanksgiving/Black Friday - 2.7% more deals than average
9.) November - 6.2% more deals than average
8.) Veterans Day - 11.9% more deals than average
7.) March - 12.6% more deals than average
6.) December - 13.0% more deals than average
5.) Christmas Eve - 18.1% more deals than average
4.) New Year's Eve/New Year's Day - 20.5% more deals than average
3.) February - 22.1% more deals than average
2.) January - 28.7% more deals than average
1.) Martin Luther King Day - 39.2% more deals than average

Best and worst months to buy a used car

12.) June - -16.9% more deals than average
11.) July - -16.2% more deals than average
10.) September - -15.0% more deals than average
9.) August - -14.7% more deals than average
8.) May - -14.7% more deals than average
7.) October - -5.5% more deals than average
6.) April - -0.9% more deals than average
5.) November - 6.2% more deals than average
4.) March - 12.6% more deals than average
3.) December - 13.0% more deals than average
2.) February - 22.1% more deals than average
1.) January - 28.7% more deals than average

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2021 Honda Ridgeline
Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The used car market is a tough place to be right now, as new vehicle shortages have driven big demand and big price increases across the board. Finding deals is harder than ever, and many models are being sold for nearly what it'd cost to buy them new. Certified pre-owned (CPO) cars can be a good alternative to new cars, and may be worth paying the price if you're desperate. Honda is looking to sweeten the deal by extending its CPO programto older vehicles. Called HondaTrue Used and Acura Precision Used, the program should attract younger buyers and people with stricter budgets.

Honda CPONo. 18 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co. Inc.

It's important to note that Honda isn't slapping a 100,000-mile warranty onto a ten-year old car. The updated program includes coverage for 100 days or 5,000 miles on cars up to ten years old. That's a drop in the bucket compared to Honda's and Acura's traditional CPO vehicles, which get a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That said, the older cars still get a 112-point inspection. Parts are replaced or repaired as necessary before the sale.

Honda CPO2015 Honda Civic Sedan & Coupe Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The move looks like a great one for buyers, who will get the opportunity to shop for older cars that still offer some degree of warranty coverage. Older models are less expensive but can be less reliable, so the addition of a manufacturer's backing makes buyers more comfortable and opens up more options to ease inventory shortages.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTSMy SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTSThe pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTSI'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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