urchasing a vehicle is a significant financial milestone. It symbolizes adulthood, independence, and freedom. But, with the decade-high inflation, global semiconductor shortage, and potential recession around the corner, you might wonder if this is the right time to purchase the vehicle. This article will provide guidance and aims to answer this question.

Is Now the Best Time to Purchase a Vehicle in 2022?

The pandemic had a massive impact on the auto industry, disrupting both the demand and supply of vehicles. In addition, the world is experiencing a global semiconductor shortage due to the pandemic supply disruption, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the trade war between China and the United States, and other international events. Consequently, the production of cars has been halted, resulting in a shortage of vehicles on the market.

Therefore, if you are considering purchasing a new vehicle in 2022, you should know that market conditions are not favorable. Due to increasing demand but limited supply, the price of automobiles has risen sharply. Likewise, as new vehicle inventory dries up, buyers have started to gobble up the available used cars, significantly driving up the price of both new and used vehicles.

Car Shopper
Source: Story set

The automotive market favors sellers as fewer cars are in the market than buyers. As a result, there is less room for bargaining and higher sticker prices on vehicles. But, there is a silver lining in the cloudy market. This is the best time to buy the car with a vehicle trade-in. Since the market is so hungry for vehicles, you will get a good price for a used car, which means you need to invest less capital to purchase a new one. You can also place a custom order, but this may need more time and patience.

Thus, if possible, it is advisable to postpone the vehicle purchase for a while. But the decision to buy a car boils down to your necessity and affordability. There's no point in delaying if you're in dire need of an automobile and have the means to get one. But, make sure to consider several factors before buying one.

If you are a first-time car buyer, you might be confused about how to start and what factors to consider. No worries, check out this complete guide to buying a car.

When Is a Great Time to Buy a Car?

When making a large purchase like a vehicle, timing is everything. There are many things to consider while shopping for a car, including the model, price range, cost, and brand, but the right timing is the key. This can help you save significant money and land good deals. Here are some best times to buy a car:

  • Best Day: Usually, Mondays are the best day to buy a car because potential car buyers are at work, and stores won't be busy. This gives you bargaining power since few customers are around.
  • Best Month: December is the best month to buy a car. This is because the car dealerships have sales quotas, and since it is the end of the year, they try to fulfill the quotas even if it means selling the car at lower prices.
  • End of Model Year: Vehicles also have a life expectancy; over time, the manufacturers stop producing certain models to make space for new ones. Since new models are on the market, the dealers try to clear their old inventory at a discounted and lower price. This can help you land a good deal for the vehicle. The new model year production in the USA typically begins in August to September.
  • Holidays: If you're in the market for a new car, Black Friday is often your best bet, thanks to the plethora of good deals that flood the market on that day. Most dealerships offer steep discounts and other incentives, making it the best time to land a good deal. Apart from this, other holidays such as Presidents day, Christmas eve, and New Year are the best times to buy a car.
  • Best Time to Buy A Used Car: December to February is the best time to buy a used car. Since new versions are making their debut, the car seller might want to buy the latest car, and there will be a high number of used cars in the inventory, giving you bargaining power. According to iseecars.com, January had the highest percentage of used car deals.

Best Cars in 2022

Every year, automobile brands debut their new and redesigned models in the market. There were fewer cars this year due to supply disruptions, which meant the company filtered out the best ones to debut on the market. Here are some of the best cars in 2022:

Best Fuel-Efficient Cars

Gas prices have significantly increased. So, if you are looking for the fuel efficient car to buy, then here are some of our best picks:

Hyundai Ioniq - 59 mpg
Hyundai Ioniq
Source: Cars.com
Toyota Prius - 56 mpg
Toyota Prius
Source: Toyota
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid - 54 mpg
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
Source: Cars.com
Honda Insight - 52 mpg
Honda Insight
Source: Cars.com
Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid - 46 mpg
Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid
Source: cars.com

Best Manual Transmission Cars

In a time of technological advancement, people opt for automated transmission instead of manual transmission cars. But real driving comes with a manual transmission car. So, if you are looking for a top manual transmission car, here are some of our best picks:

Honda Civic
Honda Civic
Source: Truecar.com
Mazda 3
Mazda 3
Source: Caprice
Hyundai Veloster
Hyundai Veloster
Source: Kbb.com
Toyota 86
Toyota 86
Source: Kbb.com
Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Camaro
Source: Kbb.com

Cheapest Cars

Car prices have been rising significantly due to supply disruptions caused by the pandemic and global semiconductor shortage. However, here are some of the cheapest cars available in the market:

Mitsubishi Mirage – $14,645
Mitsubishi Mirage
Source: Kbb.com
Nissan Versa – $15,080
Nissan Versa
Source: Kbb.com
Kia Rio LX – $17,545
Kia Rio
Source: Kbb.com
Hyundai Accent – $16,645
Hyundai Accent
Source: Kbb.com
Kia Forte – $20,585
Kia Forte
Source: Kbb.com

Best Performance Cars

Vehicle purchases are one of the most significant financial investments in your life. So, you want to ensure the car offers excellent value, speed, power, and comfort. Here are our top picks of the best performance cars that are worth the investment:

Volkswagen Golf R
Volkswagen Golf R
Source: Kbb.com
Volvo V60 Recharge
Volvo V60 Recharge
Source: Kbb.com
Subaru WRX
Subaru WRX
Source: Kbb.com
Audi S6
Audi S6
Source: Kbb.com
Acura TLX
Acura TLX
Source: Kbb.com

Used Car Buying Tips

Since the new car inventory has significantly dried up, you should consider buying a used car. But here are some tips you need to consider before buying a used car :

Have a Goal and Budget

Before initiating the car buying journey, it's essential to have a predetermined goal and budget so that it can serve you as a roadmap. You should first consider your car needs and the kinds of cars that interest you. Sedans and hatchbacks are ideal for long road trips, but cars like Toyotas, Hondas, and Audis are more practical for everyday commuting. Setting the goal will help you determine the budget for the vehicle.

A defined budget can assist you in knowing how much you can spend and what to search for. You should assess your financial situation to draw the budget. The experts believe you should not spend more than 15 % of your monthly income on car-related expenses.

Use the auto loan calculator to estimate how much it would cost and how much you can afford.

Get Preapproved

Before you set out to purchase a car, it's crucial to get a preapproved auto loan. This serves as a critical element in the negotiation process. Shop for an auto loan from banks or credit companies and get preapproved for the loan. Then, only set out to purchase a car. Preapproval shows that you are a serious buyer and will set a definite budget so you won't overspend on a vehicle.

Also read: How To Get Preapproved For A Car Loan >>

Car Loan Preapproval
Source: Story set

Shop for a Used Car

Now that you are preapproved for the car loan, it's time to search for a used car under the budget and according to your preferences and requirements. You can either opt for the car dealers or shop online. Shopping online for a used car will give you a wide range of options. You can visit trusted used car inventories such as Carvana, TrueCar, or CarMax to search for a used car.

Question to Ask the Seller

After you have found the car that fits your budget and preferences, you should contact the seller to get more information about it. The seller knows the car better than anyone else. So, it's crucial to gather all the information about the vehicle from the seller. Here are some questions you can ask your seller:

  • What did you use the car for?
  • Why are you selling it?
  • Does everything work/have any problems?
  • What is your asking price?
  • What's the car's current mileage?
  • How old is the car?
  • Is the vehicle history report available and what is its VIN?

Do Your Homework

Before purchasing a used car, it's important for you to know its market value and how much they are worth now. Several websites can help you estimate the car's value, including Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Consumer Reports, etc. It's best to use at least two value estimators to get a general idea of the estimated market value. After you have the assessed value/trade-in value, take an average and a range of how much you want to pay for the car.

Vehicle Research
Source: Story set

Check VIN and Vehicle History

Another essential thing to check is the VIN-generated vehicle history report of the car. Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is like the fingerprints of your car and can be used to dig into its history to see if it has any reports of thefts, damage, or accidents. If you don't know the car's VIN, you can look at the driver's side where the windshield meets the hood or ask the seller. After you have got the VIN, generate a Carfax vehicle report. Ensure there have been no thefts and accidents and the vehicle history comes clean.

Inspect the Car

Used cars are more likely to wear and tear, so it's crucial to inspect them thoroughly. You can hire independent mechanics to inspect the vehicle thoroughly. This will cost some bucks, but it is worth the investment. But it is also okay if you want to check the vehicle on your own. Ensure to keep the following things in mind during the inspection:

  • Inspect the car in the sunlight
  • Check the tires and make sure it is in good condition.
  • Check transmission fluid if it is red and smell if it's burnt.
  • Check the brake fluid and make sure it is full in the reservoir. If the fluid is low, the brake has been worn out.
  • Check the seats to see if it's comfortable or not. Look for any damage, rips, or stains and see if it is adjustable or not.
  • Check under the carpet to see if there are stains, cuts, dampness, or any holes.
  • Check the trunk to see if it's damp, rusty, or indented.
  • Check the mirrors, navigation, lights, sunroof, parking sensor, and wipers to see if they are functioning well or not.
  • Check the lights to see if they work well or not.

Test Drive

When buying a used car, a test drive is mandatory. Make sure the sales lot you are buying from offers test drives. If not, it's time to walk away. Also, always test the car in the sunlight and go for a regular drive in the city and highway. Don't be emotional, and don't be afraid to walk away if you think the car is not the fit.

Vehicle Test Drive
Source: Story set

Here's what to look for when on the test drive:

  • Acceleration test: The car should be smooth, with no knocks or hesitation
  • Turning test: It should have no squeaking or clicking noises
  • Brake test: It should be smooth, with no pulls, no noises, and no vibrations
  • Bumpy road test: Listen for any bangs that could be the shocks, and steerings should be comfortable, not loose


After the test drive and inspection, it's essential to draw the cost that needs to repair the car. So, add the cost to the sale price to determine the total price. Consider the actual value of the car you derived from your research. Now, set a range you want to pay for the vehicle. Don't be too low in your offer since it's disrespectful to the seller. Set your maximum limit and start from the minimum. You don't want to go beyond the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the car. Be patient and talk with the seller to come up with a negotiation. Walk away if you're unable to strike a deal.

Certificate of Title

After reaching the agreement with the seller, you will be handed the certificate of title, and you need to hand over the money to the seller. But before that, you need to check a few things. Firstly, check if the VIN matches the car and see if the car's specifications meet the vehicle shown. Also, make sure that the person is the actual listed owner of the vehicle and crosscheck the driver's license. You don't want to be scammed, right? Likewise, check if the bank owns the car or not.

Important Websites for Car Buying


Carmax Logo

Carmax is the nation's largest used car retailer and provides a wide range of second-hand cars. You search the cars based on the types, brands, prices, lifestyles, locations, and popular picks. It also offers a 24-hour test drive, 30-day returns, and significant system coverage on every used car.

Here are some of the features of Carmax

  • Nationwide inventory
  • Home delivery
  • Free Autocheck vehicle history report
  • Refund up to 30 days
  • 24-hour test drive
  • No haggling or pressure
  • The customized support and expert service

Kelly Blue Book (KBB)

Kelly Blue Book Logo

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) is the most trusted vehicle valuation and automotive research company offering trade-in solutions, vehicle valuation tools, and digital marketing and advertising opportunities. It also provides a comparison of the vehicles to help you with automotive buying decisions.

Here are some of the features of Kelly Blue Book:

  • Expert reviews
  • Vehicle valuation
  • Service and repair guide
  • New and Used car fair purchase price
  • A free dealer price quote
  • Vehicle history report


Carfax logo

Carfax is a website-based service offering vehicle history reports. With the VIN of the vehicle, you can easily generate and learn about the vehicle history report to avoid costly hidden problems. It provides an extensive check for any reports of damage or accidents, mileage manipulations, thefts, import information, change of ownership, etc.

Here are some of the features of Carfax:

  • Largest international database for vehicle histories
  • 100% data protection compliant
  • Transparent, independent, and neutral


Cars.com logo

Cars.com is one of the nation's top digital auto marketplace and solutions providers. It provides a digital marketplace and empowers vehicle shoppers with the data, resources, and digital tools required to make informed buying decisions and seamlessly connect with automotive retailers.

Here are some of the features of cars.com:

  • Extensive new and old cars inventory
  • Listings by city
  • Car payment calculator
  • Side-by-side comparison
  • Certified pre-owned cars


TrueCar Logo

TrueCar is an online marketplace and information website for new and used car buyers. It provides consumers with the research and shopping tools needed to purchase or lease a vehicle that fits their life confidently. It also allows users to see what others paid for any new or used vehicle in their local area and receive upfront prices from a network of over 15,000 TrueCar Certified Dealers.

Here are some of the features of Truecar:

  • Extensive new, old and preowned vehicle inventory
  • Extensive automobile database
  • Expert guidance and reviews
  • Side-by-side comparison
  • Military support


Buying a car can be challenging in 2022 due to the record high inflation, supply shortage, increasing rates, and possible recession in the corner. The experts believe that, given the market conditions, it's not the best time to purchase a vehicle. The market seems like a patience game since experts believe the situation won't get better soon. So, if you need to purchase a car and can afford it, you should buy it. But, there are various factors to consider before making a purchase. You can find a rainbow in this cloudy automobile market with the right tips and tricks.


Oct 14, 2022
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