Buy a Convertible in the Fall or Spring?

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Published September 10, 2012

| Bankrate.com

Dear Driving for Dollars,

I want to buy a used convertible and will be ready soon, but if I buy the car in the fall, I won't be driving it much due to the weather. Should I wait until spring to buy it instead?
-Jason

Dear Jason,

There are pros and cons for either choice. If you opt to buy the convertible this fall, you will probably find a better deal because interest in convertibles wanes during the winter. Private sellers and dealers will have a harder time making a sale. Similarly, interest in convertibles rises in the spring and summer months, which generally means sellers will be less willing to give you a deal.

As you point out, if you buy now, the convertible will likely be sitting in your garage for several months with little use. This is a little easier to swallow if you are buying the car outright versus making a monthly payment on a car loan.

One way to reduce the costs would be to insure the convertible as a nondriver until spring. It would cover you from theft or other loss such as a fire -- but not from a collision. Also keep in mind the fall is when new models arrive. Depending on when you buy, your used convertible could essentially experience one year's worth of depreciation in a very short time.

If you are getting a car loan, this could put you upside down in the loan where you owe more than the car is worth. That could be devastating financially if the car is stolen or totaled in a crash.

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