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The best month to buy a house, a car and an engagement ring

Abigail Fenton
·5-min read
The most popular family car, the Volkswagen Golf, costs £335 more to insure than its cheapest alternative. (Adrian Brown/Sipa USA)
March and September are equally good for bargain deals on brand new cars. Photo: Adrian Brown/Sipa USA

From homes, to cars, to gym memberships, picking the right month to make a purchase can save you a bundle on high-value products.

Working with experts, watch and sunglasses specialist Tic Watches has found the best time of year to bag a bargain on various high-value items.

September is the cheapest month for house-hunters, with savings subject to negotiation but potentially significant, an expert said.

“The best time to buy is August or September. The majority of buyers start searching at the beginning of the year, waiting until the end of summer, when there are fewer looking, you’ll have less competition,” explained Ross Counsell, director at property firm Good Move.

“You’re also more likely to get a better deal, as with fewer offers on the table, sellers may well be more likely to accept a lower price.”

Meanwhile, February is a great month for a wedding, being right in the middle of “wedding-low season” — November to April — with the “undesirable” date driving down the price of venues and other wedding essentials.

Late summer and early fall are the most popular times to get married, meaning competition drives up prices. Winter and spring weddings are much more affordable alternatives, with huge discounts available, the research found.

READ MORE: Average UK disposable income drops by 18%

A Saturday winter wedding can cost less than half of a Saturday summer wedding, according to the study.

While February is the best time for a bargain wedding, July is the best time to buy an engagement ring, the study found.

With all the focus on marriage during wedding season, discounts on engagement rings are all around. In addition, the date is nowhere near any big holidays — meaning jewellers need to lure in clients, which is why many end up slashing their prices by as much as half.

March and September are equally good for bargain deals on brand new cars, as dealers need to meet their “bi-annual targets,” and prices are often up to a quarter lower, the study found.

However, there are deals to take advantage of at the end of each quarter, “depending on individual targets and stock availability.”

For great deals on a second-hand model, wait until December, when dealers are more inclined to let you haggle the price down.

Tim Barnes-Clay at Euro Car Parts said: “Nobody thinks about buying a car at this time of year, as most people will feel the pinch over the festive season. With some forward-planning though, December can be a great time to get a good deal on a used car.

READ MORE: These print items you may have at home could make you thousands of pounds

“This is purely because dealers will be more inclined to get sales under their belts and therefore may be more willing to offer you a deal or negotiate.”

June is the cheapest month to sign up for a gym membership, with savings of up to 20%. January is also a more affordable month, with many gyms offering discounts in the new year — likely wanting to cash in on Brits’ “new year, new me” mindset before it wears off.

January is the best time to buy fashion items, particularly watches and sunglasses, on which you could save up to 70%. No one’s clamouring for a new pair sunnies in winter, and most people don’t buy expensive watches right after Christmas — especially as many receive them as gifts anyway. With demand low, so are prices.

Home appliances are best bought in September as manufacturers are likely to discount old models as they unveil new ones in October. Buyers could save as much as 44%, the research found.

If you’re in the market for a new phone, laptop or tablet, prices are often cut in half in November.

“A lot of people make the mistake of waiting for Black Friday — when the better deals are likely to be earlier on in November because retailers try to compete with Black Friday giant Amazon,” said Claire Roach at Money Saving Central.

READ MORE: Brits are spending £3.2bn on designer knock-offs every year

“Ebay, in particular, was 2019’s best place for tech deals, and the people who waited until further on in the month were left disappointed. Prices weren't any better and stock was limited on highly sought after items such as the Nintendo Switch.”

Shoppers who don’t want to shell out a small fortune on a new mattress should look for deals in April, when retailers are getting rid of old stock for up to 53% less as they release their new lineups.

Winter shoes are best bought well before winter — in May shoppers could see savings of up to 70%. Buying shoes out of season is the easiest way to save. May will see prices on boots, wellies and walking shoes slashed to a fraction of the initial price. Summer shoes such as sandals, trainers and pumps are cheapest in winter, the study found.

August is the best time to buy holiday clothes, as retailers push to get rid of summer stock as the season comes to a close. Swimwear, shorts and other summer clothes are often up to 75% cheaper at the end of this month, the research found.