When is the best time to buy a boat?

The best time of year to buy a boat is typically in the fall. The weather is getting cooler, and the boating season is mostly over. Boats are coming out of the water and going into dry storage for the winter, and most people have finished shopping for boats until the spring. With fewer buyers in the market, it can be easier to negotiate with boat dealerships and sellers who want to sell their boats before the winter.

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Why is fall the best time of year to buy a boat?

There are typically fewer buyers late in the boating season, which makes fall a great time to purchase a used boat or new boat because there is less demand. Whether you're buying a bass boat, a pontoon boat, powerboat, or sailboat, there are a few reasons that sellers may offer you a discounted price during the autumn months:

Boating season is over

When there's virtually no more time to use a boat for the season, buyers may have to wait six months before enjoying their new purchase. Since demand for boats is down once the weather turns cool, sellers are often motivated to offload their inventory before winter.

Cost of storage and boat insurance

Sellers are likely aware that anyone buying a boat in the fall will have to pay for storage costs during the boating off-season as well as boat insurance to safeguard against damage while the watercraft is stored. Learn how boat insurance works.

Deferred maintenance

Boaters may try to hold off on maintenance for their boats until fall and winter, so they won't lose time on the water during the season. But that also means they're putting off the cost of service. If a seller doesn't sell their boat in the fall, they'll have to cover those maintenance costs before their boat goes back in the water in spring.

Do boat prices go down in the winter?

While fall may be the best time to buy a new or used boat, the winter months signify the boating offseason, which means the boating market slows down and there is a decrease in boat prices. Private sellers may not want to pay to store their watercraft in the winter, and boat shows are offering incentives to buy.

What is the worst month to buy a boat?

The worst time to buy a boat would be the spring and summer months. Buyers typically want to be boating as soon as the weather warms, and sellers can capitalize on the demand in the boating market.

With so many buyers looking for boats and sellers wanting the best price, it isn't easy to negotiate a price on a new boat in the peak spring and summer months. That's why waiting until fall can help you find the best deal. Learn some tips to guide you when you're buying a boat for the first time.

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