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Buying a Car Over Memorial Day Weekend? Consider a 2023 Model

Many automakers are still selling new 2023 model-year vehicles with heavy discounts

2023 Dodge Hornet driving
  • Memorial Day weekend tends to be a busy time for car shopping.
  • According to Edmunds data, inventories of 2023 model-year vehicles are still quite high for a number of automakers.
  • Because of this, many carmakers are offering steep discounts on last year's models.

Memorial Day weekend is a busy time for car shoppers. And while we totally get the desire to purchase the newest, latest, greatest vehicles, big discounts can be had if you're willing to buy one of last year's models.

According to Edmunds data, in May, 6.8% of the vehicles sitting on dealer lots nationwide are from the 2023 model year. Compare that to May 2023, when the share of 2022 model-year vehicles at dealers was 5.4%. In May 2022, the share was even lower, at 3.7%. These inflated levels are closer to pre-pandemic numbers.

In an effort to clear out older inventory, many automakers are offering big discounts on 2023 model-year vehicles. According to Edmunds, the average discount on a 2023 vehicle this month was $4,147, compared to $1,741 for a comparable 2024 model-year vehicle.

Many cars only receive teensy-tiny updates year over year — if they have any changes at all. Buying a 2023 Dodge Hornet, for example, is the same as buying a 2024 Dodge Hornet. Why not go for last year's model if it means saving thousands of extra bucks?

We mention Dodge specifically because it tops the list of automakers with the highest percentage of 2023 model-year vehicles on its dealers' lots. Because of this, Dodge is also offering the steepest discounts. According to Edmunds, 52.6% of vehicles at Dodge dealers are from the 2023 model year, and the average discount being offered is $6,753.

Of course, there are additional factors to consider. "[W]hile purchasing a prior model year vehicle can offer an opportunity to lock in a discount, it might not be an ideal investment for all shopper types," warns Ivan Drury, Edmunds' director of insights. "Consumers who prefer to swap their vehicles every few years may want to look elsewhere as these new outgoing models experience heavier immediate depreciation compared to new vehicles from the current model year."

Other brands offering big discounts on 2023 models this month are Chrysler ($6,252 average), Jeep ($6,160), Infiniti ($5,781), Volvo ($5,354) and Volkswagen ($5,221).

Edmunds says

Be sure to ask about 2023 model-year vehicles if you plan to go car shopping over Memorial Day weekend.