The worst time to buy? Tax refund season.
I buy an awful lot of $1,000 to $2,000 cars at dealer auctions during October and November that would otherwise be between $2,500 and $4,000 during any other time of the year. I then sell them for a considerable profit during mid-February and late June, when the used-car market is heavily impacted by a financial tsunami called "tax season." Tens of millions of people will receive a substantial tax refund from Uncle Sam and get it in their heads to buy a car. Prices for used cars in particular shoot up, turning a lot of $1,500 rolling turds into $2,500 financial catastrophes.
By the end of summer, that market heat dies down, prices resume normalcy, and the cycle starts anew.