If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably heard time and time again that Labor Day and the end of December are the two best times of the year to purchase a car. There’s one day of the year that threatens to buck this trend – Black Friday. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you may want to take advantage of Black Friday car deals.
Rear-View Mirror: Past Deals
Black Friday is the deal day of all deal days, and vehicles aren’t immune from the seasonal price cuts. For years, car dealers and car manufacturers have been climbing on the Black Friday bandwagon.
This usually has equated to offers of holiday cash back, no-interest long-term financing and/or percentage-off discounts. In 2011, select models were sold for 15% to 20% off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, according to The Christian Science Monitor. Sure, this may seem like a small percentage compared with the 75%-off discounts splashed across the front pages of discount retailers’ home décor, furniture and apparel Black Friday ads, but on a purchase as substantial as a car, 20% off translates to thousands of dollars in savings.
Seasonal savings jingled their way onto car lots again last year, too. A number of early-December car deals were released on Black Friday 2013, according to MarketWatch. These included $3,125 off the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, a $1,000 cash rebate on new Toyota Camry models and a $4,500 cash rebate on the 2013 Ram 1500 Crew Cab. Additionally, the GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab saw price reductions of as much as $5,000, and Ford handed out prepaid MasterCards loaded with up to $1,500 to customers who purchased select models from the American automotive manufacturer.
This sort of spectacular deal led to an impressive period for car sales. The month of November – which included Thanksgiving and Black Friday – was extremely profitable for the automotive industry last year. Overall sales were 9% more than the same month of the previous year, according to CNBC. November 2013’s sales rate of 16.4 million vehicles was also a huge increase from October 2013 – more than 1.2 million more.
Down the Road: What’s Coming This Year?
It’s almost guaranteed that Black Friday car deals will be rolling out again this year. What should you do if you want to drive away with a discount on Black Friday? It’s a little too early for any deals to be released just yet, but you can prepare yourself now by knowing what to expect from sales events and what to do once they’re announced.
For starters, do some bargain hunting and price comparing, just as you would if you were shopping for toys or electronics. Brands that have historically offered savings include Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. Check to see what types of deals will be available this year – on new, used and even leased vehicles. Also ensure that the car lot near you will be participating in the nationwide sales event you may see advertised.
You should also be looking for other incentives beyond the manufacturer deals, as individual car dealerships have been known to boast promotions of their own. For example, in 2013, the Preston Autoplex Used Car and Truck Outlet in Maryland gave a free iPad Air to everyone who committed to a purchase from 6 to 9 a.m. on Black Friday. Sterling McCall Toyota in Houston gave away three used cars for just $1 each in 2013. Keep an eye out for similar giveaways at local car dealerships near you.
It’s also important to know that like most Black Friday events, Black Friday car deals aren’t reserved to just one day. Last year, the sales lasted throughout the entire weekend as well as into the following Monday. Expect similar discount pricing events this year and try to plan your purchases accordingly.
Car image via Shutterstock