Black Friday may bring to mind images of half-crazed shoppers stampeding into department stores and piling trolleys high with stacks of boxes, but the event encompasses all kinds of shopping – including for cars.
While most (hopefully all) dealerships and showrooms won’t experience hoards of customers barging their way through the doors and trying to be the first to sit in the driver’s seat of discounted vehicles – and then drive off in a pile of cars stacked three high – those dealers will be often be offering discounts.
Car dealers have incentives to give incentives
“Black Friday is certainly a great time to go car shopping,” Jennifer Newman, editor-in-chief of Cars.com, is quoted by USA Today as saying.
As well as potentially knocking thousands of dollars off prices at this time of year, dealers may also offer incentives such as zero percent finance or cashback offers.
“The outgoing models are increasingly undesirable to dealers,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher for Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. “They are going to do whatever it takes to move them” into the hands of buyers, he said.
Even without the Black Friday factor, dealers often push sales with incentives towards the end of a month in order to make quotas, and by November yearly quotas are also in their minds. So even if you’re out browsing stores generally during Black Friday but also need some new wheels sometime soon, you could drop into car dealerships to see what’s on offer today and for the rest of the month.
Will car shopping on Black Friday be a huge hassle?
With Edmunds research estimating that the number of shoppers in showrooms roughly doubles during Black Friday, you may need to wait a little longer to see and test drive the car you’re interested in, or to talk to staff about what you’re looking at.
It’s true that whereas on a quiet Wednesday morning in September a salesperson may talk to you at length about the advantages of certain vehicles, on Black Friday the stressed staff may be less attentive.
But let’s be honest, most of don’t just walk around a showroom to see what we like the look of and then trust the salesperson to tell us all the pros and cons. We’ve likely been doing our research online for a while before we hit the showrooms. Black Friday may just be the chance to go out and clinch the deal.
Taking on the Black Friday crowds can certainly be worth the hassle. CNBC reports that, for example, Hyundai is offering potential customers up to $3,500 off the suggested retail price of $16,950 on the 2018 Elantra SE, a reduction of almost 21 percent.
While manufacturers make their offers, individual dealerships may also add their own incentives, including freebies with purchases (this can range from physical items like iPads, to lifetime warranties).
“Each dealership is individually owned,” said Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds.com. “The manufacturer might be running a special and that’s great, but there might be other deals at the dealership level.”
Whatever you’re shopping for on Black Friday, good luck, and don’t catch too many elbows in the crowds.