Black Friday has become one of the best times of year to shop for a car deal thanks to a “perfect storm” of conditions, and kicks off a whole holiday season of auto sales through the end of the year.
Many carmakers have deep discounts on outgoing-year models, dealerships may offer their own reductions, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend falls at the end of the month – a time when dealership staff are looking to meet sales goals – and a great marketing buzz surrounds it all.
It’s not all about new cars, either; research has shown there have been a third more used-car deals than average on Black Friday, making it one of the top times to buy preowned.
Here are six tips to help you get the most out of shopping for a vehicle on Black Friday and during the busy holiday period ahead.
Dealerships will be busy, which often means less attention from sales staff, so research vehicles first to have a clear idea of what you want. Decide whether it will be new or used, and which model or models you’re interested in.
Estimate what you can afford to pay for a car, taking into account a potential down payment and trade-in value. If you’re financing the purchase, auto loan calculators will help with this. Get an idea what you can budget for a monthly payment, too.
You may see and hear Black Friday car deals advertised on the TV and radio, but if you’re looking for a different model, visit the automaker’s website or call some dealerships to see if there’s an offer on it. As with any major purchase, it’s a good idea to read the fine print. Check the dealer inventory online, also, to help you plan where to shop.
Choose a day before the sales start, when it’s quieter, to test-drive the vehicle. If you know it’s right for you, you’ll be better prepared to make the purchase.
This is another way to save time, and potentially more money. If preapproved for a loan, you’ll be able to shop with the confidence of a cash buyer at the dealership, and focus on the deal rather than arranging auto financing as well. If the dealership offers you financing, you can compare it to your preapproval.
Get ahead of the crowds. Check when the dealership opens and turn up early in the day with all the necessary documents, like your loan voucher, driver’s license and proof of insurance, ready to make the purchase.