Is Black Friday Actually a Good Time to Buy a Car?

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1950s in Philadelphia. At the time, the local police used the phrase to refer to the Friday between the Army-Navy game and Thanksgiving. There would always be a massive influx of travelers, shoppers, and tourists, requiring the police force to manage the intense crowds. Black Friday has since grown into practically its own holiday, inspiring shoppers to wait in long lines and venture out at midnight to find the best bargains, including deals on cars.

So although you might expect to find the lowest prices on kitchen mixers and fuzzy holiday socks, you might be wondering if Black Friday is an excellent time to buy a car. Dealerships know people will be out in droves, and many likely have the day off from work. Automakers know this too. It might not surprise you that car deals are as incredible as discounts you might find at your local Walmart on Black Friday.

Black Friday is like a national retailing holiday

What has become almost a holiday, Black Friday is the best way for retailers to purge their shelves and capitalize on Americans ready to spend. The same logic applies to larger purchases, including vehicles. Black Friday presents a great opportunity for dealerships to sell their used car inventory. In a survey by iSeeCars.com, 33.1% more incentives are available to shoppers looking for pre-owned cars on Black Friday. Dealerships have what’s considered the trifecta of reasons, with Black Friday falling at the end of the week, near the end of the month, and nearly closing out the quotas for the year. And when sales managers are eager to pencil car deals, car buyers can score huge savings.

Buying a car on Black Friday can be smart

RELATED: Why So Many Car Shoppers Lose the Negotiation Game at Car Dealerships

While you’re out picking up stocking stuffers, don’t be afraid to venture to your local dealership for a test drive. Smart Black Friday shopping applies to cars, too, and you could take advantage of all the deals available. Automakers sweeten the pot with attractive lease options, 0 percent interest rates, and big rebates. They also sometimes allocate additional advertising budgets locally. That means, when you see a sale or flashy promotion on new or used cars, savings are waiting to be had.

What to look for when finding a good deal

Some retailers advertise deals during Black Friday that don’t essentially save buyers much money. So when you shop for a vehicle, there are few things to look for to ensure you’re getting a great deal. New-car incentives are typically initiated at the manufacturer level and tend to represent authentic savings.

Dealers locally advertise price cuts on preowned models, and that’s where you’ll have a chance to negotiate. Do your homework online to identify fair prices in your market. And be mindful of your vehicle’s trade-in value before you go in to buy. Remember, dealers are eager to sell, so don’t be afraid to request a free oil change, full tank of gas, or car detailing. Now is the time to ask — and expect to get — those extras.

Some of the best car-buying deals this year

Black Friday ads are already rolling out, and you can find significant savings if you’re in the market. Honda is offering deals on the 2020 Accord, including zero down at signing and $290-per-month leases. Subaru is advertising 0 percent financing for 63 months on its popular 2020 Ascent models. Not to be outdone, Toyota is making its 2020 Camry attractive with up to $2,000 cashback or 0 percent financing for 60 months. Volkswagen is looking to sell more 2020 Jetta models with 0 percent financing for 72 months and a great lease option with no money down at signing. Even Mazda is pushing its popular 2020 Mazda3, with 0 percent interest for 60 months and $500 bonus cash on the Mazda3 hatchback.

This Black Friday, when you’re out buying TV sets and bathroom towels with huge savings, don’t rule out purchasing a new ride. Black Friday deals apply to cars too. And if you’ve been holding out all year, now is a good time to tap into those vehicle deals.