Once reserved exclusively for early morning stampedes of crazed consumers descending upon retailers to gobble up cheap big-screen televisions and video-game consoles on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has quickly become one of the biggest new-vehicle shopping holidays of the year, according to Edmunds.com, accounting for 15 percent of November sales.
By all reports turkey-stuffed bargain hunters should be able to avail themselves of some unbeatable Black Friday deals this year. “Incentives reached near-record levels in October, so we expect automakers to continue to sweeten savings as the year winds down,” says Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds. “With slower sales of 2017 model year vehicles, automakers and dealers are more likely to leverage fully the Black Friday holiday as an opportunity to thin bloated inventories to make room for 2018 models.”
For example, Buick is offering 15% discounts off the sticker price on select versions of the 2017 Encore and 20% off the Envision, Chevrolet is promoting 20% discounts on certain 2017 Cruze, Malibu, Trax, Impala, Sonic, and Spark models, and Ford is offering zero percent financing and at least $1,000 cash back on many of its vehicles.
Otherwise, Black Friday shoppers can expect to find big cash-back rebates being slapped on the hoods of most existing 2017 inventory, along with a surprising number of factory fresh 2018 cars and trucks. We’re identifying the 20 best Black Friday rebate deals in the accompanying slide show that includes a wide range of passenger cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks as generous as up to $9,500 cash back on the Nissan Titan XD heavy-duty pickup truck.
Most of the deals we’re citing alternately offer cut-rate financing for as little as zero percent for up to 72 months, and many of them give shoppers an option of taking a smaller cash rebate along with discounted loan rates. For example, Chrysler is offering its full-size 300 sedan with a choice of either a $5,250 rebate or $3,500 cash back and 0.0% financing for 36 months. (As always, low financing rates quoted are typically granted only to buyers having top credit scores, and tend to favor the most expensive models; if your credit is anything less you’ll pay a higher rate, which usually makes taking the rebate a better choice.)
Since such offers can vary by region to meet local supply and demand issues, be sure to check automakers’ websites with your zip code entered to both find deals that may be specific to where you live, along with last-minute extra sweeteners automakers may enact as a last-minute measure. As always, additional incentives may apply to any of our best deals, such as those often offered to recent college graduates and members of the military or other groups.
What’s more, expect dealerships to get in the act with their own Black Friday promotions this coming weekend with further discounts to help lure consumers already in a spending mood to go car shopping. We expect dealers will be willing to slash their markups to help “move the metal” on any of these models, so be sure to negotiate the transaction price separately from any cash rebate that may apply and shop around for the best bottom-line deal.
And shoppers should likewise find deep discounts forthcoming on used cars as well this Black Friday weekend. According to the used-vehicle website iSeeCars.com it’s among the best holiday weekends of the year, with 37.5% more deals than usual (with a “deal” being defined as savings of at least five percent below the asking price). “Cars are one of the most expensive purchases families make, and savings of even five percent can mean $950 off the average used car price of $18,992,” says the site’s CEO Phong Ly.
Since most of the new-vehicle Black Friday deals we’re citing are available right now, perhaps the best plan of action might be to visit a dealership ahead of time and head for the big-box store at the crack of dawn on the day after Thanksgiving in a brand-new car or truck.
In Pictures: 20 Best Black Friday New-Car Deals.