Black Friday has been one of the best days of the year to buy a car. According to an analysis by Edmunds, 15 percent of the total November car sales take place on the Black Friday weekend.
Big-box retailers are attracting most of Black Friday's attention. But just like them, car dealerships may be open longer, offer lucrative rewards and promote some substantial deals, all in the hope of taking your attention from other retail competitions. But Black Friday deals are coming from Black Friday crowds, which can turn a process that has never been particularly quick into a painstakingly slow affair.
To ensure you get the most out of your time and money, here's a Black Friday car-buying strategy:
Do Your Work Prior
The smarter move is to take test drives and seek trade-in assessments before Black Friday. If you're preparing to finance your purchase, this would also be a great time to get pre-approved by your bank or dealership, so you can avoid any potential interest rate surprises. The slow days leading up to Thanksgiving are a perfect opportunity to visit the dealerships to get the legwork finished.
If you do your homework early, you'll be free to close your deal on the big day.
Begin Price Shopping Early
Once you've settled on the right car, start shopping in the days leading up to Black Friday. Don't forget to look for deals and incentives This research will help you understand what your chosen car would normally cost and provide you with a baseline for comparing Black Friday deals.
Most makes and models are likely to see steep discounts, but not all of them. Hot or hard to find vehicles may have little, if any, fall in Black Friday rates. So looking for a standard Black Friday deal may not be worth the trouble.
While many car manufacturers will offer national or regional deals and specials, real savings are likely to come from individual dealerships. Browse the car dealer websites to see what they sell. Some dealers would release their Black Friday deals on the day before Thanksgiving, if not sooner.
If you're serious about getting the best deal possible, contact someone in the online sales department of the dealership early and ask to be informed of Black Friday offers.
Don't concentrate on car pricing exclusively. Alternatively, pay attention to the overall deal being offered. Some dealerships offer lifetime warranties for Black Friday sales. Others give out service packages and zero-percent interest loans on vehicles that would not normally qualify for such low rates. You could also get a TV or the new iPad if you purchase it on Black Friday.
Get Out Faster
Many shoppers want to spend as little time as possible in a dealership. Here are some tips to help you do just that :
- Get to the dealership as soon as you can. This strategy is going to help you beat the crowds, which can really speed up your contract. And since you've already agreed on the car and know the price, chances are good that you can get in and out of the dealership easily.
- Do sales paperwork on Thanksgiving Eve from your house. Find out how much of the sales process you can do online or by phone. Making the dealership complete some or all of the paperwork for you the night before the holiday will drastically reduce the wait time at the Black Friday dealership.
- Ask for the vehicle to be ready before you arrive. If you know the exact model, kit and color of the car you intend to buy, ask your salesperson to have it cleaned and ready to go when you arrive on Friday.
- Have the paperwork in order. You'll need a driver's license, a copy of your current car insurance card, a title or bill of payment for your purchase and a down payment for the price of your vehicle. If you've got the pre-approval paperwork for a mortgage, carry it, too. When you forget about any of these things, the deal will take longer.
- Ask about delivery shipment Many dealers can send a car and purchase or lease papers to the buyer's house, saving a ride to the dealership. Ask your dealership if you're willing to do that. If you want home delivery, you probably won't get the car until the Thanksgiving weekend, because the dealership probably won't have workers to spare until then.