The holidays are officially upon us. That means family, turkey, parties, and massive sales. That’s right, it’s that time of year again. Black Friday is here.
Sure you may have visions of gaming consoles, flat screen TVs, an mad rushes for the door-busters at WalMart, but we here at Instamotor wanted you to know that there are even bigger deals to be had on new-to you cars.
We want to ensure that you find the best deals so we’ve put together a primer to help you do just that this holiday season.
First know what you are getting into. According to a recent survey over at iSeeCars.com there are 33.1% more deals on used cars on Black Friday. Strangely enough, the survey showed that the second best day to buy a used car is Veteran’s Day. Who knew? Why are there so many good deals at this time of year? For one, it’s the end of the year when most dealerships are trying to get rid of old inventory and bring in new stuff. That means they are trying to move cars off the floor and that often leads to great deals.
Additionally, most car dealers follow a quota calendar. So they have to hit their numbers, daily, monthly, weekly, quarterly and annually. Black Friday falls on a trifecta of dealer quota days at the end of the month, at the end of the week, and near the end of the year. The weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving don’t see a lot of sales so dealers are anxious to make sales in order to hit those numbers. All of that adds up to the fact that dealers may be more willing to negotiate at this time of year. Want to know how to do it right? Check out our guide, here.
That being said, buying a car on Black Friday will, in all likelihood, take longer than usual. The reason for this is because of increased traffic at the dealership but also because banks are closed on Thanksgiving and sometimes, on the day after Thanksgiving. Financing can take a bit more time as a result so be prepared to wait.
If you’re thinking of hitting up the dealership for a Black Friday deal, the same rules apply as those you’d follow on any other day you’d shop for a car. The only hitch is that you should get your test drive and any mechanical inspections out of the way before Black Friday. If you wait to do all that stuff on Black Friday you could miss out on the deal. For more on all the things you need to do when you are getting ready to buy a used car check out our post, here.
You should always check dealerships inventory online before you head to the showroom. When you do finally head to the dealer, go early. Just like shopping for toys or other deals on Black Friday, your chances of getting the exact car you want are higher, the earlier you are there. Since you did your online research you should have the car you are interested in picked out before you get to the lot to cut down on the amount of time you’ll have to spend at the dealership.
Another great thing to do is ensure you have all your financials in order before you even set foot on a used car lot. That means that you should get pre-approved and be ready to go. Be aware that the dealership may be running a great financing deal, too, so you may decide to go with their financing instead. Know what your credit score is and have all your paperwork in order before you arrive at the dealership. Things like pay stubs or tax returns, your license and auto insurance, are always good to bring along, just in case.
When you get there, (or when you are looking at inventory online) look for 2016 models. These are generally the most discounted, according to Consumer Reports. For a list of great deals for 2016 check out the story above, as Consumer Reports is updating it regularly with manufacturer deals.
Black Friday is not the day to go window shopping. So whatever you do, don’t plan to just go and look at cars and test drive them. In some places they won’t even offer test drives on Black Friday because of how busy the dealership is.
Second, don’t wait until Black Friday to get your trade-in appraisal. Do it well before you plan to take the car in. Your local dealership should be able to give you a good idea of a trade in price, and you can come to the dealership armed with that information when it comes time to negotiate.
Third, don’t expect to go well below the prices you see on Black Friday. You aren’t likely to go into a marathon negotiation session on Black Friday because of the sheer numbers of people who are heading out to tick off items on their holiday shopping list. Once you’ve chosen your vehicle online, cross check the cost with sites like Edmunds and KBB to ensure that you are getting the very best deal possible. If there is some wiggle room, be ready to negotiate.
Even though Black Friday is a great time to buy a car, don’t feel rushed to make a decision. Buying a car is the second most expensive thing you’ll do with your money (and time). Don’t get caught up in a good deal because you fear it could go away tomorrow and don’t stretch outside your budget. Many manufacturers will offer great deals in December, too, because the same rules apply as those that make sense for Black Friday. Dealers are still going to try and liquidate their inventory to make room for new models, and depending on sales, you could get a better deal by waiting.
For more on how to find the best deals on a used car, check back here at the Instamotor blog on the regular.
Not your typical used car salesman. Our team is here to provide honest and transparent advice about car buying and selling.