Automotive experts say consumers may find some of the best new car deals of the year during Black Friday sales.
With auto sales in a slump, dealers are offering more incentives to move vehicles off the lot. And if you think seasonal car commercials showing new cars being given as gifts are unrealistic, late year sales statistics suggest they ring true. Last December's new car sales were the highest of 2016.
Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis at Edmunds, expects strong demand this year for SUVs, which may make sedans a more attractive buy.
"America's love affair with the crossover SUV has only strengthened in 2017, which has negatively affected the popularity of cars," Caldwell told ConsumerAffairs. "We'd expect to see more generous deals for the slow moving passenger car segment until automakers are able to bring production levels in line with the new reality of demand."
This year, consumers most likely will continue to seek out deals on trucks and small SUVs. Those segments have consistently led sales for much of 2017, aided by relatively low gasoline prices.
According to research from Kelley Blue Book (KBB), there are some especially good lease deals throughout the month of November. For example, consumers can lease the 2017 Acura ILX for $199 a month with $2,499 due at signing.
On a purchase, you can find a 2017 Hyundai Sonata for under $21,000 with $3,350 cash back. Kia's popular small SUV, the Sorento, goes for around $27,000 with zero percent financing to qualified buyers, plus $1,000 cash back.
Research shows that Black Friday ranks high among holidays as a time for new car shopping. While Presidents' Day sales have been common for decades, dealers have only recenlty started capitalizing on Black Friday as a time to draw in consumers with special deals.
This year's Black Friday deals may be especially attractive because automakers have had to roll out greater incentives, both in the form of cash back and in low rate financing.
"Incentives reached near-record levels in October, so we expect automakers to continue to sweeten savings as the year winds down," Caldwell said.
Black Friday shopping tips
To get the best deal during a Black Friday sale, consumers should do plenty of research ahead of time. Check to see which makes and models are offering incentives, and use that information to compare prices.
Try to take test drives before Black Friday. You'll likely encounter some sales pressure to buy on the spot, but promise to return on Black Friday. Remember that large crowds on Black Friday will create delays in getting behind the wheel if you wait until then to test drive.
Make sure you read the fine print. When considering the dealer's price, make sure it's the out-the-door price and includes all the fees and extras.