Black Friday is well-known as one of the best times of the year to buy a car. Many people will be looking to get huge savings on the new Altima since major deals that hit the shelves as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over cover everything from diamond necklaces to flatscreen TVs and even new cars. Most car dealerships offer discounts on many of their models when Black Friday arrives. You can potentially walk out of your local dealership on Black Friday with a brand new car in exchange for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than that model’s regular asking price.
That being said, shopping for a car on Black Friday isn’t always a walk in the park. Contending with major crowds and rushed car salesmen can definitely sour your experience. If you’re considering making your next car purchase on Black Friday, use these tips as a guide to make your shopping experience as painless as possible and ensure that you walk out of the dealership with your dream car in tow.
1. Make a Decision First
The most important rule for shopping for a car on Black Friday is to arrive at your local dealership with a specific model in mind. The day after Thanksgiving is not the time to aimlessly wander through the aisles of the dealership lot, browsing through different models and trying to decide which one you want.
In fact, you’ll discover that the crowds of eager car shoppers you encounter at your local dealership make aimless wandering virtually impossible. Entering the dealership ready to tell the first salesman you see exactly which car you’re there to buy will help you get in and out with your new car as quickly as possible.
2. Come with a Price in Mind
Do your research before you show up to your local car dealership on Black Friday. You should arrive armed with information about estimates for the trade-in value of your current car as well as the dealer invoice cost and average local price of the model you plan to buy.
This knowledge prevents you from being hit with surprise charges and pressured into paying more than you expected to spend. Knowing an estimate of how much you should expect to pay for a non-discounted version of your desired model can also help you weigh whether or not you’re really getting a worthwhile deal.
3. Go With Last Year’s Model
Although some recently released models are discounted as well, most of the major deals car dealerships offer on Black Friday are applied to models that were released the previous year.
After models for the year to come are released in September and October, car dealerships are desperate to get last year’s models off their lots to make room for the shiny new ones that were just released. This eagerness translates to slashed prices on brand new, barely outdated models on Black Friday.
4. Don’t Come With Questions
The crowds that swarm car dealerships on Black Friday mean that car salesmen are swamped. Only so many salesmen can be on the floor at one time, and each one of them has way more customers to deal with than they do on any other day of the year. Major crowds mean these salesmen are eager to close deals as quickly as possible to get more cars and customers off their lot in less time.
Do not arrive at your local dealership on Black Friday with a mile-long list of questions to ask whoever helps you out. Chances are good that the answers you get from rushed and over-worked salesmen will be far from thorough. Google any questions you have about the car model you want before you leave for the dealership. If you have dealership-specific questions that only a car salesman can answer, visit your local dealership before Black Friday and ask your questions then so you’ll already know everything you need to know when you come back to make your purchase.
5. Be Ready to Wait
Don’t expect to glide into your local dealership at 11 AM on Black Friday and walk out with a brand new car by noon. If you choose to shop on the number-one busiest shopping day of the year, you have to be prepared to wait your turn among the crowds of shoppers drawn out of their post-Thanksgiving food coma by the same deals you want to score.
Fortunately, car dealerships are not the most crowded places on Black Friday. Department stores and general merchandise stores like Walmart and Target are where crowds really get crazy. However, almost all car dealerships do expect a significant increase in traffic on Black Friday. Some dealerships even report that their regular amount of daily traffic doubles on the day after Thanksgiving. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the amount of time you’ll have to spend twiddling your thumbs in the dealership waiting room. Arriving early and doing your research before you arrive are two of the main ways to save time at a car dealership on Black Friday. Even with your best preparations, you should still be prepared to wait a while.