Black Friday: Best day to buy a car

If you're looking for a new car, the day after Thanksgiving is the best day of the year to buy.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com senior writer

ford_f150.03.jpg
On Black Friday, shoppers should be able to negotiate an average of 26% off the price of a Ford F-150, including factory incentives.
6 most efficient cars and trucks
These vehicles top their classes in fuel economy while offering strong performance, too.

Find your next Car


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- When people think of Black Friday shopping, they usually think of things like flat screen TVs, toys and sweaters. Now you can add cars, trucks and SUVs.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the best day to buy a car, according to car pricing researchers at the Web site Truecar.com.

Analysts looked at day-by-day car pricing for the last several years. That data revealed that discounts on Black Friday are, on average, the biggest of the year.

"The discounts from dealerships, as well as manufacturers' incentives, generate the highest discounts of the year on Black Friday," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst for Truecar.com.

Unlike typical Black Friday sales where customers know exactly what they'll pay for an item, car prices are individually negotiated the day of the sale, so it's difficult for customers to know ahead of time they'll be getting a deal. But there's been a clear trend, Toprak said.

The average new car discount on Nov. 27 is projected to be 7.5%. The average discount the day before and after is expected to be just over 6%. On a typical day throughout the year, car shoppers usually pay about 4.7% less than the sticker price.

Truecar.com projected particularly large Black Friday discounts on certain models. For instance, consumers should be able to pay about 28% off sticker price for a 2009 Suzuki SX4 compact car, 26% off for a 2009 Nissan Titan or Ford F-150 pick-up or 20% off a 2009 Hyundai Sonata sedan.

Getting in on the Black Friday madness

Car dealers are trying to get a piece of the Black Friday shopping frenzy, Toprak theorized, and that may to lead to the bigger discounts found in the data.

"There's a lot of noise in the market that day, and we have to stand out," agreed Brian Benstock, general manager of New York City's Paragon Honda.

Paragon Honda will send bicycle riders dressed in gorilla costumes to a nearby Best Buy store, Benstock said. The gorillas will be draped in sandwich-board signs advertising car deals available just down the road.

Paragon Honda will also be relying on more traditional advertising methods to pull customers in, Benstock said, including TV and print ads touting a "$5-a-day" Honda Civic. (That's a $149 a month for a 30-month lease with $1,999 down.)

Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said her dealerships don't usually do big, splashy ads, except on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

"Those are the only two days when we buy full-page ads in the paper," she said.

Primm says her dealership does get more business on Black Friday although according to Truecar.com's Toprak, average dealership traffic doesn't tend to be particularly high that day, said Toprak.

"Dealerships always spend a lot of money on marketing for that day," said Toprak "but for some reason it's not a particularly big day for car shopping."

That may be part of the reason for extra-big discounts, Toprak theorized. Dealerships that aren't getting the business just keep trying harder.

Not everyone is playing, though. Bob Goldberg, general manager of Premium Nissan in New Rochelle, NY, denied that Black Friday is particularly special at his dealership. "Every day is important to us," he said. "I don't consider it different from any other day."

Crunch time for car dealers

Adding to the sales pressure, Black Friday this year happens to fall very close to the end of the month. Car deals typically sweeten as the month goes on because many dealerships are approaching quotas they must meet in order to get additional manufacturer incentives.

"I mean the push is on as we get close to the end of the month," Nissan dealer Goldberg conceded.

Besides monthly deadlines, dealers are also under pressure to clear out 2009 model year cars and trucks before the end of the calendar year. Those cars will be much harder to sell after Dec. 31, when they become "last year's" models. To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
8 of the world's craziest fast food items American food chains operating abroad must cater to local tastes to succeed. The results are spectacular. More
Inside the $50,000 Emmys swag bags If getting nominated or presenting an Emmy award isn't prize enough, celebrities come away from TV's big night with luxury goods and vacations worth $50,000. Take a peek at some of this year's luxe giveaways. More
10 most expensive cars sold at Pebble Beach These multi-million-dollar cars sold for top dollar at this year's Pebble Beach collector car auctions. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.