This year's holiday season will look much different than prior years thanks to COVID-19. Fewer people will be traveling, family gatherings will be smaller, and with retail capacity limits, the mall won't be jam-packed with shoppers. The biggest shopping day of the year is also expected to look a little different, and that includes Black Friday deals on new cars. If you're looking to buy a new car this holiday season, you'll find many automakers advertising rebates, cash back offers, and lease deals. While year-end is still a great time to buy a car, as with everything else in 2020, make sure to approach with caution.
What Can Black Friday Car Shoppers Expect?
2020 brought about shortages we've never experienced before. Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and car inventory were all hard to come by due to reduced supply and increased demand. Although automakers are back up and running and dealerships are open, the shutdowns that occurred earlier this year resulted in low inventory levels of new and used vehicles. Black Friday car deals are usually a tool for dealers to clear old inventory to make room for the incoming year's models, but this year there is less inventory to clear.
Like every holiday season, automakers will offer new car deals, but shoppers should expect them to be more conservative. According to Cox Automotive, there are 650,000 fewer 2020 model-year vehicles than what was expected prior to the pandemic. That has led to a roughly $800 decline in discounts per vehicle from March. According to Brian Finkelmeyer, Cox senior director of new car solutions, “Due to the inventory shortage in the industry, there’s just going to be less available units with the big incentives.” The number of discount programs is also down 15% from a year ago.
Discounts aside, those looking to buy a vehicle on Black Friday should expect a different dealership experience. Car shoppers may not find the exact vehicle they want in stock, and the number of sales staff at the dealership will likely be reduced. It's a good idea to call the dealership ahead of time and schedule your test drive.
It's Not All Bad News
Despite lower inventory and less drastic discounts, it's still a good time to purchase a new vehicle. 2020 models offer cashback deals of at least $500-$1,000 or cut-rate financing as low as 0.0% says Forbes. According to Consumer Reports, car shoppers will be able to score excellent deals this holiday season, even on new 2021 models. In addition to local and regional incentives that create urgency around the holidays, shoppers will find potential savings of up to 17% off MSRP.
Due to the reduced inventory, car shoppers who are more flexible about the vehicle they want will have an easier time finding deals. Sedan shoppers will likely find more inventory and better deals than those shopping for an SUV or truck. Passenger car sales have lagged behind larger vehicles leaving more options available.
Best Black Friday New Car Deals of 2020
GM's big discounts are centered around Chevy this year. In addition to Cyber Deals for up to $500 in cyber cash on the purchase or lease of most 2020/ 2021 Blazer, Equinox, Malibu, Traverse, Trax, and Trailblazer models, Chevy is offering $3,500 to $4,000 off all trim levels of the Blazer besides the base model.
FCA is offering employee discount pricing on most of its U.S. brands including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, and Fiat. For example, Jeep is offering up to $4,995 below MSRP on the 2020 Grand Cherokee Limited, and $5,075 below MSRP on the 2020 Jeep Gladiator Overland. Dodge is offering $7,970 retail consumer cash on 2020 Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye models.
Ford's annual 'Built for the Holidays' sale offers discounts on vehicles like the Fusion, Expedition, F-150, and the Ranger. Sedan shoppers will typically find better deals this season, which include the soon-to-be discontinued Ford Fusion. Depending on the region, Ford is offering between $2,500 to $3,000 cash off all trim levels of the Fusion.
For the holiday shopping season, Hyundai is offering a special financing deal of 0% for 72 months, and $1,000 off for shoppers who finance through Hyundai Financial. Additionally, Hyundai is offering $1,500 to $2,500 off its Elantra sedan. Discounts will vary depending on region and trim level.
Kia's lineup is better than ever, and for 2020 the automaker is looking to incentivize shoppers with up to $5,000 cash back on the Kia Sorento, $3,000 on the 2021 Kia Sedona, and $2,500 on the Kia Stinger. Most of the deals are good through November 30.
Nissan isn't advertising their current deals as "Black Friday" discounts, but shoppers can still snag a great price on vehicles including the Nissan Kicks with a cashback offer of $2,000, the Nissan Murano with up to $5,500 cash back, and the Titan with up to $5,000 cash back.
Lexus has kicked off its annual 'December to Remember' promotion with special offers on vehicles like the ES, RX, and IS. While most of these deals include lease offers, shoppers looking to buy can get between $1,000 and $7,000 in cash back on most of the lineup.
Like its luxury brand, Toyota has an annual campaign dedicated to holiday season discounts. This year's 'Toyotathon' features up to $3,000 customer cash on the Camry Hybrid, cashback of $1,750 on the 2020 Highlander and RAV4, and up to $5,000 cash back on the 2020 Avalon. Those looking to finance through the automaker will get zero-percent financing for up to 60 months.