Our Annual Reminder That There Is No Such Thing As A 'Black Friday' Car Deal

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Because many Americans have not altered their travel plans for Thanksgiving, creating what could be ideal conditions to further entrench the pandemic, I feel I should remind you to avoid dealerships at all costs this weekend. Seriously, you aren’t missing out on anything.

Despite whatever advertisements you have seen, don’t buy into the myth of the Black Friday car sale. Though this time of year does coincide with the very jolly Happy Honda Days, you will not get two Accords for the price of one if you visit the dealership the day after Thanksgiving. In all seriousness, there is nothing about this particular weekend that guarantees any better deal than you would have struck at any other time in November. It’s also likely that whatever “specials” are being run will carry over through December.


Automakers typically run rebates and programs on a month-by-month basis. They don’t offer factory discounts on cars for one weekend only. I know what you are thinking: “Isn’t it better to buy a car at the end of the month?” While dealers may be more inclined to offer competitive pricing when they are close to their sales quotas at the end of the month, it’s no guarantee that all dealers have that wiggle room. Some dealers may have already hit their quota early on, while other stores may never get over that line. Furthermore, shopping during fourth quarter tends to be a good time to buy, so there is no rush to grab a deal this weekend.


Also, you are probably too late for any model year leftover sales. Because of vehicle shortages, a lot of those 2020 models got cleared out earlier than expected, which means we are looking at mostly 2021 units arriving on the lot. Dealers and automakers usually aren’t as motivated to do deep discounts on fresh inventory. However, as that 2021 inventory builds up towards New Year’s, there is likely an opportunity for better deals.

Of course, we need to discuss the elephant in the room, which should be obvious. But apparently some folks need it spelled out: You do not want to actually enter a dealership, which is an enclosed space with multiple contact points that is likely to be filled with a bunch of other shoppers thinking that this is the only chance to score a deal. Even if there were some screaming deal to be had, your health is not worth the risk.


If you are shopping this holiday season, do your research ahead of time and find out which dealers are conducting business online, possibly even offering contactless delivery. Unfortunately, there are dealers who are pretty careless about the safety of their customers and staff.