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Black Friday Car Shopping: 4 Reasons You Could Save Holiday Green This Year

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For a real Black Friday deal this year, you might want to skip the early-bird stampede for the $100 flat-screen TV and go new-car shopping instead. You’ll not only avoid the Black Friday crowds, you could replace your old buggy while saving enough to get that big screen — and one for a friend, too.

Related: Black Friday Car Shopping: Everything You Need to Know

The unofficial national holiday of post-Thanksgiving retail frenzy better known for big stores’ Black Friday “doorbuster” deals has increasingly become a big day for car stores, too. You might even find a dealer throwing in a free TV, or free maintenance, or extended warranty, or some other Black Friday sweetener to move the cars. And automakers, starting with Lexus 20 years ago, have joined in holiday sales campaigns.

Even better, the stars appear aligned in 2018 for better deals than in many years on a new vehicle upon which you can plant a big red bow. Here are four reasons you should seriously consider Black Friday car shopping this year:

1. Interest Rates Keep Rising

Interest rates on new-car loans have been steadily rising as the economy continues to improve. The average in the second quarter this year was about half a percentage point higher for people with prime credit than in the same period in 2017, at 4.45 percent, according to Experian. The increase was even more for folks with a spottier credit record. And loan rates on cars, mortgages and everything else are expected to keep going up in 2019.

2. Car Prices Keep Rising

Driven by price increases, as well as increased demand for popular crossovers and SUVs that carmakers charge more for, the average new-car transaction price through July was up nearly 3 percent from the same time in 2017 — and the rise shows no sign of abating.

3. Sellers and Makers Are Under Pressure to Deal

The best of the car sales boom of recent years is behind us and sales have softened in 2018. Automakers and car dealers looking to finish the year on a high and clear inventory that has grown have every reason to deal. Careful Black Friday shoppers are likely to find selective, but substantial, automaker incentives, as well as more motivation by car stores to accept your offer to help meet their month-end and year-end targets.

Related: What’s the Best New-Car Deal for November 2018?

4. You Can Take Advantage of 2018 Sales Trends

There will be good deals — but not on everything. Careful shoppers are likely to find the best Black Friday deals on new vehicles that are perfectly good, just not the trendiest ones on the lot. The overall slowdown in sales means you’re likely to find closeout 2018 models still on sale after Thanksgiving, sitting next to 2019s or with a 2019 model just around the corner. You’re also more likely to find a bigger and better selection of less popular cars rather than SUVs. If one meets your needs (and let’s be honest, they do for most folks), cars are priced lower to start with, are usually cheaper to drive and now are likely now to be the ones the dealer most wants you to drive away.

The best way to make your Black Friday shopping as stress-free and financially rewarding as possible is to do your research and as much of the actual dealing as you can online before you go to the dealer, and Cars.com is here to help with shopping tools and dealer listings to speed your search.

And in case you can’t resist planting a big bow on your shiny new car, you can find several choices still available on Amazon here.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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