One of the most stressful aspects of Black Friday is fending off crowds or waiting in long lines to get a killer deal. It's been that way for car buying, too.
But the truth is — with the exception of a few doorbuster sales — Black Friday in the car business is really more of a holiday sales kickoff rather than a one-day bonanza. And there are a few unique factors that make this November a better month for car shopping than December.
Several automakers are essentially skipping the Black Friday advertising in favor of holiday-themed sales. Lexus, for example, began its "December to Remember" event earlier this month.
"As automakers have begun an early rollout to their holiday sales events, buying in November instead of December will offer greater availability of deeply discounted outgoing model-year vehicles," said Jeremy Acevedo, senior manager for insights at Edmunds.
Edmunds analysts also predict that car sales will be heavily weighted toward the end of November because of the combination of outgoing model clearance, Black Friday, and end-of-the-month sales goals. This means that dealerships will be heavily motivated to discount their vehicles and take advantage of the holiday foot traffic.
Acevedo says that while inventories are down overall this year, there are still plenty of 2019s to choose from. And numerous incentives present a prime opportunity for savings.
Here's another advantage: lower interest rates. They were already down half a percentage point on average in October from the record high in 2018 and will continue to decrease since the Federal Reserve cut interest rates late last month. The move should translate to more offers of low APR from the auto manufacturers' finance arms.
These factors give you a couple of options to ease the stress this holiday season. You can get an early start on the November deals to take advantage of the selection. But if you draw out your shopping into December, you'll still have opportunities to get great deals.
Here then are a few vehicles that offer significant savings this month. We've organized them from the highest average discount to the lowest. Note that these savings are averages, which means that you can likely improve on the savings with some negotiating.
2019 FORD F-150
Average MSRP $52,287; average price paid $44,195 (15% savings)
What our editors say: "The F-150 is a strong performer for towing and hauling. It also steers and handles about as well as anything in the class. The top trim levels, such as the Platinum, are also quite luxurious."
2019 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA
Average MSRP $23,680; average price paid $20,431 (14% savings)
What our editors say: "The Jetta sedan has a comfortable ride and a roomy back seat. Note that the 2019 models are the last to get VW's six-year new-car warranty; the 2020s get a shorter four-year warranty."
2019 CHEVROLET CORVETTE
Average MSRP $74,653; average price paid $65,822 (12% savings)
What our editors say: "The new mid-engine 2020 Corvette is coming out. But the outgoing 2019 Corvette is still a high-performing sports car that looks great. There are some impressive savings to be had on this outgoing C7 model."
2019 HYUNDAI SONATA
Average MSRP $25,002; average price paid $22,402 (10% savings)
What our editors say: "Hyundai's Sonata won't really wow you with dramatic styling or crazy amounts of horsepower. But it is a very competent sedan that ranks high among the class leaders."
2019 TOYOTA HIGHLANDER
Average MSRP $42,363; average price paid $38,328 (9.5% savings)
What our editors say: "The Highlander is easy to maneuver around town and quiet and comfortable on the highway. Rival three-row SUVs have newer technology, but the Highlander remains a solid choice."
EDMUNDS SAYS: Jump on Black Friday car sales now to avoid the crowds and get a better selection, but don't feel rushed by the occasion. Many of the deals will likely carry over into December.