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The Best Black Friday Car Deals in 2018

black friday car deals

Toaster ovens and TVs are fine and dandy, but you could think bigger this Black Friday — car deals. From foreign manufacturers to local dealerships, car businesses will sweeten the pot to gain your business this Thanksgiving. So be smart when you shop with our list of some of the best Black Friday car deals out there. Keep in mind that some deals have qualification requirements.

These are the best Black Friday car deals in 2018:

Trucks

2018 GMC Sierra 1500
2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD
2018 RAM 1500 Big Horn
2018 Nissan Titan
2018 Ford F-150 XLT

SUVs

2019 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited
2018 Dodge Journey SXT
2019 Kia Sportage

Sedans

2018 Chrysler 300C
2018 Toyota Mirai
2018 Buick LaCrosse
2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited
2018 Buick LaCrosse
2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited

Minivans to convertibles

2019 Honda Odyssey
2018 Mazda Miata

Special consumer group discounts

How we chose the best Black Friday deals

How to shop for a car deal on Black Friday

17 Black Friday car deals to know

Trucks

2018 GMC Sierra 1500

Discount: $10,929 total value
MSRP: $38,515

Offer expires: Nov. 30, 2018

The 2018 GMC Sierra is rated 8.1 out of 10 by Kelley Blue Book experts. It has plenty of rugged abilities and performed well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests.

2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LD

Discount: $10,250 total value or 0% APR financing for 72 months
MSRP: $50,940

Offers expire: Nov. 30, 2018

The Chevy Silverado 1500 earned the top spot in J.D. Power’s 2018 dependability awards in the large, light-duty pickup category. Edmunds rates it 7.2 out of 10. A rearview camera and 7-inch touch screen are standard.

2018 RAM 1500 Big Horn

Discounts: $10,000 total value, $1,000 Ram LD Diesel Bonus Cash, $500 Hurricane Florence Relief

MSRP: $44,295

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

Named one of Edmunds’ best pickup trucks for 2018, the RAM 1500 is a full-size truck that has a smooth ride. It’s also praised by Kelley Blue Book experts, who rate it 8.8 out of 10.

2018 Nissan Titan

Discounts: $8,500 total value or 0% APR plus $1,000 Loyalty/Conquest Cash; $1,000 Military Cash; $1,000 Grad Cash

MSRP: $30,030

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

A full-sized pickup with a standard V-8 engine, the 2018 Nissan Titan boasts a “made in America” stamp, along with technology, fuel economy and towing power. Kelley Blue Book rates it 7.9 out of 10.

2018 Ford F-150 XLT

Discounts: $4,750 retail incentive  or 0.9% for 60 months plus $2,000 cash

MSRP: $33,300

Offers expire: Jan. 2, 2019

With dashing good looks, the F-150 can pull the most weight in its class — and look handsome doing it. Kelley Blue Book rates it 9 out of 10 and Edmunds rates it 8.1 out of 10.

SUVs

2019 Jeep Cherokee Latitude

Discounts: $4,000 cash allowance, or 0% APR for 60 months plus $1,000 cash allowance, or 0% APR for 36 months plus $1,500 cash allowance

MSRP: $26,135

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

On- and off-road, this rugged, compact SUV has more room than competitors and offers a plush interior. Consumer reviews on Cars.com rate it 4.9 out of 5 and Edmunds’ expert review rates it 7.2 out of 10.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited

Discounts: 0% APR for 60 months plus $1,000 Drive to Decide Bonus; $500 Military and First Responders Bonus; $500 Contract Bonus through Volkswagen College Graduate Program

MSRP: $25,590

Offers expire: Jan. 2, 2019

Loaded with tech, the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Limited is a compact SUV that seats seven and comes with a six-year, 72,000 miles bumper-to-bumper warranty. Kelley Blue Book only rates it 6.2 out of 10, but consumer reviews rate it 8.2 out of 10.

2018 Dodge Journey SXT

Discounts: $5,000 cash allowance or 0% APR for 36 months plus $1,500 cash allowance

MSRP: $25,795

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

Priced low for a vehicle with three-row seating, the 2018 Dodge Journey SXT can seat seven and comes with three-zone temperature controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and voice commands. But it received low marks by experts who noted a weak four-cylinder engine.

2019 Kia Sportage

Discounts: $2,000 cash back or 0% APR for 60 months; $500 Military Rebate

MSRP: $23,750

Offers expire: Nov. 30, 2018

An SUV with plenty of passenger room, the 2018 Sportage has a long line of available features such as safety and tech packages, and all models come with Kia’s powertrain warranty: 10 years, 100,000 miles. Kelly Blue Book rates it 8.9 out of 10 and Edmunds Expert Review rates it 7 out of 10 overall.

Sedans

2018 Chrysler 300C

Discounts: $6,000 total value; $500 Hurricane Florence Relief

MSRP: $42,090

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

A powerful, large sedan, the 2018 Chrysler 300C has a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that comes standard. It offers ample room in the cabin and in the trunk, so five passengers and their luggage could take a road trip in relative speed and comfort. Kelley Blue Book rates it 8.1 out of 10.

2018 Toyota Mirai

Discounts: $7,500 cash back, $15,000 complimentary fuel card or up to three years of complimentary fuel, $2,500 loyalty cash, $5,000 California rebate or HOV sticker, $2,500 cash back through the Media and Business Partner Program

MSRP: $58,365

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

This is a hydrogen fuel cell car available only in California. If you want to be environmentally friendly but find the driving range of electric vehicles to be too limited, the Mirari may be the answer. It can go about 300 miles and refill in a few minutes, rather than the half-hour to 12 hours it can take electric vehicles to recharge. But refueling stations are limited, so do your homework.

2018 Buick LaCrosse

Discounts: $6,344 total value

MSRP: $29,565
Offers expire: Nov. 30, 2018

According to Edmunds, the Buick LaCrosse is a true luxury vehicle with a large interior. It won gold in J.D. Power’s 2018 dependability awards in the large car category.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited

Discounts: $3,750 total value or 0% APR for 60 months

MSRP: $28,285

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

High-tech plus a turbocharged engine make this midsize sedan stand out as great value for the price. Kelley Blue Book rates it 8.9 out of 10. Consumer reviews on Cars.com rate it 4.9 out of 5.

Minivans to convertibles

2019 Honda Odyssey

Discounts: 0.9% APR for 36 months or 1.9% for 60 months

MSRP: $31,085

Offers expire: Jan. 2, 2019

Kelly Blue Book rates the 2019 Honda Odyssey a 9.3 out of 10. A family vehicle, it has third-row seats, configurable second-row seats, a built-in vacuum and five-star safety ratings.

2018 Mazda Miata

Discounts: $3,500 Customer Cash or 1.9% APR for 72 months

MSRP: $26,170

Offers expire: Dec. 3, 2018

A zippy convertible, the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata is rated 9.4 out of 10 by Kelley Blue Book. It isn’t as large and doesn’t have as much horsepower as some competitor sports cars, but it can zoom to 60 mph in about six seconds and handle twisty roads like it was born for it.

Special consumer group discounts

Often, there may be more discounts available to you if you are in a special consumer group such as military members and their families, disabled motorists and their caretakers, first responders, students and recent graduates, educators, dealership employees and suppliers. These discounts may not be obvious. We recommend you search online for the discount program by manufacturer. General Motors, for example, is the parent company of Buick, GMC, Chevy and other car brands, and consumers have to register through the GM portal to qualify for consumer group discounts. If you have other questions, see the manufacturer website or talk to a dealer.

How we chose the best Black Friday deals

We chose the best mass market manufacturer deals for purchasing a new vehicle. We focused on cash and low APR incentives occurring during Black Friday that were advertised at the time of publishing. Cash incentives were given more weight than low-APR offers. Why? You’re almost always better taking the cash discount than the low or 0% financing. When the manufacturer clearly advertised that a vehicle also qualified for other programs, such as military or college graduate rebates, we noted that as well, but did not select vehicles based on these programs.

We choose the lowest MSRP for the standard trim, unless otherwise marked, in the price range for each vehicle model.

How to shop for a car deal on Black Friday

Dealerships are likely to be slammed with customers on Black Friday and the weekend after Thanksgiving. Not only should you know what deals might be available to you, but you should do your groundwork, too.

Decide on a budget. Remember you will pay more for the car than the sticker price or MSRP. Taxes, fees and car insurance are also factors for your budget. The rule of thumb is that you’ll pay 8% to 10% of the the car’s price in what’s called TT&L: taxes, tag and license fees. Then there are other costs such as car insurance. Check out LendingTree’s advice on how to set a budget.

Get preapproved for a car loan. One major way dealerships can stick it to customers is by increasing your APR and slipping extras in your monthly payment such as GAP and extended warranties. If you already know the APR for which you qualify and what your monthly payment should be, you have a major leg up on the negotiating process. Before you go kick some tires, you could apply at your bank, credit union or online lender. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one as long as you do the applications within two weeks. You could also fill out an online form and get up to five potential auto loan offers at LendingTree.

Price shop. You’ve checked out the Black Friday manufacturer deals, but your local dealership may offer additional discounts. You don’t want to spend an hour choosing a car, only to find out near the end of the process that there’s a larger rebate on another car that would suit you just as well. Three other things besides price that can make a car deal juicy include:

  1. Rebates. These come from the manufacturer and are probably the largest driver of the best sales you’ll see. We’ve covered a lot of these in the deals listed above.
  2. Low APR. If you have good to great credit, you may qualify for a 0% or low APR loan through the manufacturer’s lending company. Keep reading for what to do when you have a choice between cash incentives and 0% or low APR financing.
  3. Dealer incentives. Individual dealerships, as we mention above, often offer specials such as two years of free maintenance or a lifetime powertrain warranty.

Which is better: a rebate or a low APR? It’s almost always better to take the rebate because you get the money upfront. A low APR means you’ll have to keep the car for the full loan term to capture all the value.

Decide on a car or two. Both you and your salesperson will not be happy if you go on five test drives in holiday traffic. Black Friday is not the best time to do comparison car shopping, so have your mind made up on one or two finalist vehicles. Pick out the exact vehicle(s) you’ll look at from the dealership website and write down the make, model and VIN. If you want, you could test drive some vehicles before Black Friday so that you’ll be ready to go.

Call ahead before Thanksgiving.

  1. Do you take appointments? If they do, you won’t have to wait for an available salesperson, or you could breeze right by any salespeople who may be standing around the door waiting.
  2. Can you have the car(s) ready? If the finalist car(s) you want to test drive is cleaned, gassed up and parked near a door, this can save major time. You won’t have to walk all over the parking lot or sit in the dealership even after everything is signed, waiting for the car to be detailed and fueled.
  3. How much can be done over the phone? You may be able to give most of your information over the phone so that you won’t have to sit and fill out a form when you get to the dealership, which cuts out another step you would have to do in person.
  4. Can you have the paperwork prepared? If you know the exact car you want, ask the dealership to print the paperwork ahead of time so that when you get there you can check out the car, sign and drive away in your spanking new wheels.

Have your paperwork ready. Definitely bring your ID — preferably your driver’s license — and your auto insurance card. Consider taking proof of residence with you (such as a utility bill dated within 30 days) and proof of income (a pay stub dated within 30 days showing year-to-date income). Don’t forget the title and/or registration for your trade-in, if you have one. And, if you’re making a down payment, remember your credit card, cash or checkbook. You can see the car loan documentation checklist for all the documents you may need.

 

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