Once a novel concept in dealership marketing, Black Friday car deals have become as common as the TV deals at your local big-box store. While the savings on new cars aren’t that dramatic — no 70% off fire sales here — they do generally make mid- to late November a good time to buy a car.
This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on just about everything — Black Friday car deals included.
Perhaps the biggest factor is the lack of inventory caused by all the factory shutdowns. There simply aren’t as many 2021 models on dealer lots this year as there were 2020s at this time last year. Moreover, Edmunds market analysts expect inventory to remain low through the end of the year. Depressed supply means it’s a seller’s market, so discounts won’t be nearly as steep as in years past.
And what of that 0% financing you might’ve seen advertised a few months ago? Good news and bad news. The bad news is that, yes, there are fewer 0% offers than the record highs seen in late spring. In October, such deals made up about 9% of car loans, down from 12.9% in September, according to Edmunds data. But the good news is that this figure is still about 4 percentage points higher than the 2019 norm.
So what should you look for? The deal hunters at Edmunds have located five 2020 vehicles in various categories that still offer significant savings this month. They’re organized from the highest percent savings to the lowest. Note that these savings are averages, which means that you can likely improve on the savings with some negotiating and incentives.
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV
Average manufacturer’s suggested price $41,361; average discount $10,364 (25% savings)
What Edmunds editors say: “The Bolt has surprising interior space for a vehicle that looks small from the outside. And for the 2020 model year, Chevrolet updated the Bolt’s battery pack, increasing its capacity without changing its size. The result is an increase in total range to an impressive 259 miles.”
2020 Jeep Cherokee
Average MSRP $32,768; average discount $6,013 (18% savings)
What Edmunds editors say: “The latest Jeep Cherokee ditches its nontraditional styling for a more familial look based on the bigger Grand Cherokee. The V6 engine is still an option, but there’s a hot turbocharged four-cylinder engine as well. In proper Jeep fashion, the Cherokee remains one of the most capable small SUVs for going off-road.”
2020 Chrysler 300
Average MSRP $35,587; average discount $6,484 (18% savings)
What Edmunds editors say: “There is nothing small about the Chrysler 300. It’s a large sedan in nearly every sense of the word, with a spacious upscale interior, a long wheelbase for a smooth ride, and an available V8 engine that has plenty of muscle.”
2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Average MSRP $27,090; average discount $4,940 (18% savings)
What Edmunds editors say: “The current-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid dates all the way back to 2013, but Ford’s continuous tweaks have kept it fresh long past a normal car’s sell-by date. Even though all of its competitors are newer, the 2020 Fusion Hybrid’s long list of strengths helps it remain one of the best choices for a midsize sedan.”
2020 Ford F-150
Average MSRP $52,385; average discount $7,674 (15% savings)
What Edmunds editors say: “The 2020 Ford F-150 is a great example of the tough yet modern full-size pickup truck. It has the power to tow and haul at the top of its class, yet it also offers a wide range of luxury and technology features. The combination makes it one of the most versatile trucks available.”
Bottom line for car buyers: Despite the lack of typical Black Friday deals this year, you can still find great vehicles at appealing prices for the holiday season. Just keep in mind that supply limitations may make it harder to find the exact mix of features you’re looking for.