By on February 17, 2020

Even in this day and age of digital media, there are still no shortage of BUY NOW and LIMITED TIME OFFER ads on the radio or local television station. Presidents’ Day has historically been laden with so-called deals on new metal and, if a quick perusal of this year’s ads are any indication, this year is no different.

Here’s the question: with so many tools and information at our disposal these days, do you (or anyone you know) wait until a holiday like today to pull the trigger on a new set of wheels?

The dweebs at the suspiciously all-caps CARFAX kindly rounded up a sampling of vehicles advertised with plenty of cash on the hood for President’s Day, ranging from thousands of dollars off Ford machines to zero-percent financing on rigs from Kia.

Of course, some of these offers stretch well past Presidents’ Day, such as Hyundai’s zero-percent financing for 60 months on the 2020 Tucson, a rate which extends until the end of March. This puts the capper on the old saw that the question “what do I have to do to put you in this car today?” is, more often than not, more about putting another number on the sales board than ensuring you benefit from any sort of limited time discount.

Do you plan vehicle purchases around these events? Have you known anyone to do so? Sound off below.

[Image: F8 Studio/Shutterstock]

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10 Comments on “QOTD: Presidential-Grade Sales?...”


  • avatar
    bradfa

    I plan a vehicle purchase this year around Memorial Day or 4th of July. The OEM cash on the hood and low finance rates seem to be timed with major holidays in the past few years. If you can afford to time your major purchases of any consumer goods, you almost always can get a slightly better deal (see Black Friday).

    GM also seems to time local hood cash increases with the local auto shows, there’s an extra $1000 rebate in western NY on a bunch of GM vehicles due to the Syracuse auto show being a week ago. The Rochester auto show is coming up at the beginning of March, too.

  • avatar
    Robotdawn

    I haven’t noticed any holiday specials that made me think they are better deals than any other times. I narrow my purchase down months ahead of time and mentally track the incentives over time.
    My mental ticker, with years and years of data, tells me the best time to buy is September-December if you don’t mind taking what the dealers have on their lots.
    I would bet this is heavily biased on who you tend to shop though. GM always has some deal going on. Honda or some of the less incentive based makes are probably different.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    We will probably pick up a new Sienna for the wife later this year, probably waiting for the last possible moment to buy a 2020 before the all new 2021 comes out.

    if that happens to coincide with a holiday, great. If not, well Toyota dealers usually aren’t super generous anyways so I doubt it’s a big difference.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Short answer: no. Occasionally the OEMs will have an extra rebate for a holiday, but otherwise you can get the same deal any day. Of course, you never know if next month the manufacture will up the incentives, but that’s true of anything you buy.

    I would say end of month is the best time. That’s when the salesman might be trying to get a couple more deals to meet a quota, and the same for the dealership. Dealers will take some really short deals at the end of the month to hit those quota numbers.

  • avatar
    Ryannosaurus

    I have bought 2 vehicles taking advantage of holiday offers. Both times I was already looking/researching the used market when a holiday came up. The dealer used this opportunity to add their own discount so they could advertise a shockingly low price on a new car. $12k in 2006 for a new PT Cruiser, $30k in 2015 for a new crew cab F-150. These advertised prices are designed to get people on the lot, then they try and up-sell you into a higher priced vehicle.

    Since I was looking for a used car, the idea of getting a new car for a cheaper price was intriguing. The dealership tried really hard to move me into a higher trim or more expensive model. But I actually preferred the PT Cruiser with a stick-shift and the F-150 with vinyl floors.

    The nicest thing about the whole deal was the lack of haggling. Just pay the advertised price and ignore the F&I guy.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    I scored a nice deal on a Jeep Liberty back in 2005 buying just before Christmas. We figured 1. holiday 2. month-end 3. year-end would work in my favor, and it did.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I have been looking into a Ford Fusion Hybrid. Most dealers in S. Cal wanted about $300/month. This Presidents’ Day, offers from Ford dealers were running $199/month and $999 down. (Red Carpet cash of over $7,000 on a $28,000 auto.) This is only on the Hybrid SE model which was decontented over 2019 and 2020 (losing among other things, seat heaters and passenger front seat power adjustments.) The SEL model was more appealing to me, but no luck on the Red Carpet cash for that trim. Still, if the SE suits you, $199 a month and $999 down, without the usual Ford requirements of a trade in or being in a current lease, is a really exceptional deal.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I can’t remember a time when I had the luxury of timing a new vehicle purchase to the market like this. There have always been life considerations that dictated the timing of the purchase (or, in one case, a narrow window of availability for the specific car I wanted). But, still, in a couple of cases, by choosing the right vehicle I was able to get an exceptional deal. Somebody is always trying to clear cars out.

  • avatar
    JMII

    I once bought a vehicle the day of the Super Bowl. That was fun because all the sales guys basically ignored me as they were keeping one eye on the TV the whole time. They clearly wanted to get back to watching the game so they moved quickly to close the deal and got me out the door without all the normal stalling techniques.

    I pretty much only buy used so my purchases tend to become more about what is available and not some silly promo or special sale. I use Car Gurus to monitor time on market and previous price drops. For my C7 I waited until 2 days before the end of the month to buy. I noticed they were dropping the price every 2 weeks but the savings were getting smaller each time. Based on sales of similar vehicles I predicted the next drop would likely result in the lowest possible price. So I made my offer at that price and they agreed to the deal. I even explained my logic to them and the sales guy seem to acknowledge that was how they operated.

  • avatar

    Given that cars are a 365 day/year thing, and there is no “season”, my favorite holiday is any morning, midweek, at the last week of the month. I tend to get good service when no one is there, and the end of month is stress on the salesman…not me. Last thing I’d ever do is show up primetime, weekend, etc….

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