Labor Day is Black Friday for car shopping

August 29, 2014, 7:13 PM UTC
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A row of 2014 Ford Motor Co. Escape vehicles sit on display at Uftring Ford in East Peoria, Illinois, U.S., on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. Automakers entered their year-end sales push in November with the most cars and trucks on U.S. dealer lots in eight years, a buildup thats poised to test the industrys newfound pricing discipline. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Daniel Acker — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Labor Day weekend is here, and that means an extra day off from work (at least for most people), the last barbecue of the summer and, for many, a trip to the local car dealership to check out the inevitable promotions.

There are other popular car shopping weekends — Memorial Day and July 4th jump to mind. But Labor Day is one of the busiest for dealers, according to Thomas King, a vice-president at J.D. Power and Associates.

Around this time, cars from the new model year start to come out, and that drives two types of people to dealerships over Labor Day: Gearheads who want to be the first to get their hands on the hot new car, and people who are willing to buy a slightly older model at a discount.

King said that there is no particular segment that tends to do particularly well on Labor Day, so be on the lookout for big sales of many different types of cars.

Here’s a few of the major deals available to car shoppers this weekend:

  • General Motors (GM) has different deals for each of its brands. Chevrolet is offering interest-free, 72-month loans for most 2014 vehicles for qualified buyers, with no payments for 90 days. GMC, Cadillac and Buick, meanwhile, have different deals for different models including low-interest and cash-back deals.
  • Volkswagen (VOW3) has 0.9% interest loan available on certified pre-owned cars, plus deals on specific models.
  • Ford (F) is offering an interest-free loan for 72 months on select vehicles.
  • Chrysler (DCX) is giving $1,000 in bonus cash on selected models, plus offering no payments for 90 days. With the Dodge brand, the company is offering up to $4,000 combined cash incentives on Dodge Chargers, $3,000 combined cash incentives on Grand Caravans, and savings on all Dodge models.
  • Toyota’s (TM) deals depend on the region, but includes an interest-free loan for 60 months on some models.

Some of these deals actually fall under “end of summer” promotions and have been available for a few weeks, but all end on Sept.2.

The deals that offer 0% financing require customers be approved for a loan from the manufacturer’s own finance companies. These lenders can offer loans without interest, essentially as a marketing cost, which other lenders can’t do. But there’s always the chance they’ll tack on extra fees to offset the low rates, or raise the price of the car.