Incentives from dealers and the government glut today's car market. Many appear and disappear on a daily basis, making it difficult to keep abreast of what's available. To help make the rebate-system work for you, its imperative you understand the various car incentive programs and know where to find them.
In a nutshell, new car incentives are attempts by manufacturers and dealerships to attract you, the buyer, into purchasing a new vehicle. Incentives come in several forms, and include:
- Low APR rates
- Generous cash rebates
- Dealership payback plans featuring low monthly payments or long-term loan agreements
Educating yourself on what incentives are available is strongly recommended before visiting a potential dealership. This information provides keen insight on how much room you have for negotiating. You can find new car incentives on dealership and manufacturer websites, as well as in newspaper, radio and TV ads.
Manufacturers offer these to dealers, generally on a regional basis, to help move old inventory or unpopular models. Sometimes referred to as "spiffs," dealers are not obligated to advertise these incentives to the public. You, the buyer, can benefit from this if you're aware of the incentive and use it as a negotiating angle. See below for information on how to find these rebates.
Cash Rebates are offered by the manufacturer directly to you, the customer, at the point of sale. You have the option of using the rebate as a down payment against the purchase price. Unlike low interest rate loan incentives that are contingent upon qualification, cash rebates come with no "maybes." If it's offered, you'll receive it.
Check dealership Websites for the latest rebate information.
Low Interest Financing
A loan offered by the dealer or manufacturer at a below-market interest rate. Eligibility is determined by a buyer's credit standing.
Also known as "Subsidized Lease," this incentive provides low monthly payments for leased vehicles.
Targeted Segment Incentives
These incentives are targeted towards specific customer segments like first-time buyers, military members, college students and repeat customers.
These incentives are intended to sweeten the pot, as they say, and include extended warranties, free maintenance checks, zero payments for the first six months and a year's worth of gas.