Now is a great time to buy a new car.After disappointing sales in June, car makers are lining up with huge incentive programs to lure buyers back into dealerships. The two biggest incentives being used are low interest rates--many down to zero percent--and cash back that effectively discounts the selling price.
Buyers need to move quickly because some offers are only good for another couple of weeks.
Summer Incentives: A Win-Win
July car maker incentives are particularly important because 2010 models need to be sold off to make room for 2011 models. Hope springs eternal for both the dealers and consumers when a new model year rolls around. Buyers are looking for fresh, new features that stir the imagination. Dealers and manufacturers are hoping for enthusiastic shoppers who eagerly await the newest model and features. These buyers are looking for the latest advances in design, technology, gas mileage, and safety features. And more than anything, dealers are hoping consumers will be willing to pay a premium for the newest and the best.
For the rest of us, last year’s models--with their low interest rates and cash back--are more than adequate during a slow economy and uncertain future. Your new car may not have the latest built-in USB connection for your iPod, but it’s still a brand new car with full factory warranty.
Big Savings For Savvy Buyers
How much can you save with zero percent? In a previous article we looked at the example of a new car buyer who borrowed $20,000. Instead of paying 5.99 percent at the bank, they took advantage of a zero percent incentive program. The amount saved over a 60 month loan was an incredible $3,193.80.
What’s great about zero percent interest programs is the savings are applied AFTER you negotiate your best deal at the dealership. For example, let’s say you just negotiated the price of a new four door sedan down to the dealer’s invoice cost. When you add the savings you’ll gain over the term of a zero percent loan, you effectively purchased the car for thousands of dollars below cost. Under normal circumstances, this would make you a master negotiator. Yet, these days anyone can do it.
Zero Percent or Cash Back?
Not sure if you should choose zero percent or cash back? Use Edmunds Low APR vs. CashBack calculator. You’ll need to know the price of the vehicle and the local tax rate to use it. It’s also useful to know the interest rate you qualify for without incentives. However, Edmunds includes the standard market rate if you don’t input your own figure.
Whichever incentive program you choose--zero percent or cash back--takeadvantage of real savings while they’re available.