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Frugal Shopper: End-Of-Year Deals Extend Into January

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2011 BMW 335d sedan

2011 BMW 335d sedan

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2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid

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The last days of the year are among the best days to shop for a new car. From board rooms to district sales centers to the manager's office at the local dealership, it's the time to add up the year's numbers—and for the most part, the attitude is that a few more cars sold sure would be great.

But just as well, dealerships want to get the new year started on the right foot, with strong sales through this long weekend. With harsh winter weather in many regions affecting dealership bottom lines this month, you can bet that many stores will be even more likely than usual to make a deal not just today, but through Monday.

And, if you plan to keep a new car for many years, you might be able to swing a whopper of a deal on a 2010—this is about the best the deals on remaining 2010s will get before they're absorbed by used-car lots and unloaded at discount to fleets.

But if you want a new 2011, there's no need to race out on New Year's Eve. Several automakers are offering a surprisingly good collection of incentives, end-of-year incentives, and holiday offers—most of which run through Monday, January 3.

Here's a survey of just a few:

  • BMW's offer of 0.9% APR financing for 36 months plus $1,500 or $2,500 Holiday Credit (depending on the model) run for just a few more days (they expire on 1/3/2011). According to our pricing-intelligence contacts at TrueCar.com, this sale is an exception as hybrids and diesels—rarely included in such sales—are also eligible for these offers. This sale makes the sought-after 335d turbo-diesel sedan an especially hot buy, and a better deal than it's been, TrueCar says.
  • Nissan also has a special $750 Holiday Bonus Cash offer on select vehicles that expires January 3. That more than doubles the incentives on offer for some of Nissan's cars, and boosts total savings on the Titan up to $4,750.
  • Toyota's $2,000 Cash Back offer on the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid is also good for a few more days. $1,000 applies to the standard Camry. Cash Back of up to $2,500 applies to some 2011 Toyota Tundra models.
  • GM has some cash-back offers on some of its products, also expiring 1/3/2011. Highlights include a $4,000 Cash Allowance applying to the 2011 Buick Lucerne, and a $3,000 Cash Allowance applying to the 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche. Even better deals still apply to some 2010 models.

And in case you still aren't ready to close the deal by January 3, you might want to wait another week or two. Based on past sales data as well as other predictive factors, TrueCar anticipates that January 11 will offer the deepest discounts this next month.

Stay warm, Happy New Year, and may you find a good deal.

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