2011 Ford F-150 Harley-DavidsonEnlarge Photo
The Memorial Day long weekend can be a great time to buy a new vehicle. Unfortunately, this year there are fewer factory incentives for car buyers due to strong demand and recent natural disasters that have reduced the inventories of a number of manufacturers.
Incentive programs are expensive. Manufacturers only offer them if they need to help their dealer network by increasing sales, or to simply reduce inventories.
However, if you plan on buying a truck this long weekend we have some good news: thousands in cash back or zero percent financing is available. Remember that there is always fine print on incentive offers. Be sure to check the details of any offer to make sure you qualify. There can also be regional differences, so check with your local dealer to make sure what is available to you is not more or less than what is described here.
Also, only about 5 percent of buyers qualify for zero-percent financing when offered as an incentive by a manufacturer. It’s significant that the zero-percent offers included below are all for five years or 60 months. The longer the term, the higher the cost to the manufacturer. Borrowing money isn’t free and these companies arrange for the loans and pay the interest.
Many buyers will try to finance 100 percent of the purchase when zero percent is offered. After all, if you aren’t paying interest why not borrow as much as possible. The 60-month term allows for a lower monthly payment than, say, a 36- or 48-month term. For some buyers, this longer term can make the difference between qualifying for the loan or not.
Below are some of the incentive offers that stood out from the crowd.
2011 Ford F-150
The pickup truck can get you $4,000 cash back or zero percent financing for 60 months until the end of the month on this best-selling truck. You can add another $1,000 to the saving if you have a qualifying trade. Ford is offering the extra thousand dollars as part of a "Trade In Assistance Rebate." There are restrictions so make sure you qualify before banking on this cash.
2011 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Extraordinary savings are available on this popular line of trucks. Get $4,505 in customer cash to the end of the month or zero-percent financing over 60 months.
2011 Chevrolet Avalanche
The Avalanche is offering savings almost as good as the Silverado, at $4,000 in customer cash or zero percent financing over 60 months. It's good until May 31, 2011.
2011 GMC Sierra
GMC is offering $4,505 cash back on Sierra trucks or zero percent financing over sixty months. The offer is good through the end of the month.