Getting The Most Out Of Incentive Programs: 5 Tips

If you’re in the market for a new car, dealers will no doubt try to lure you with offers of zero percent financing or manufacturer rebates. Sixty-nine percent of respondents surveyed by Consumer Reports said that they might wait for a good incentive deal before purchasing their vehicle. If you’re waiting for good auto incentive deals, the BuyingAdvice team of experts can help you find them while avoiding common tricks. Here are our tips for you.

Follow the Leader

So how do you get the most out of incentives? For once, it’s good to follow the herd. You’re not buying a deal, you’re buying a car. So, before you ever look at incentives, find out exactly which models interest you.

Be Skeptical

Which brings us to another point. If you find a vehicle that is laden with incentives, the manufacturer is probably desperate to get rid of it. Such vehicles are usually gas-guzzling SUVs that depreciate rapidly. They might seem like good buys up front but can be costly over time.

Know the Rules and the Tricks

Another thing to be aware of is that incentives usually cannot be combined. For instance, zero percent financing and a rebate are usually separate, exclusive deals. This fact is commonly unknown.

Be sure to be aware of the tricks dealers try to pull with incentives. Don’t believe that they can’t lower the price even further after a rebate. The rebate is offered by the manufacturer, and the sale price is still negotiable.

Read the Small Print

An ad may say “zero percent financing” but that doesn’t mean you’ll be eligible for it. And even if you are, the loan is often short term, with high monthly payments.

Always read the small print, so you can be aware of qualifications and other caveats. Do the math when you have multiple options and its unclear which one will be cheaper. Try an online calculator if you need help.

Do Your Homework

You’ve done well to research incentives but incentives are only a small part of a car or truck deal. We recommend getting online quotes from local dealers and also looking into your financing options with several banks to make sure you’re not missing any savings. Play the game right and get that prize!


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