When it comes to cars, there are two worlds. There’s the world of bright and shiny metal, of suggested retail and lower prices, and, always, plentiful availability. In this world, you can find that Chevrolet Malibu with the heated seats, and buying a Toyota Prius is as easy as driving down to your local Toyota dealership.Yep. And then there’s the reality of waiting lists. Of optional equipment that’s either not all that optional, or not all that available. There’s price haggling and increases beyond MSRP on popular models. You set out to buy that hip and popular car that everyone is talking about, and you end up with a white SUV.
Don’t ask how it happened. Just take the rebate.
A smart shopper, of course, tries to avoid reality as long as possible by researching online and educating themselves about the ins and outs of buying a car. This month and through the summer, car shoppers should acquaint themselves with the concept of inventory, and how dealers have too much of it. As a result, incentives will continue to be a nice thick layer of frosting on the automotive cake – even 0% incentives won’t go away. With domestic automakers running inventories in the 80s and 90s, smart shoppers can get a good deal – if they’re shopping for a car that’s parked nose to tail on the dealer lot. If not, chances are that a deal on the more popular, niche vehicle – say the MINI Cooper – will be harder to come by.