The best new car rebates and incentives happen somewhere in a small, back cubicle just off the dealer showroom floor. They happen usually on a Thursday or Fridays afternoon, usually at the end of a calendar month. A clean, smooth, table with a faux wood top is involved, as are utilitarian banquet chairs. A salesperson, named either Buddy, Shirley, or Mohammed, well groomed and wearing a hint of lavender fragrance, is also involved, and some hand wringing will happen. Then will come the paperwork, a short stack, with pages featuring small print and very small print, with highlighted spots calling for initials. The waiting will come next as the salesperson disappears for what will seem like hours until that moment of sweet satisfaction, the moment when the jingle of keys or the feel of the fob to a new car signals that the deal is done. You got the car. You got the best deal. You scored. All the time and effort paid off, but that journey was never easy.
Some have likened the search for the best new car rebate or incentive to big game hunting on the African savannah. You know the prize. You know where it lives, but you want to take it in the most economical terms. Talk has circulated for years about these things called rebates and incentives, actual reductions in the price of new cars that dealers and manufacturers offer. But how do find you the best car rebates? How do you know you have the best price and exhausted every possibility on your quest? The answers begin where most inquiries do in our modern age. Start on the Internet.
Finding the Best Car Rebates
Type in any manufacturer and the word rebate and a cascade of results will fill screen. The maker’s official website will ask for your zip code and from there, more information will flood the screen. Enter a specific model, and specific numbers will appear, usually starting with five hundred dollars off and an invitation to visit your local dealer, which is where the incentive and rebate journey will ultimately culminate.
The new car dealer has the final word on the total package of rebates a new car will carry, and in negotiating the package of discounts on the deal, you will learn that each car and each dealer will create a different final price. Some models, like big SUVs in times of high fuel prices, will generate more incentives than hybrids during this same period. Some financing deals, using specific loan agencies, will produce different rebates or incentives. A host of algorithms will accompany the incentives and rebates for any new car, and many of those specifics will depend on the buyer’s credit score, down payment, and employment history. The sales staff may come to know you better than your gastroenterologist, and ultimately, the rebates and incentives may fall into a murky pool of finance charges and closing costs, and become more bait that discounts.
In the end, you are seeking the lowest possible price for the newest possible vehicle, and really any buyer has only a few tangible tools in that challenge.
Once You Have Found the Best Car Rebates
Work a cash deal. Dealers like cash because it means less paperwork, and financing any vehicle helps everyone but the buyer. Cars depreciate. That makes them a poor investment from any standpoint, and financing a car that will cost more than its value is a quick way to financial insolvency.
Make the offer at the end of the calendar month. Dealers must move inventory. At the end of the month, if a dealer is pressed with inventory, he may be more receptive to finding another incentive from the manufacturer or his own bottom line.
Look to purchase models that have come to the end of their production cycles. When Toyota introduces a new Prius model, the last of the old models will lose value, and dealers want them gone. Discontinued models like Ford’s Crown Victoria or Cadillac’s DTS will become pariah on dealer lots and rebates and incentives will hang on them like ornaments on a Christmas tree.
As with all financial transaction, being armed with knowledge is the beat way to obtain the best car rebates and incentives. Start with the Internet. Make a few visits to the dealership where you feel the most comfortable. Collect the data on prices and what the dealership will offer, and prepare your finances. Know that when you spend the money you are getting what you want and that what you want is worth the price.