Consumer incentives and rebates are discounts that car manufacturers offer to consumers through dealerships to boost sales of a particular vehicle at a particular time of year to the benefit of all parties involved. Manufacturers and dealers are able to attract additional customers, while buyers can take advantage of good savings. The following list provides guidance to the consumers who are looking to take advantage of all the incentives and rebates offered.
An incentive is the overarching term for all the discounts offered by car manufacturers to consumers, which include cash rebates, low-interest financing and special lease terms. In specific cases, these promotions can be combined – or “stacked” – but it is hard to determine when and how this is possible. It is also important to note that incentives will differ depending on your payment method. This means that paying with cash may not net you the same kind of incentives as financing or leasing would.
A cash rebate is a type of incentive that returns a portion of the listed price back to the consumer after the purchase is made. It can be applied to the down payment or returned in cash, depending on the buyer’s chosen payment option – cash, finance or lease. The amount of a rebate can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Unlike some incentives, a rebate is not dependent on eligibility, which means that everyone qualifies.
Low-interest financing means that dealers and manufacturers have partnered with lenders to offer special loans to buyers of a particular vehicle. Those special loans tend to be for zero-per cent interest, often known as zero-per cent financing. Interest is additional money that a car buyer has to pay on top of what is owed when borrowing money from a lender, which increases the car’s price. Zero-per cent interest effectively removes that money, potentially saving the buyer thousands of dollars in the process.
Other incentives that can be used are special lease rates, which can reduce either your monthly lease payments or deposit. Some promotions may also offer free accessories or maintenance for the car.
Though the majority of incentives are offered to everyone, not all of them are. For instance, some may be restricted to buyers with poor credit history.
Dealers typically offer three types of payment options when selling a new car: cash, finance or lease. As a result, there are rebates and incentives that will affect each payment type in their own unique way. For instance, there may be a rebate that would only lower the price if the buyer pays cash, while finance and lease options may not offer any incentives at all.
By figuring out which incentives will save most money in the long run, a buyer can determine their preferred payment method.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us at any time or access our free dealer cost report.
Updated on March 26, 2013
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