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Car Makers Begin Increasing Incentives

October 8, 2009

Incentives Spending Car shoppers have a lot to look forward to over the next few months: a growing number of automakers are starting to offer sweeter incentives.

According to, the average incentive was $2,557 per automobile in September of this year, which is $83 more than August. With the Cash for Clunkers program over, fewer cars are being sold - and manufacturers are straining to come up with new ways to attract buyers. At the forefront of these are Chrysler, General Motors, and Honda. Ford and Hyundai, on the other hand, have been doing well enough that they can afford to cut back on consumer incentives.

Those who have their eye on a sports car are especially in luck. The average incentive for premium sports cars this September - $10,128 per vehicle - broke the April 2004 record of $7,347 per vehicle. Many of these deals include low interest rates on car loans, which have been known to save $20,000 - $30,000 on a sports car.

Premium luxury automobiles are right behind sports cars in the incentive race, with an average of $6,551 per vehicle. Sales haven't been doing that great because fewer people are spending on luxury models in this economy.

In September 2009, Cadillac and BMW spent the most on incentives, at $9,233 and $6,321 respectively. Scion and Honda spent the least. Among the top automakers, be on the lookout for the Chrysler Group, General Motors, Ford, and Nissan.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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