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Best End of Year Deals on New Cars

December 22, 2011

December is the best time of year to buy a new car - especially if you know which models have the biggest discounts.

Each year, Consumer Reports releases a list of the best end-of-year deals on new vehicles.

To be eligible for the list, each model has to meet Consumer Reports' criteria to be recommended. This means they have to score well in testing, have an average or better reliability, and perform well in crash tests.

The list includes both 2011 and 2012 models which have average discounts of 15 to 20% off MSRP. But since you're a RealCarTips.com reader, average isn't good enough so you should negotiate even further.

Some of the models such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot, Lincoln MKZ, and Mazda6 have been sitting on dealer lots over 100 days and are ripe for negotiation.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice price Customer rebate Dealer incentive Below MSRP
2011 Cadillac DTS
1/3/12 52,845 49,989 No Yes 20%+
2011 Chevrolet AvalancheĀ 
1/3/12 43,405 40,433 Yes No 20%+
2012 Chevrolet Malibu 1/3/12 24,115 22,947 Yes Yes 20%+
2011 Buick Lucerne
1/3/12 45,225 43,447 Yes No 15%+
2011 Chevrolet CorvetteĀ 
1/3/12 54,995 50,131 Yes No 15%+
2011 Chevrolet SuburbanĀ 
1/3/12 57,530 53,569 Yes No 15%+
2011 Chevrolet Traverse 1/3/12 34,820 33,120 Yes No 15%+
2011 Dodge Durango
1/3/12 36,270 34,361 No Yes 15%+
2012 Ford Escape 1/3/12 27,445 25,640 Yes No 15%+
2011 Ford F-150 1/3/12 37,820 34,387 Yes No 15%+
2012 Ford Mustang 1/3/12 34,505 31,854 Yes No 15%+
2012 Ford Taurus 1/3/12 32,950 30,420 Yes No 15%+
2011 GMC Yukon XL 1/3/12 50,365 46,906 Yes No 15%+
2011 Honda Accord 1/3/12 23,950 21,791 No Yes 15%+
2011 Honda Pilot 1/3/12 36,680 33,298 No Yes 15%+
2011 Lexus ES 350 1/3/12 37,600 34,174 No Yes 15%+
2011 Lexus IS 250 1/3/12 35,340 31,894 No Yes 15%+
2011 Lexus LS 460 1/3/12 73,550 65,556 No Yes 15%+
2012 Mazda6 1/3/12 22,035 20,430 No Yes 15%+
2011 Nissan Altima 1/3/12 23,330 21,919 Yes No 15%+
2012 Nissan Maxima 1/3/12 35,310 32,401 Yes No 15%+
2011 Nissan Murano 1/3/12 38,810 35,805 Yes No 15%+


See the lowest prices on a vehicle in your area (plus see the actual incentives you qualify for)
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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, 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

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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