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Cars with the Largest Hidden Rebates

January 19, 2012

Hidden rebates, also known as dealer cash, are rebates given to dealers by the manufacturer to help sell slow-moving models.

You might be wondering why manufacturers don't just give the rebate directly to the consumer. It's because hidden rebates allow manufacturers to discount their vehicles without "cheapening" the product.

This is why most luxury car makers tend to offer hidden rebates in lieu of customer cash back.

The largest hidden rebates can be as much as $9,000 - as is the case with the 2011 Cadillac STS - but most range between $500 and $3,000.

Dealers are not obligated to pass the rebates to the consumer, but if you follow our car negotiation method, or use the free CarWoo service, the hidden rebates will likely be passed through to you in the form of a lower purchase price.

Lexus, in particular, has increased their hidden rebates this month. The 2011 Lexus LX 570 now has a $3,000 hidden rebate, up 200% compared to last month. The 2011 GS 450h, IS 250C, and IS F all come with $2,000 in hidden rebates - up 100% since last month.

Here is a list of the largest hidden rebates currently being offered. Most are for leftover 2011 models.

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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