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Largest Hidden Dealer Rebates

July 19, 2018

Hidden rebates, also known as "dealer cash", are rebates given to dealers by the manufacturer whenever they sell or lease a certain model. They're very similar to customer cash-back rebates, but instead of YOU getting the rebate, the dealer gets to keep it - all while remaining hidden from the car buyer. 

The purpose of hidden dealer rebates is to help vehicles sell or lease faster without the stigma of large discounts. In theory, dealers will pass the hidden bonus to consumers through a lower purchase price, but if you don't take the time to comparison shop multiple dealers, you may never get the discount.

Hidden rebates are difficult to figure out because they're not published anywhere - only dealers know about them. However, I've been doing a lot of data analysis on incentives and pricing, and by combining a few of my data sources, I think I may have uncovered some of these hidden incentives - I've done my best to be as accurate as possible, but....

Please note this information is highly experimental and may be inaccurate, or may not be available in your region. Furthermore, some of these hidden rebates may only be available if you lease the vehicle versus buying it. This should not be considered a comprehensive list - there are probably models that offer hidden rebates which are not listed here, and models listed here with hidden rebates only available in very select regions.

What these hidden rebates suggest is that you may be able to negotiate the hidden rebate amount off MSRP as a minimum, and perhaps be able to negotiate the full hidden rebate off Invoice Price (again, some of these hidden rebates may only be available if you lease).

As always, I recommend using TrueCar No Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise to quickly see what kind of deals you can get on these vehicles in your region.

Largest Potential Hidden Rebates Right Now

Rank Vehicle MSRP Hidden Rebate (Estimated)
1 2018 Kia Soul EV $34,845 $15,000
2 2018 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid $36,105 $8,600
3 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid $34,295 $7,100
4 2018 Infiniti Q70 $51,295 $6,000
5 2018 Acura ILX $29,095 $5,600
6 2018 Infiniti Q60 $43,295 $5,400
7 2017 Infiniti QX70 $51,145 $5,400
8 2018 Infiniti Q70L $52,795 $5,100
9 2018 Infiniti QX80 $66,045 $4,800
10 2018 Kia Sorento $26,890 $4,600
11 2018 Kia Cadenza $33,190 $4,300
12 2018 Infiniti Q50 $40,145 $4,300
13 2018 Kia Optima Hybrid $26,890 $4,200
14 2018 Kia Optima $23,495 $4,100
15 2018 Acura RDX $36,995 $3,900
16 2018 Kia Stinger $32,800 $3,600
17 2019 BMW i8 $152,195 $3,500
18 2018 Toyota Sequoia $53,478 $3,200
19 2019 Acura TLX $33,995 $3,200
20 2018 Mercedes G-Class $143,795 $3,000
21 2018 Acura MDX $45,195 $2,800
22 2018 Kia Forte $18,795 $2,500
23 2018 Mercedes CLS $80,045 $2,500
24 2018 Mercedes GT $114,295 $2,500
25 2018 Mercedes GLC $42,975 $2,500
26 2018 BMW 6 Series $74,345 $2,400
27 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid $39,348 $2,400
28 2019 Toyota Avalon $37,348 $2,400
29 2018 Kia Forte5 $19,195 $2,400
30 2018 Mercedes S-Class $95,895 $2,400
31 2018 Kia Rio $15,885 $2,300
32 2018 BMW X5 $59,895 $2,300
33 2018 Honda Pilot $37,755 $2,300
34 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid $28,840 $2,100
35 2018 BMW X6 $65,645 $2,000
36 2018 BMW 5 Series $56,495 $2,000
37 2018 Mercedes GLS $74,375 $2,000
38 2018 BMW i3 $47,745 $2,000
39 2018 Honda Civic Coupe $21,045 $1,900
40 2018 BMW 7 Series $85,795 $1,900
41 2018 Mercedes C-Class $42,495 $1,800
42 2019 Kia Sorento $28,480 $1,800
43 2018 Honda Civic Si Coupe $24,995 $1,700
44 2018 Infiniti QX60 $44,295 $1,700
45 2018 Mercedes GLA $36,195 $1,600
46 2018 Mercedes E-Class $53,945 $1,600
47 2018 Mercedes GLE $57,095 $1,500
48 2018 Honda Odyssey $30,985 $1,500
49 2018 Mercedes CLA $35,495 $1,400
50 2018 Kia Sportage $24,590 $1,400

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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