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Car Incentives Down by as Much as 40%

May 3, 2012

According to Edmunds.com, incentive spending on new cars has hit a seven year low, with the average incentive totalling only $2,071 per vehicle.

$2,000 may sound like a lot, but keep in mind that most of these incentives are factored into financing, lease deals, and dealer incentives rather than cash-back offers alone.

Nissan and Ford reduced their average incentives spending by over 10% compared to last month, which may explain the large drop in Altima sales recently.

Honda has reduced their incentives by a whopping 40% compared to last year, which makes their ads touting "The Really Big Sales Event" sound ridicolous.

Here is a table showing the average incentives by the six largest manufacturers

ManufacturerAverage April IncentivesLast Month% ChangeChange from Year Ago
Chrysler$2,495 $2,486 0.40%3.90%
Ford$2,360 $2,701 -12.60%0.80%
GM$3,446 $3,258 5.80%14.30%
Honda$992 $991 0.10%-40.90%
Nissan$2,136 $2,455 -13.00%-16.30%
Toyota$1,388 $1,371 1.20%-19.80%
Industry$2,071 $2,118 -2.20%-1.80%

Unfortunately, with car sales increasing and production remaining low, this is a trend that will probably continue throughout this year. It's becoming harder to negotiate great deals, and can sometimes be difficult just to even find popular vehicles in stock.

But to get the best deals, start with the CarWoo Deal Finder

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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, RydeShopper, and CarsDirect 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.
- 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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