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Best End of Year Car Deals

December 20, 2012

'Tis the season for great shopping deals, and cars are no exception! If you're in the market for a new car, this is the best time of year to maximize savings, as car dealerships want to get rid of their 2012 vehicles and make room for 2013.

Our friends at Forbes have put together a list of the top 15 best deals on new cars for the end of the year, which is below. Be sure to use the CarWoo Deal Finder to maximize your chances of getting the very best deal on any of the vehicles below.

15 Best End of Year Car Deals

VehicleDeal
Acura MDX2012 Models: Up to $3,000 cash + $1,000 owner loyalty; 2013 Models: up to $1,500 cash + $1,000 owner loyalty
Acura ZDX2012 Models: Up to $4,000 cash
BMW 550 Gran Turismo2013 Models: Up to $3,500 cash or 3.29% financing to 72 months + $750 owner loyalty bonus
BMW HybridsUp to $3,500 cash on 2013 ActiveHybrid 3; $4,500 on 2012/2012 ActiveHybrid 5; $3,500 on 2013 ActiveHybrid 740 and $7,500 on 2012 ActiveHybrid 750 or 3.29% financing on 72 months on select models + $750 owner loyalty bonus
Cadillac SRX2012 Models: Up to $4,000 cash or 0.0% financing to 60 months, 3.9 to 72 months
Chevrolet Avalanche2012 Models: Up to $4,500 cash; 2013 Models: Up to $2,000 cash or 3.9% financing to 60 months, 5.9 to 72 months
Chrysler 3002012 Models: Up to $4,000 cash or 3.24% financing to 72 months; 2013 Models: Up to $1,500 cash or 0.0% financing to 72 months
Ford Flex2012 Models: Up to 3,000 cash; 2013 Models: Up to 1,000 cash
Jeep Grand Cherokee2012 SRT8 version up to $4,500 cash or 3.24% financing to 72 months; other 2012 Grand Cherokee models up to $1,500 cash or 0.0% financing to 36 months, 1.9 to 60 months, 3.9 to 72 months; 2013 models (except SRT8) up to $1,500 cash or 1.9% financing to 36 months, 2.9 to 48 months, 3.9 to 60 months, 5.9 to 72 months. 
Land Rover Range Rover2012 Models: Up to $5,000 cash or 0.0% financing to 36 months, 1.9 to 48 months, 2.9 to 60 months
Lincoln Navigator2012 Models: Up to $3,000 cash or 0.0% financing to 60 months, 1.9 to 72 months and $750 owner loyalty; 2013 Models: Up to $2,000 cash and $2,000 owner loyalty bonus
Nissan Leaf2012 Models: Up to $9,775 cash and $1,000 owner loyalty bonus
Ram 15002012 Models: Up to $3,750 cash or 0.0% financing to 60 months, 1.9 to 72 months; 2013 Models: Up to $1,500 cash or 2.9% financing to 36 months, 3.9 to 48 months, 4.9 to 60 months, 6.9 to 72 months
Volkswagon Routan2012 Models: Up to $6,000 cash
Volkswagon Touareg2012 Models (Executive, Lux, Sport versions) Up to $5,750 cash or 0.0% financing to 72 months

Note: most of the vehicles on the list are leftover models, so before buying one, you need to be aware of the pitfalls. Leftover models, although they're brand new, are technically considered a one-year-old vehicle come 2013. That means if you're forced to sell it soon, you're going to be hit by a large depreciation cost. For this reason, I recommend buying a leftover ONLY if you intend to keep it for a long time - at least 6 years.

You will also likely have to settle for a vehicle that doesn't come equipped with your desired options or colors. Production on most 2012 models ended during the summer months, so the vehicles with the most popular colors and options packages have already been sold, leaving the less desirable ones on dealer lots. Leftover models may also be missing certain safety and convenience features found on the latest vehicles.

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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