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Car Incentives Expected to Drop in 2013

January 10, 2013


2012 was a great year for car dealers, but that could mean trouble for car buyers in 2013. According to Automotive News, about 14.5 million cars were sold in the US in 2012, a 13 percent increase over 2011. The car industry is currently basking in the glow of a great sales year, however analysts are predicting consumers will see less incentives in 2013.

Additionally, TrueCar says the median price for a vehicle was $31,228 last month, a 1.8 percent increase from December 2011 and a 1.3 percent increase over prices in November 2012.

TrueCar estimates the average incentive was $2,409 in December 2012, a 9 percent decrease compared to the same time in 2011.

All this means consumers looking for a great deal will need to be diligent about doing their homework. Below is a look at how both car prices and incentives in 2012 compared to 2011. As always, make sure to start with the CarWoo Deal Finder when you're ready to negotiate your deal.

Car Prices Comparison: 2012 vs 2011

ManufacturerDec 2012 PriceNov 2012 PriceDec 2011 Price% Change Dec 2011 to Dec 2012% Change Nov 2012 to Dec 2012
Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat)$30,011$29,796$29,3222.3%0.7%
Ford (Ford, Lincoln)$33,010$32,543$31,9123.4%1.4%
GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)$33,219$32,891$33,241-0.1%1.0%
Honda (Acura, Honda)$27,062$26,897$26,0863.7%0.6%
Hyundai/Kia$22,547$22,342$21,4265.2%0.9%
Nissan (Nissan, Infiniti)$28,127$27,704$28,298-0.6%1.5%
Toyota (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)$28,576$28,396$27,3494.5%0.6%
Volkswagen (Audi, Volkswagen)$33,914$33,610$33,7810.4%0.9%
TOTAL INDUSTRY$31,228$30,832$30,6861.8%1.3%

Car Incentive Comparison: 2012 vs 2011

ManufacturerDec 2012 IncentivesNov 2012 IncentivesDec 2011 Incentives% Change Dec 2011 to Dec 2012% Change Nov 2012 to Dec 2012
Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat)$3,206$3,043$3,248-1.3%5.4%
Ford (Ford, Lincoln)$2,633$2,526$2,926-10.0%4.2%
GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)$2,952$2,921$3,118-5.3%1.1%
Honda (Acura, Honda)$1,845$1,871$2,336-21.0%-1.4%
Hyundai/Kia$1,573$1,359$1,25425.5%15.8%
Nissan (Nissan, Infiniti)$2,449$2,403$2,970-17.5%1.9%
Toyota (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)$1,756$1,632$1,904-7.8%7.6%
Volkswagen (Audi, Volkswagen)$2,391$2,264$2,518-5.1%5.6%
Industry$2,409$2,310$2,647-9.0%4.3%

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise 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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