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Car Incentives Down for New Cars

February 7, 2013

So, I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is mainly for car manufacturers and dealers:  January was a very strong sales month. According to an article on The Truth About Cars, GM and Ford both surprised analysts with 16% and 22% increases respectively, while Toyota also saw a large increase of 26.6%. Other companies also faired very well in January, such as Chrysler with a 16% jump, and Honda with a 13% increase.

Now for a bit of bad news - car incentives are declining. According to TrueCar.com, the average incentive for passenger vehicles was $2,274 in January 2013, a decline of $206 (8.3%) from January 2012, and a decrease of $317 (12.2%) from December 2012.

But not to worry, although the industry overall has been reducing incentives, that doesn't mean you can't get a great deal on the car you want.  When you're ready to negotiate, I recommend turning to the  CarWoo Deal Finder to find the very best deals on any new vehicle.

Incentives Comparison

Vehicle Jan 2013 Dec 2012 Jan 2012 % Change Jan 2012 to Jan 2013 % Change Dec 2012 to Jan 2013
Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat) $2,973 $3,102 $3,160 -5.9% -4.2%
Ford (Ford, Lincoln) $2,643 $2,792 $2,886 -8.4% -5.3%
GM (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC) $3,150 $3,522 $3,071 2.6% -10.6%
Honda (Acura, Honda) $1,194 $1,657 $2,127 -43.9% -27.9%
Hyundai/Kia $1,243 $1,477 $1,198 3.7% -15.8%
Nissan (Nissan, Infiniti) $2,084 $2,629 $2,764 -24.6% -20.7%
Toyota (Lexus, Scion, Toyota) $1,660 $1,930 $1,717 -3.3% -14.0%
Volkswagen (Audi, Volkswagen) $2,276 $2,385 $2,171 4.8% -4.6%
Industry $2,274 $2,591 $2,481 -8.3% -12.2%

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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