Home > Lists > 2014 >

12 Steps to Getting the Best Deal on a New Car

Step 8: Check for rebates and other incentives.

(General Motors Corporation)

(General Motors Corporation)

Usually, but not always, direct-to-consumer cash rebates and cut-rate financing deals are promoted in automakers’ websites under a “special offers” tab. Some cash incentives may only be available on a limited basis, such as to members of the military and their families, recent college graduates or current owners of competing models. However, not all campaigns are promoted. Direct-to-dealer marketing support incentives are sometimes called “secret rebates” because they’re rarely publicized. Here, an automaker will give the dealer a set amount of money to help sweeten the deal on a particular model. These incentives are most often used by luxury automakers to help their dealers move slow-selling models without “cheapening” the brand (or adversely affecting a model’s resale value down the road) by advertising a rebate. Knowing such an incentive is in effect can give you an advantage when you negotiate the transaction price on a given model. Be sure to check one of the Internet’s car-pricing sites to see if a marketing allowance or other incentives are being offered for vehicles you’re considering.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]