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Best Car Deals

Top 10 Best Car Deals Right Now
(editor's picks)

top-10-car-deals-ribbonIf you’re in the market for a new vehicle, here are ten featured car deals for the month of April. Leading manufacturers are offering attractive purchase and lease incentives on their 2020 and 2021 models this month. There are low-interest finance deals, big cash back incentives, and low-mileage leases from brands like Ford, Hyundai, and Nissan. Some of the deals in the list have very low-down payments and low monthly payments; most incentives are available until May 3rd, 2021.

Let's explain a few reasons why a big discount doesn't necessarily mean a big deal:

  1. Offers are often based upon a specific model year and options package that may be in limited supply or not the same configuration you are looking for. Dealerships make these "teaser" offers to get you on their lot and upsell you into a more expensive trim level.
  2. No matter how great the deal on a car's price seems, you're not done negotiating until you leave the Finance Office. Dealerships can offer low car prices upfront knowing they will undervalue your trade-in or upsell you with high finance rates, warranties, and other add-ons.
  3. Marketing offers are completely made up by marketers! Instead of pricing a car at $30,000, what's to stop a manufacturer from pricing it at $32,000 and saying there's a $2,000 rebate to make it more appealing? Nothing, and that's exactly what they do.
  4. Not all price information is published. Manufacturers offer hidden rebates to dealerships that allow them to "appear" to go lower than invoice, which is not actually their bottom line cost.
  5. Dealerships and salesmen have monthly incentives based on cars sold that allow them to take losses on individual deals and still make a hefty profit.

All this is said to let you know that published discounts only tell part of the story. Getting prices from several dealers and making them compete is the only way to get the best car deal.

What is a good car deal?

Car manufacturers purposely offer confusing discounts with fine print while keeping their real costs a secret. They do this to make it difficult to determine whether you are getting a fair price.

Some websites track the average price other car buyers have paid for the same type of car. However, that doesn’t mean other buyers are getting the best car deals.

The only way to truly know you are getting a good deal is to start a bidding war between dealerships, also known as a reverse auction. It’s easier than you think. You just need to get prices from several dealers, and then ask each dealer to beat the price offered by their competition. When you’re done with the process, you’ll have gotten the rock-bottom, lowest possible car price.

Keep in mind, car price is only the first step of buying a car. The other aspects of a good car deal are making sure you get the most for your trade-in and that you get the best financing. You’ll also want to avoid paying these extra fees in the Finance Office.

Types of car deals

When car manufacturers advertise deals they often include terms like cash back, special offer, and 0% APR. While it’s useful to understand the basics, there’s no need to get hung up on specific fees and rebates when buying a car.

Below are the more common types of discounts you will see:

  1. Customer Cash Incentives and Rebates
  2. Manufacturer to Dealer Incentives
  3. Financing Deals
  4. Leasing Deals
  5. Other Manufacturer Promotions

Let’s breakdown each of these customer incentives:

1   Customer Cash Incentives and Rebates

Customer cash incentives are similar and go by several names including cash back, bonus cash, cash allowances, and rebates. These incentives all work by reducing the total price you pay for a car. Keep in mind that in most cases these do not result in an actual check or cash that you can take with you after closing.

Once type of cash incentive is a loyalty offer. A loyalty offer is a manufacturer discount for current owners of the brand for repeat buyers.

The opposite of a loyalty offer is a conquest offer. To qualify, a manufacturer might require that you prove that you own a competitor’s vehicle to get the discount.

2   Manufacturer to Dealer Incentives

Also known as dealer cash, these incentives go directly to the dealer after they sell a car. This helps to boost sales of certain cars, but it can also mean that a dealer is more likely to pass along some or all of their savings and give you a lower price.

3   Finance Deals

Finance deals on car loans usually refer to a low or zero percent Annual Percentage Rate (APR). APR is the yearly interest rate you pay on a loan. If you get a lower APR, your monthly car payment will be lower. You can use a loan calculator to see how different APR’s change your loan payments.

Sometimes APR deals come with cash rebates as well.

4   Leasing deals

The way most lease programs work is an automaker will subsidize a car to the leasing company on your behalf. They do this by lowering the car's capitalized cost (sale price) or by increasing the residual value of the car (the amount you can buy a car for at the end of the lease). Either way, the result is lower monthly lease payments for you.

5   Other Manufacturer Promotions

Sign and Drive

Sign and drive  (offered by Volkswagen and a few others) is a leasing offer where you can get a car for no down payment. In reality, you are rolling all the leasing costs into higher monthly payments. You may also have to pay taxes, title and registration fees during a sign and drive event.

End of Model Year Car Deals

End of Model year car deals occur when a manufacturer provides incentives to move outgoing model year cars off the lot. Buyers typically want to get the latest year and as a result, older model years go down in value. Even bigger offers can be found if the body style of a car is changing between years.

Buy Here Pay Here

Buy Here Pay Here offers are targeted to consumers who can’t find a loan through most lenders, typically because of bad credit. Buy here pay here dealers promote that anyone can qualify for a loan. The dealership provides the financing but typically with a much higher interest rate.

Military Discounts

Military discounts are offered to current and former members of the armed services and sometimes their families as well. This type of discount is sometimes extended to first responders as well after calamities like 9/11, hurricanes, or fires. You’ll need to show proof, but the nice thing is that military discounts can often be added on top of other cash incentives.

College Discounts

College discounts work in a similar way to military discounts, but instead they are for students or recent grads. Again, you’ll likely need proof like a student ID.

Educator Discounts

Educator discounts are offered to teachers, administrators, and school support staff. These discounts are often extended to spouses and dependent children under 21.

Mobility Programs

Mobility programs for people with disabilities are cash reimbursements for the purchase and installation of adaptive equipment. Adaptive equipment is any vehicle modification to assist with transportation like lowered floors and ramps, lifts and hoists, and running boards. Reimbursement is typically up to $1,000.

Fleet Programs

Fleet programs provide bulk pricing discounts on purchases of several cars at once as well as flexible group financing. To qualify for a fleet program you must have a business that already owns or is planning to acquire a fleet of vehicles, typically consisting of at least five cars.

Employee Offers

Employee offers like the GM family discount are for employees of car manufacturers, dealerships, and sometimes their immediate family. You’ll usually need an authorization code or number from your employer in order to take advantage, but these offers can sometimes provide the steepest discounts of all.

Don’t worry about the different types of discounts, instead get prices from several dealers and focus on the total car price.  Let the dealers worry about how they can come up with an overall price to beat out their competitors and earn your business.

When is it a bad deal? Beware the fine print

Bad-Deal-SignIf a deal seems too good to be true, it could actually be a scam, a marketing teaser, or simply not quite as good as it appears. Here are a few things to look out for when evaluating a deal:

  • A sweet cash discount and 0% financing may both be offered, but you can only use one. When multiple offers are promoted, sometimes you may have to choose between them instead of adding them together.
  • You’re not in the military or a college grad. Read the fine print to make sure the offer isn’t just for certain demographics like the military or college students.
  • To get a cash incentive, you must use the dealer’s financing (or financing from a dealer partner like Ford Motor Credit or Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.) The financing they provide may be at a higher APR than financing you can find elsewhere.
  • 0% or low APR could be tied to the term of the loan and require you to pay everything back in a short period of time like 1-3 years.
  • 0% or special financing may only be available if you are a "well qualified buyer" with excellent credit.
  • A lease special may be limited to driving under a certain number of miles per year, usually 12,000. If you exceed that amount your payments could jump.

Special COVID-19 Incentives for April 2021

Many manufacturers are offering Coronavirus car deals and financial assistance programs to current and new customers during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Best Incentives by Manufacturer for April 2021

We've reviewed all manufacturer incentives for April and highlighted today's best deals for each car brand below. You can see additional incentives by clicking the link below each car brand.

YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021AcuraILX0.00%$239/month for 36 months, $2,799 due at signing5/3/21
2022AcuraMDX1.90%$469/month for 36 months, $3,999 due at signing5/3/21
View All Acura Incentives
2021AudiA40.00%$359/month for 36 months, $4,253 due at signing5/3/21
2021AudiQ31.49%$419/month for 36 months, $4,213 due at signing5/3/21
View All Audi Incentives
2021BMW3-Series0.90%$409/month for 36 months, $3,999 due at signing5/2/21
2021BMW5-Series 0.90%$529/month for 36 months, $4,999 due at signing5/2/21
2021BMWX31.90%$419/month for 36 months, $5,339 due at signing5/2/21
View All BMW Incentives
2021BuickEnclave$6,450 0.00%$279/month for 24 months, $3,029 due at signing5/3/21
2021BuickEncore GX$3,450 0.00%$179/month for 24 months, $1,779 due at signing5/3/21
View All Buick Incentives
2021GMCCanyon$2,900 5/3/21
2021GMCSierra 1500$5,750 0.00%$329/month for 24 months, $3,989 due at signing5/3/21
View All GMC Incentives
2021CadillacCT4$2,750 0.90%$329/month for 36 months, $3,749 due at signing5/3/21
2021CadillacXT4$1,500 0.90%$319/month for 36 months, $3,449 due at signing5/3/21
View All Cadillac Incentives
2021ChevroletBolt EV $9,000 0.00%$279/month for 39 months, $279 due at signing5/3/21
2021ChevroletEquinox$5,466 0.00%$199/month for 39 months, $2,209 due at signing5/3/21
2021ChevroletTrax$4,489 0.00%$189/month for 39 months, $1,229 due at signing5/3/21
View All Chevrolet Incentives
2021ChryslerPacifica$3,500 0.00%$403/month for 36 months, $4,749 due at signing5/3/21
View All Chrysler Incentives
2021DodgeCharger$2,000 0.00%$367/month for 36 months, $4,249 due at signing5/3/21
View All Dodge Incentives
2021FordEcoSport$2,250 8.90%$240/month for 39 months, $2,710 due at signing5/3/21
2021FordExplorer5.90%$362/month for 39 months, $3,732 due at signing5/3/21
2021FordRanger$1,750 7.90%$263/month for 36 months, $2,865 due at signing5/3/21
View All Ford Incentives
2021HondaCR-V 0.00%$249/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/21
2021HondaOdyssey0.00%$329/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/21
2021HondaPassport0.00%$309/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/21
View All Honda Incentives
YearMakeModelCash Incentives (up to)Best Avail. APRLease OffersExpiration
2021HyundaiElantra$2,000 0.00%$159/month for 36 months, $2,899 due at signing4/30/21
2021HyundaiKona$3,500 0.00%$219/month for 36 months, $0 due at signing4/30/21
2021HyundaiSonata$2,500 0.00%$229/month for 36 months, $0 due at signing4/30/21
View All Hyundai Incentives
2021InfinitiQ500.00%$379/month for 39 months, $3,599 due at signing4/30/21
View All Infiniti Incentives
2021JaguarF-Type0.00%$539/month for 36 months, $4,995 due at signing4/30/21
View All Jaguar Incentives
2021JeepWrangler0.00%$250/month for 36 months, $3,995 due at signing5/3/21
View All Jeep Incentives
2021KiaSorento1.90%$259/month for 36 months, $3,499 due at signing5/3/21
2021KiaSportage$2,500 0.00%$159/month for 36 months, $3,637 due at signing5/3/21
View All Kia Incentives
2021Land RoverDiscovery Sport0.90%$439/month for 36 months, $3,995 due at signing4/30/21
View All Land Rover Incentives
2021Lexus UX$1,500 0.90%$319/month for 36 months, $1,999 due at signing5/3/21
2021LexusRX$2,5000.90%$439/month for 36 months, $3,999 due at signing5/3/21
View All Lexus Incentives
View All Lincoln Incentives
2021MazdaCX-50.90%$189/month for 24 months, $3,999 due at signing5/3/21
2021MazdaCX-90.00%$279/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/21
View All Mazda Incentives
2021MitsubishiOutlander Phev$1,500 0.00%$269/month for 36 months, $3,518 due at signing5/3/21
2022MitsubishiOutlander$1,000 0.90%$239/month for 36 months, $4,238 due at signing5/3/21
View All Mitsubishi Incentives
2021MercedesCLA-Class$399/month for 36 months, $4,193 due at signing4/30/21
2021MercedesGLS-Class$989/month for 36 months, $4,983 due at signing4/30/21
View All Mercedes-Benz Incentives
2021NissanArmada$2,000 0.00%$468/month for 36 months, $7,518 due at signing5/3/21
2021NissanLeaf$7,500 0.00%$181/month for 36 months, $181 due at signing5/3/21
View All Nissan Incentives
View All Porsche Incentives
2021RAM1500$4,000 0.00%5/3/21
View All RAM Incentives
2021SubaruAscent0.00%$279/month for 36 months, $3,179 due at signing4/30/21
2021SubaruOutback0.00%$249/month for 36 months, $2,499 due at signing4/30/21
View All Subaru Incentives
2021ToyotaAvalon$2,000 0.00%5/3/21
2021ToyotaCorolla Hybrid $2,000 0.00%$139/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/21
2021ToyotaRAV4 $1,250 1.90%$239/month for 36 months, $2,999 due at signing5/3/21
View All Toyota Incentives
2021VolkswagenAtlas Cross Sport$369/month for 39 months, $0 due at signing5/3/21
2021VolkswagenJetta0.00%$239/month for 39 months, $0 due at signing5/3/21
View All Volkswagen Incentives
2021VolvoXC90$3,500 0.99%$545/month for 36 months, $4,945 due at signing4/30/21
View All Volvo Incentives

These offers may vary based on location, credit score, and financing terms and are not guaranteed. So use my free service to Check Discount Car Prices to get the best prices that include current manufacturer offers and incentives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 0% financing a good deal?

0% APR financing can be a great deal, but it really depends on the terms and conditions, so read the fine print.  Some zero percent APR offers come with a short loan term like 36 months or require you to pay a higher price for the car to qualify.

These models have 0% financing offers right now.

How do I get the best deal on a new car?

The best way to get a deal is to request car prices from several car dealerships at once. Then ask dealers to beat your best price.  Learn how to negotiate the best deal on a new car.

Can you get a better deal on a car if you pay cash?

No, you can’t get a better deal paying cash.  Dealers make profits from car loans so they’d rather you finance.

How much can you negotiate on a new car?

The potential savings is different for every type of car, but you can typically negotiate a couple thousand dollars below MSRP.

What is the best month to buy a car?

If you have flexibility, December is the best month to buy a car.  Car salesman and dealerships get sales incentives at the end of the financial year. Couple that with the holiday week between Christmas and New Years and you get one of the best weeks of the whole entire year to buy. Here’s a full break-down of the best months to buy a car.

Can I get a deal buying two cars at once?

Yes, however, both cars must be bought from the same dealership in order to get a deal. Read more about buying two cars at once.