Best Car Deals This Month
To find the best car deals for January 2019, check out the full list of manufacturer incentives and financing offers at the bottom of this page. However, you'll only want to use these incentives as a starting point to understand which types of cars a dealership is trying to promote and sell quickly.
To truly get a good deal, you'll want to get prices from several dealerships (hint: pick a make and model car and click the orange button above to get prices)
Deals by Manufacturer
Acura | Alfa Romeo | Audi | BMW | Buick | Cadillac | Chevrolet | Chrysler | Dodge | FIAT | Genesis | GMC | Honda | Hyundai | INFINITI | Jaguar | Jeep | Kia | Land Rover | Lexus | Lincoln | Mazda | Mercedes-Benz | MINI | Mitsubishi | Nissan | Porsche | Ram | Smart | Subaru | Tesla | Toyota | Volkswagen | Volvo
Let's explain a few reasons why a big discount doesn't necessarily mean a big deal:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 best way to get a deal.
Top 5 Car Deals This Month (editor's picks)
As we start 2019, many car manufacturers are offering great winter sales. January still offers many incentives for the remaining 2018 models, and we continue to see more 2019 models with attractive finance and cash back deals.
- 2018/2019 Buick Lacrosse
Buick swapped out most of its cash back deals from last month for 0.00% financing options for January. The 2018 and 2019 Buick Lacrosse are one of the few models that offer both 0.00% financing and $1,250 cash back, making it an attractive offer. The deal is valid until January 31st, 2019. The 2018 and 2019 models are large sedans that prioritize passenger and driver comfort. The two models are very similar, with the 2019 adding a new Sport Touring trim.
- 2018/2019 Honda Accord
Honda extended last month’s 1.90% financing deal until February 28th, 2019 on its widely popular 2018 Honda Accord. This month we see the same offer applied to the new 2019 Accord.The Accord line is one of the best midsize cars on the market, known for its many safety features, reliable engine, and spacious cabin, all for a reasonable price. The 2018 model was completely redesigned but there aren’t too many differences between the two.
- 2018 Hyundai Elantra
We see a brand new set of deals from Hyundai to start 2019, notably the 2018 Hyundai Elantra. This month Hyundai are offering $1,000 cash back and 0.00% financing that’s valid until January 31st, 2019. For those interested in the 2019 model, there’s a $500 cash back and 1.90% financing deal.The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is a good value option for a compact car. It boasts a large interior with comfortable seats matched with plenty of trunk space. The 2018 Elentra also has a high predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power and good gas mileage (22-32 City, 29-40 HWY).
- 2019 Kia Sorento
Kia also brings a whole new array of deals for many of their 2018 and 2019 models for January. Buyers who are looking for a midsize SUV should take note of the $3,000 cash back and 0.00% financing deal on the 2019 Kia Sorento. This offer is valid until January 31st, 2019.The 2019 Sorento provides new driver assistance features like front parking sensors and lane keep assist. The new model comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This midsized SUV has one of the best reliability ratings and a perfect safety rating, making it ideal for families.
- 2018 Chevrolet Cruze
Instead of a cash back deal from December, Chevy is offering 0.00% financing on the 2018 Cruze. If financing options are not what you’re looking for, they extended the $1,500 cash back deal on the 2019 model until January 31st, 2019.The Chevy Cruze is an affordable option for a compact car that still offers spacious seating and trunk space. It also has great fuel economy, getting 27-31 City and 37-52 Highway. There are no major additions to the 2019 model.
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 others car buyers have paid for the same type of car. However, that doesn’t mean other buyers are getting a good price.
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:
- Customer Cash Incentives and Rebates
- Manufacturer to Dealer Incentives
- Financing Deals
- Leasing Deals
- Other Manufacturer Promotions
Let’s breakdown each of these customer incentives:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Other Manufacturer Promotions
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 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 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 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 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.
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
If 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 have 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.
Current List of All Manufacturer Incentives for January 2019
To get the lowest discount prices use Car Deal Finder and see offers from multiple car dealers.
|Year||Make||Model||Cash Incentives (up to)||Best Avail. APR||Expiration|
STOP! Don’t choose a car based on incentives alone.
Use Car Deal Finder to get the best prices from several car dealers at once. Start a bidding war between them to find the lowest price.
|Year||Make||Model||Cash Incentives (up to)||Best Avail. APR||Expiration|
|2018||Hyundai||Santa Fe XL||$500||0.90%||1/31/19|
|2019||Kia||Niro Plug-In Hybrid||1.90%||1/31/19|
|2018||Kia||Optima Plug-In Hybrid||0.00%||1/31/19|
|2018||Land Rover||Discovery Sport||$3,000||1.90%||1/31/19|
|2018||Volvo||V90 Cross Country||$7,750||1/31/19|