Best Car Deals and Incentives for May 2020

New-car incentives and rebates are key deals to be aware of as a car shopper. These deals aim to boost sales of certain models and encourage brand loyalty. They often take the form of cash discounts off the vehicle, low APR interest rates for financing, or exclusive lease offers.

Incentives and rebates can vary by region and often change from one month to the next. The best car deals, in other words, tend to be moving targets. It’s always a good idea to check the latest offers on Edmunds before heading to the dealer to buy a new car.

Here are the types of deals and incentives you’re most likely to come across when shopping for the best new car deals today.

Customer Cash

These deals are simply cash discounts taken off the price of the car. Buyers often must meet certain requirements in order to get a rebate. Some cash rebates are only valid for recent college graduates, members of the military or first responders.

To qualify for a loyalty bonus, buyers need to show proof that they already own a car, truck or SUV of the same make. “Conquest bonus” car deals, on the other hand, might require buyers to show that they own a competitor’s vehicle. In some deals, the discount will only apply toward a car lease.

The best deals are sometimes only available when financed through automakers’ so-called “captives.” This refers to financing companies controlled by the automakers themselves, such as Ford Motor Credit or Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp.

Low APR Financing

This incentive offers low interest rates on financed vehicles, ranging from zero to about 5 percent. Notably, a buyer’s credit score needs to be fairly high to qualify. These low interest rates are sometimes tied to the length of the loan term, so be sure to pay attention to this detail.

Low APR financing deals usually cannot be combined with customer cash. In most cases, customer cash makes for the best deal because you are financing a smaller loan amount. But if you want to explore all your options, the Edmunds Low APR vs. Cash Back Calculator will help you spot the better value.

Lease Specials

Manufacturers often offer special lease deals through their captive financing companies. Formally known as subvented or subsidized leases, these deals are generally based on an inflated residual value.

In plain terms, this means that the estimated value of the vehicle at the end of the lease is unrealistically high. Dealers can therefore offer more attractive terms on targeted cars, trucks and SUVs, as the monthly lease payment is largely determined by the residual value.

Find the Best New Car Deals for You

On this page, you’ll find deals that include car incentives and rebates. You can browse by ZIP code, manufacturer or vehicle. It’s advisable to compare incentives and rebates on different models you are considering in order to get the best car deal.

Once you know what the deals are for the car you’re interested in, treat the incentive as a given and continue to negotiate with the dealer on the price of the vehicle. If it is a special lease, see if you can offer a lower down payment to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses.

Make sure to get an “out-the-door” figure from the dealer that includes the total price and what you’ll be paying per month. Even the best car deals may exclude taxes, interest fees and other costs unless you explicitly ask your sales associate for these details.

If you’re looking for the best new car deals, be sure to compare the latest incentives being offered at dealerships in your area. Edmunds keeps car shoppers informed with up-to-date information on new-car rebates, finance offers and lease deals that are currently available on every make and model.

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