How to Save Money With These 7 Car-Buying Incentives

Use new car incentives and other strategies to lower your price.

If you’re interested in buying a new car and you’re experiencing sticker shock, there are several new car incentives and car rebates you can take advantage of before you sign on the dotted line. Just asking a car dealer about new car rebates or new car finance plans can help you get a head start on bringing down the cost of that new set of wheels.

Utilize the best car deals, car incentives, special financing and other money-saving opportunities available to you. Follow these seven tips to make the most of your car-buying experience.

Best Car-Buying Incentives

Don’t pay full price for your new car. With some research, you could keep some money in your wallet. Here are seven of the best car-buying incentives you can get:

1. Bonus Cash Offers

Some car manufacturers extend bonus cash offers during prime shopping seasons to sell off specific vehicle models. For example, during the 2017 Ford Black Friday Sales Event, you could get up to a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card or apply the bonus toward a new Ford vehicle purchase. Another special Ford program provides a $500 bonus cash incentive for current college students and alumni who graduated within the last three years.

2. Cash Rebate Incentives

Manufacturers issue cash rebates that you can use to save money on the total price you pay for your car. You just submit your rebate documents to the manufacturer and wait a few weeks or months for your check.

Most states impose a sales tax on the full purchase price, not the price you end up paying after the rebate. As a result, your final discount might end up being smaller than the full value of the cash rebate.

Learn: 30 Biggest Do’s and Don’ts When Buying a Car

3. Car-Buying Incentives for Organization Members

Even if you’ve found some great dealer discounts to bring down your total sales price, don’t overlook discounts you’re eligible for as a member of an organization. Some manufacturers partner with credit unions, banks and member-based organizations to provide exclusive discounts. If you’re a member of the USAA, a credit union or an organization such as the BMW Car Club of America, you could qualify for a special dealer discount.

4. Special Financing Offers

Some automakers will extend a 0 percent financing offer to those who qualify. If you have near-perfect credit, there’s a good chance you could pick up a new set of wheels without paying any interest on the loan, which can help you save a significant amount of money if you planned on financing your vehicle anyway. In addition, the automaker provides the financing so you won’t need to go through a bank, credit union or other financial institution to get approved.

Learn: New and Used Car Loan Interest Rates Explained

5. Conquest Discount

When a dealer is trying to navigate you away from the make of the car you’ve been driving for years, he might extend a conquest discount to help persuade you to buy a completely different make and model. Signing a conquest lease or accepting a conquest discount means you have been “conquered” and are no longer loyal to your old carmaker.

6. Loyalty Rebate

Manufacturers offer loyalty rebates to longtime customers who are interested in upgrading or buying a different model. You would qualify for this discount only if you agreed not to switch brands. For example, General Motors extends a Loyalty Offer on certain Chevrolet vehicles during some seasons. You could qualify for owner loyalty savings by choosing a Chevrolet, GMC or Buick as your next car.

7. Lease-to-Own Deals

A lease-to-own agreement — also known as a lease buyout — might get you a great deal on a car you’ve been eyeing. If you decide you really want to own the car you’ve been leasing you must determine if your car is worth more than that amount. If it is, buying your car might be a good deal because you would make more money if you chose to sell it — or at the very least, you would own a car that has retained a high value.

Choose the Best Car Deal for You

From new car rebates to conquest discounts, there are several ways you can save money on a car purchase. Make sure to inquire about car-buying incentives before you visit the dealership so you get the best possible offer.

Make sure, however, that you get the car you really want. Although you’ll save some money with a dealer’s discount or special financing offer, you won’t be happy if you don’t love the vehicle. Take your time and assess your bottom-line cost as you shop around for a car — there are lots of new car deals available, but make sure you get the right one for you.

Up Next: 5 Things to Never Tell a Car Salesman If You Want the Best Deal