TodayApril 16, 2022

Top ten Car incentives and discounts

The best deals on cars

Sheri was thinking of buying a car earlier this year. “With the price of gasoline, I could buy a small, fuel-efficient car and only use my Dodge truck to pull the horse trailer. Besides, it would be better for the environment.” That was six months ago when gasoline was high and money plentiful. What a difference six months makes.

Sheri is working at a retail store for the Christmas holidays. She can afford to truck her horses to a riding place. Gasoline prices have gone from $4.50 six months ago to $1.89 today. The problem is, Sheri’s retirement fund has decreased by 25 percent. Now Sheri is afraid to buy a car. She doesn’t know when the bleeding will stop.

It’s a sentiment that is going across the country. Sheri, like many others, didn’t NEED to buy a car, but the idea was there. She was shopping in her mind. Now, she is more worried about making ends meet without dipping into her savings. As the cost of items of necessity goes up, one has to cut back or shell out more cash.

The discounts for black Friday were the deepest many have seen. Retailers did this to get people into the stores. Auto manufacturers are feeling the same way, and the companies with the cars on the lot the longest are providing some good to great discounts.

Let’s start with the manufacturers that have cars on the dealer’s lot the longest. J. D. Power’s Power Information Network (PIN) sent me the list of days on the lot from Sept-Oct, 2008, and let me tell you, some of those cars have moss growing on them.

Remember, some of these sales are regional, some apply on to certain models, some apply only to certain years, and some you have to be a member to get the deal. You will need documentation, good credit, and possibly cash down.

One last reminder: think of gasoline as an adjustable interest rate when you are buying a car. Calculate your car purchase with how much gas costs now, and how much you think it will be in two years when you are still paying for this car.

Chrysler Group: (avg 136 days on the lot)

Chrysler tops the list with cars on the lot for 129 days, Dodge runs 127 days on the lot and Jeep is 128 days. That would the reason Chrysler Corp is offering 0%-4.9% interest rates on 2008 & 2009 models, depending on your credit, down payment, blah blah blah.

The deals below are offered by most Chrysler dealers but are not from Chrysler Financial.  They are from Chase Bank or US Bank.

Interest rates on financing:

2008 Model Year
1.9/1.9/1.9/3.9% on most vehicles
0.0/0.0/0.0/0.0% on Grand Cherokee, Commander, 300C, and Dakota

2009 Model Year
3.9/3.9/3.9/4.9% on most vehicles
1.9/1.9/1.9/1.9% on Grand Cherokee, Commander, 300C, and Dakota


Remember, Chrysler doesn’t offer to lease, but a Chrysler dealer can help you find a bank that does offer to lease. If you do secure independent financing for a lease agreement, Chrysler does offer a $2,000 bonus incentive.

Customer Cash Programs:

This includes the one time great Chrysler 300C with a cash rebate up to $6,000. Other products such as the Jeep Grand Cherokee allow for a $5,500 rebate, while the Dodge Ram LD and Dodge Dakota can get you up to $5,000 back.


With the purchase or lease a 2008 or 2009 Chrysler Town & Country minivan, Jeep Commander, Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Grand Caravan you can receive a free backseat DVD system. The program also includes the dual second and third-row DVD in the Town & Country and Grand Caravan “ a minivan exclusive – which at no charge to you is a total savings of up to $1,525 off MSRP.

Suzuki: (128 days on the lot)

Customer Cash Program:

Suzuki’s best offer is $6,000 off the 2008 XL7, then $2,000 on the Forenza, $3,000 on the Vitara, $1,500 on the SX4, and $1,000 on the 2008 Reno. The SX4 is the only 2009 model with a cash rebate of $500.

Ford group: (95 days on the lot)

Volvo is 112 days on the lot, Ford 98 days, Mercury 91 days, Lincoln 71 days. All brands are above the 60-day average the manufacturer would like to be at, so they are aggressively pricing all vehicles, but Volvo has the deal that I’ve seen.

Volvo and Costco team up for the best deal:

If you are a Costco member and want to purchase a 2008 or 2009 Volvo XC90, XC70 or V70 before January 5, 2009, you will get:
$1,000 off Volvo employee pricing
$ 750-holiday gift card from Volvo, which can be applied to your purchase
any available customer rebates or dealer incentives
and if you complete a Costco auto program survey after your purchase you will receive a $500 Costco cash card.

Volvo Winter Savings from the Costco Auto Program


Ford is offering “Employee Pricing Plus” on all 2009 models, except the F-150. There is cashback on some models.

Ford is also offering zero-percent financing on 9 fuel-efficient vehicles: The vehicles include the Ford Focus, Fusion, Escape and Flex,  Mercury Milan and Mariner and Lincoln MKZ and MKS, and Ford’s ’09 F-150 with the SFE edition.

Land Rover: (89 days on the lot)

0% financing is offered on all 2008 models. Check out

Landrover deals

General Motors: (87 days on the lot)

87 days on the lot looks good for General Motors, right? It is. When you break it down, though, the numbers aren’t as good for all brands. Hummer is 123 days, Saab 112 days, GMC 99 days, Saturn 88 days, Chevrolet 88 days, Cadillac 84 days, Pontiac 73 days and Buick 73 days. All GM franchises are above the 60 days on the lot that most other manufacturers strive for. It would make sense that you could get some great deals on the cars that have been on the lot the longest. You’ll need to go to your dealer, or to the auto web site and look under red tag sale. Three examples are,

2008 Cadillac Escalade MSRP:$56,890.00, Red Tag Price:$53,456.55,Total Cash Back:$6,750.00 Your Price:$46,706.55
2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer MSRP:$36,515.00, Red Tag Price:$34,757.11, Total Cash Back:$3,000.00, Your Price:$31,757.11
2009 Buick Enclave MSRP:$38,115.00, Red Tag Price:$36,269.28, Total Cash Back:$750.00, Your Price:$35,519.28

Jaguar:(86 days on the lot)

Jaguar will be offering a limited time only incentive deal which started in early November and will run until January 8, 2009.
Participating Jaguar dealers will be offering 0% APR for up to 60 months (for well-qualified buyers) on the 2009 Jaguar XF Luxury.

Hyundai group: (75 days on the lot)

Kia is 82 days on the lot, Hyundai is 71.

Kia has cash deals on 2008 and 2009 models:


Rio – $500.00
Spectra — $1500
Optima — $2000
Sportage — $2-3000 depending on model
Rondo — $500.00
Sorento — $5000
Sedona $4-5000 depending upon the model


Spectra — $1000
Borrego — $2000
Amanti  — $5000

Hyundai has multiple cash backs, financing, loyalty payments, and special lease deals. If you’re in the military they also have military deals. Go to:

Hyundai deals

Nissan Group: (61 days on the lot)

Nissan (59 days on the lot) and Infiniti (80 days on the lot) are offering programs. Nissan has zero percent financing on five models: Murano, Sentra, Altima, Versa, and Rogue. Nissan also has leasing for $199/month on the Altima ($2,759 initial payment required at consummation (includes $2,560 down payment and $199 first month payment), and Rogue ($2,754 initial payment required at consummation (includes $2,555 down payment and $199 first month payment).

Infiniti is offering zero-percent financing for 36 months on all 2008 models. During the Limited Engagement Winter Event, customers can lease the 2008 Infiniti G Sedan for $349 per month and the 2008 Infiniti G Coupe or Infiniti EX for $399 monthly. Ask for the details.

Mercedes-Benz: (54 days on the lot)

Mercedes-Benz is doing way in calibrating most of the vehicle production, but they are still running their annual Winter Event program which includes special rate financing on select models:

You can see them all at the Mercedes-Benz Winter Event program

BMW Group: (53 days on the lot)
BMW is 59 days on the lot, and MINI is the shortest days on the lot with a MINI staying on a dealers lot only 11 days.

BMW is offering a pretty good APR financing deals starting at 0.9 percent. Click on the URL below for:

BMW 2008 model deals

BMW 2009 model deals

Honda group: (49 days on the lot)

Honda is 46 days on the lot, while Acura is 80 days on the lot.

Honda is offering financing and leasing specials at the URL below:
Honda 2008 and 2009 deals

Toyota Group: (avg 45 days on the lot)

Lexus is 55 days on the lot, Toyota 45 days on the lot, and Scion a paltry 27 days on the lot, so don’t expect great deals on Scions.

Three are twelve models that you can get zero-percent financing on, but check your area, some are regional. Toyota Matrix, Corolla, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, FJ Cruiser, 4Runner, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, and Toyota Yaris.

Volkswagen Group: (avg 43 days on the lot)

The Volkswagen group (42 days on the lot), which includes VW, Audi (46 days on the lot), and Porsche (72 days on the lot). Volkswagen is offering zero down, 60-month financing, and lease offers. VW has very few 2008 models on their lot, so the zero financings is for 2009 models. Audi has no cash down for the month.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.