Ingy The Wingy
Looking to buy a new car? Now is a good time. 2012 models are coming out, so dealers will want to unload their remaining 2011 inventory. Also, a number of great financing deals mean that borrowing money to buy a car isn't such a terrible idea. Here are some of the deals currently available from six top automakers.
1. Honda: Civic Sedan or Coupe, 0.9% APR for 24-36 months or 1.9% for 37-60 months through 9/6/11. Learn more about this Honda deal here. There are also deals starting at 1.9% or 2.9% for many other models.
2. Nissan: Altima, 0.0% APR for up to 60 months or 1.9% for up to 72 months or $1,500 cash back through 8/31/11. Learn more about this Nissan deal here. The Altima was the No. 6 best-selling car in July according to Edmunds.com.
3. Chevy: Malibu, 0.0% APR for 60 months through 9/6/11. Learn more about this Malibu deal here. The Malibu was the No. 8 best-selling car in July according to Edmunds.com. (I wonder if that's because of its popularity as a rental car?)
4. Mazda: Every 2011 model, 0.0% APR for up to 60 months and no payments for 90 days through 8/31/11. Learn more about this Mazda deal here.
5. Hyundai: Sonata, 0.9% APR for up to 36 months, 1.9% for up to 48 months, 2.9% for up to 60 months through 8/31/11. Learn more about this Sonata deal here. The Sonata was the No. 7 best-selling car in July according to Edmunds.com. It also received 25.4% of the vote in Edmunds’ midsize family sedan category for its 2011 Consumer Favorites poll. (Older Hyundais don't have the greatest track record for reliability in Consumer Reports; how the 2011 will fare remains to be seen.)
6. Toyota: Camry or Corolla, 0% APR for 36, 48 or 60 months through 8/31/11. Also includes a complimentary maintenance plan for 2 years or 25,000 miles. Learn more about this Camry deal here. The Camry was the No. 2 best-selling car in July according to Edmunds.com.
To get any of these deals, you'll probably need excellent credit. Also, you'll likely need some money up front for the down payment, first month's payment, title, license and registration fees. These costs will probably range from $2,000 to $3,500 You could put more down if you wanted, but with such low interest rates, you might prefer to keep the money in your emergency fund.
According to Interest.com's survey of major auto lenders, the average interest rate on a 60-month auto loan has been 5.57% this month, so these deals look pretty great.
Interest rate isn't the only factor you should consider when buying a car, but it might tip the scales when evaluating used versus new or one model versus another.