COVID-19: Car Buying Deals
Things are tough for all of us in these strange days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Automakers are helping by switching from vehicle production to the manufacturing of ventilators, masks, and other equipment for frontline health and safety workers.
With new vehicle sales down sharply, automakers and dealers are scrambling to sell 2020 and leftover 2019 vehicles, including eco-friendly electric vehicles and hybrids.
The incentives are reminiscent of those available during the 2008-2009 Great Recession. If you are in-market for a vehicle, then this is a great time to save money on new green wheels, with extended interest-free financing deals, extended warranties, and four-figure cash-back offers.
Jaguar is offering 0 percent financing for 72 months on its first all-electric production car, the well-regarded I-Pace sport sedan. At the other end of the price spectrum, you can buy a 2019 Chevy Volt hybrid or Bolt EV for that same 0 percent financing deal.
Audi is offering financing as low as 1.99 percent across the board for its hybrid models, along with cash back up to $3,000, depending on the model, according to Edmunds. Ford hybrids, including the Fusion and Escape, are as low as 0 percent financing, and up to $2,500 cash back.
Hyundai is offering financing as low as 1.9 percent on 2020 plug-in hybrids including the 2019 and 2020 Ioniq, and as low as 0 percent on the 2019 and 2020 Sonata hybrid and plug-in version, along with substantial cash back up to $6,500.
Hyundai also is extending its warranty policy for those of us facing difficulties getting service or repair, since some dealerships have closed temporarily. Current Hyundai owners whose warranty is expiring between now and June will have their coverage extended through June 30th.
Subaru also is extending its warranty program for up to six months, and extending payment extensions of up to 90 days for current owners. New buyers can get long-term, zero-percent financing on some of Subaru's most popular models, including Forester, Outback, Legacy, and Impreza.
Lexus is offering financing between 0 percent and 0.9 percent on a dozen 2019 and 2020 hybrid sedans, SUVs and crossover models including the NX 300h, RX 450h, ES 300h and UX 250h. The finance deals also come with cash back up to $8,000.
Even the venerable Toyota Prius is on the best buy list, with financing on 2020 models as low as 0 percent financing, and 1.9 percent on the Highlander Hybrid.
Fiat Chrysler is offering qualified buyers 0 percent financing for 84 months on new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Truck, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo brands, and no payments at all for 90 days of some 2019 and 2020 models. Unfortunately, there are no pandemic deals on any of the company's hybrid models, except for a standard cash-back offer on the best-selling Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan.
The entire transaction, including trade-in, can be done online under the company's new "Drive Forward" initiative. Shop the brand's website, which connects you to a local dealer to finalize the sale, and the dealer delivers the vehicle directly to your home.
General Motors is offering 84 months -- that's seven years -- of interest-free financing on Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC models, which J.D. Power classifies as the longest zero-percent deal on record from a major automaker. And on top of that, qualified buyers don't need to make a payment for up to 120 days on models including the Chevy Bolt EV.
GM also is emphasizing its "Shop. Click. Drive." online program to allow potential buyers to browse a local dealer's inventory 24/7.
Ford also is allowing delayed payments of up to 90 days for new car buyers, under a new program called "Coronavirus Car Payment Plans." The extension is for eligible buyers purchasing new 2019 and 2020 models, with the exception of some versions of the best-selling F-150 line. The caveat is that the deferred payments are only for vehicles purchased through Ford's financial services arm.
Volkswagen is waiving up to six months of payments, up to $750 per month, for qualifying buyers who have lost their jobs, and offering zero-percent financing for five years on most models of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles, not new ones.