Best Car Deals
John M. VincentLast Updated: Oct 3, 2019
What Are October’s Best Car Deals?
October is a good month to get a great deal on a new car. It’s when automakers and their dealers ...Read More
Deals by Manufacturer
Best Car Deals This Month
Deals are samples from the manufacturer. Availability may vary based on location. Contact your dealer for details and qualification. All prices exclude taxes, licensing, tags and other dealer fees.
More on Best Car Deals
October is a good month to get a great deal on a new car. It’s when automakers and their dealers get serious about moving the old models off the lots to make room for all-new, redesigned, and refreshed 2020 models. As the weather starts to turn, dealer lots get a little less crowded, and salespeople tend to work a little harder to turn every shopper into a customer.
Interest rates have been slowly climbing over the last few years, though they remain relatively low. Zero percent financing deals, which were expected to dwindle this year, have remained remarkably easy to find. This month brings several of the longest-term zero percent deals we've seen. They're not just available on the slowest-selling models, either, but rather a broad selection of cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans.
It takes some research to find the best deal. First, you need to be able to distinguish a good offer from a bad one. Then, you need to compare different car deals to determine which one is the best. Finally, you’ll want to know how to take advantage of the incentives you find. When you’re prepared, you can save thousands of dollars on your new ride and spend less to finance it.
Some of the best car deals we’ve seen in 2019 are available this month. Not only are there many zero percent financing and hefty cash back deals, but there are several offers that combine the two. The 2019 Ram 1500 pickup, for example, is available in some areas with zero percent financing for five years plus as much as $4,000 cash back. The recently redesigned 2019 Nissan Altima also has a zero percent financing offer available with between $3,500 and $4,000 cash back.
When it comes to cash back, no one can touch the $8,000 rebate offer on the 2019 Cadillac Escalade, though several come close. Lexus is offering $7,000 cash back on the powerful Lexus LC 500 luxury sports car. Dodge continues its unique Power Dollars promotion, with a rebate of $10 per horsepower on the Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Durango. On the 797-horsepower Challenger Hellcat Redeye, the rebate is $7,970.
Buick continues its percent-off deals this month on much of its lineup. They’re offering 20% off the sticker price of the 2019 Buick Encore, which can save you $4,920 on a $24,600 Encore Preferred.
How Can U.S. News Help You Get a Deal?
Our group of expert researchers and journalists believes that you are not getting a great deal unless you are getting a great car. The mission of the U.S. News Best Cars team is to help car buyers find the best deal on a vehicle that fits their needs and has what it takes to provide years of reliable service.
We start by studying thousands of car reviews from America’s top automotive journalists. We combine our analysis with quantifiable data about each vehicle’s safety and predicted reliability to create scores that we use to rank vehicles. We rank nearly every new car, minivan, SUV, and truck available in dealer showrooms. To ensure our impartiality, we do not accept trips or expensive gifts from automakers, and an outside company handles our advertising.
In addition to the overall scores that power our new car rankings, you can compare vehicles side by side using the factors that buyers tell us are critical in their purchase decisions, such as performance, safety, and predicted reliability.
When you know what you want to buy, the U.S. News Best Price Program will connect you to local dealers offering guaranteed savings. It’s available to both lease and purchase customers, saving buyers an average of more than $3,000 off the sticker price. The Best Price Program can help you identify incentives that you might not have known were available.
The car buying process can be complex, but our team offers resources to help you select and buy a car. Our articles will teach you about how to buy a vehicle, the steps to follow to get a car loan, and how to decide whether to buy or lease. Expert advice, like making sure you have an approved financing offer before you visit a car dealership, will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to negotiate a great price, avoid costly extras, and finalize the deal. Information on car ownership and insurance will help you long after you’ve left the dealer’s lot. Ownership advice, like our article on ways to avoid killing your car, can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle.
What Is a Car Deal?
Not every model that automakers introduce is a blockbuster hit. Some simply don’t meet their sales targets, and every vehicle eventually reaches the end of its product cycle. Automakers offer deals to increase the sales pace for these models and move them off dealer lots. Buyers can reap huge savings by taking advantage of incentives, and they don’t even have to haggle to get them.
The three most common types of incentives are lease deals, cash back offers, and financing deals. You can see this month’s best lease incentives on our lease deals page.
Even though it’s called a cash back deal, it doesn’t mean you’re going to drive away from the dealership with a wad of money in your pocket. A cash back offer is a discount on the price of the car. Cash back deals go by many names, including rebates, bonus cash, cash back incentives, and cash allowances. They all mean pretty much the same thing, no matter what jargon the manufacturer chooses.
For example, take the $4,250 rebate offer available in some parts of the country this month on the 2019 Jeep Renegade Altitude. Knocking $4,250 off its $25,120 base price leaves you with a purchase price of $20,870.
Many car buyers don't consider, or even understand, the amount of money that they pay in interest on their car loan. Interest costs can add up to thousands of dollars, so taking advantage of a discounted interest rate is a great way to save money. Finding an interest rate that is below the going market rate is like finding a bank with a huge sale banner flying out front. A low- or no-interest deal can allow you to get a lower monthly payment, shorten your car loan, or buy a nicer ride.
To illustrate how much money a zero percent offer can save, we’ll look at one of this month’s incentives. There is a six-year, zero percent financing deal on the 2019 Hyundai Elantra sedan. A midrange trim-level Elantra SEL is priced at $19,500. If you qualify for the zero percent deal, you won’t pay a penny in interest, and your payment will be about $269 per month.
However, if you had to pay the national average six-year interest rate of 4.65% on the same vehicle, our car loan calculator shows you would have to make monthly payments of $311. Over the life of the auto loan, you would pay about $2,884 in interest.
The best financing deals are zero percent offers, though any interest rate that is significantly below market rates will save you money. Most dealerships only offer financing car deals to buyers with excellent credit. Check your credit reports well before you head to the dealer so you have time to correct any errors and improve your score. A higher score can pay off in a big way when you’re looking for financing.
Though a salesperson might tell you otherwise, buyers who take advantage of financing or cash back deals should still negotiate to ensure that they are getting the best price possible. Just because the automaker is giving you a deal doesn't mean the dealer can't kick in something to lower the cost further.
Naturally, car deals come loaded with fine print and restrictions. Many offers are restricted to certain models, a percentage of dealer stock, or residents of specific regions. Our Best Price Program, your local dealer, or an online sales rep can help you identify which offers you qualify for. Pay close attention to make sure that an offer won’t expire before you can complete your purchase. Arriving even one day late can disqualify you from getting the discount.
Shopping around can pay big dividends, as different dealers can pay different invoice prices to automakers for the cars on their lots, and those differences may give them more room to negotiate. Some dealerships may be more tuned-in than others to the deals they can offer buyers. It’s a good idea to contact dealers in areas where the car that you’re considering may not be in high demand. Look at plug-in hybrids from rural dealers, for example, or full-size pickups from urban locations.
How Do You Know if It Is a Good Deal?
Every deal you see advertised is a great deal, right? Of course not, but finding out how good or bad a deal is only takes a little work. The most critical thing you can do is to look past the monthly payment and consider the total cost of the loan. It’s easy for a dealer to manipulate the monthly payment to make it look attractive, even on a deal that’s not very good.
The best way to evaluate a new car deal is to determine the total cost of the vehicle, including the price of its financing. Failing to look at all the costs can haunt your finances for years. Be sure to break out the pencil and calculator yourself, and don’t rely on a salesperson, who is an expert at making the numbers say what they want them to say.
Although it can be tough to do if you’re not prepared, it is critical that you break the car buying process into three components: the cost of the car, the cost of the financing, and the value of your trade-in. Bundling them together can lead to confusion, which is great for the dealer but hazardous to your wallet.
You'll often face a difficult choice: low-cost financing or a cash back offer. The math to compare offers is pretty simple, and we’ll walk you through the steps, using a couple of this month’s offers to illustrate.
In most areas of the country, you can purchase a 2019 Toyota Tundra with zero percent financing for five years or $3,000 cash back. Let's assume that you’re not trading in your old truck or making a down payment, and that you’ve chosen the mid-range Tundra SR5 CrewMax, which is priced at $36,075. Since there’s no interest, that $36,075 will be all you have to pay. Dividing the price over the 60 months of the loan leaves you with a monthly payment of $601.
Choose the cash back offer, and the math gets a bit more complicated. You’ll have to use an auto loan calculator to determine how much interest will be added to find the truck’s total price including finance charges. Since the rebate acts as a price reduction, we’ll subtract $3,000 from $36,075 to get the amount you'll need to finance. You’ll likely have to pay around the national average interest rate of 4.61% on that remaining $33,075. When we plug those numbers into the car loan calculator, it shows us a monthly payment of $618.
While a $17 per month difference in payments might not seem like much, over the life of the loan, it means that choosing the cash back offer will cost you $1,020 more than opting for the zero percent deal.
Because of all the variables involved, you can never assume that one offer will be better than another without running the numbers and thinking about your personal financial circumstances. If you are making a substantial down payment or have a high-value trade-in, be sure to include those values in your calculations.
No matter what you do, it is essential to resist the urge, or a dealer's recommendation, to extend your loan past five years to get a lower payment or buy a more expensive car. Doing so dramatically increases your financial exposure and usually increases your interest rate. You never want to be in the position of having a car that is old enough to require costly repairs while you're still making payments on it.
Completing the Deal
Driving away from the dealer in a new car is fun, but don’t let your excitement cause you to rush through the final paperwork that you have to complete. Instead, slow down and read each document carefully to ensure that the numbers match what you agreed to and are expecting. You’ll want to verify that no outrageous dealer fees or costly add-ons have crept into the deal.
Pay close attention to the price, the length of the loan, and the interest rate. If you find an error or parts of a document left blank, don’t sign the paper, even if the finance officer promises to fix it later. If you are pressured to sign incomplete or incorrect paperwork, you should consider it a red flag and walk away from the deal. Never drive a car away from a dealership without having the final loan documents signed, as you may be called back to sign papers at a much higher rate than you thought you were getting.
We research deals based on representative ZIP codes across the country. We strive to keep this list up to date, but offers can change without warning. Some car specials are limited to a certain number of vehicles or a percentage of dealer stock, and inclusion on our site does not guarantee that a particular deal will be available at your local outlet. The easiest way to find out if you can take advantage of an offer is to click the orange button next to the car that you're interested in, and we’ll search for a great price at a local new car dealer.
Our best car deals include purchase deals for Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Mazda, Buick, GMC, Subaru, Volkswagen, Acura, Cadillac, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, and Lexus vehicles. Our expert researchers and journalists also search the market for this month’s best lease deals and best used car deals. We’ve done the research to help you find a great ride at a great price.
Car Deals: October 2019
We've compiled a list of the best car deals available in the U.S. for this month.
Save money. Find the best local price on your new car.