Best Car Deals

New Car Financing and Cash Back Offers

There are two steps to buying a new car: selecting the perfect car and finding the perfect deal. Fortunately, there are great tools available to help you do both. To find the right car, you can explore our new car rankings and compare cars side by side in various categories, from performance to safety.

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Last Updated: Jul 11, 2017

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Getting a great deal takes just as much homework. One of the most powerful free tools available to consumers is our Best Price Program, where we work with dealers in your area to get you guaranteed savings off the MSRP. Another is our research into car deals, where the expert journalists and researchers of U.S. News & World Report scour the market to find deals that save you thousands off the price of your new car.

When cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans aren’t selling as quickly as manufacturers need them to, or when there’s a redesigned model around the corner, automakers offer buying incentives to pick up the sales pace. Two that you’ll see the most are financing incentives, where automakers offer interest rates that are discounted below market rates, and cash back offers that reduce the vehicle’s price tag. You will often see a combination of both on vehicles that manufacturers want to sell quickly.

Low- or zero-percent interest offers can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan by reducing the amount that the lender charges to let you borrow the money. Cash back offers go by a number of names – cash incentives, bonus cash, or rebates to name a few – but their overall effect is to discount the net price of the car.

You may have seen stories in the news about rising interest rates, but as a car buyer, you don't have too much to worry about. There’s so much competition among auto lenders that any increases in loan interest rates should be slow. With declining new car sales, the increases will likely be offset by increased incentive spending by automakers.

In fact, many automakers are offering zero percent financing deals this July, including a seven-year, zero percent offer on the 2017 Jeep Cherokee, which is one of the longest terms we’ve seen for interest-free financing.

During the summer, there’s almost guaranteed to be increased incentive spending to help reduce inventory in anticipation of the 2018 models arriving in the fall. This July, there are a number of vehicles with massive cash back offers, including the 2017 Toyota Camry, Chrysler 300, Lexus LS, and Ford Focus. There are redesigned models of the Camry and LS arriving soon.

Automakers often give consumers a choice between a large cash back deal and a special financing deal. It’s easy to pick the big cash back number, but it might not always be the right choice. Buyers should do the math for each deal to see what’s best for their wallet.

Note that most of the best incentives are only available to customers with top-notch credit. Buyers with lower credit scores can expect significantly higher interest rates.

If you're paying cash or you have a large down payment or a high-value trade-in, the cash back deal is usually the best option because the total interest on a small loan won't be as significant as the cash back you'll receive.

If you’re financing a large part of your purchase, however, do the math to find the best option. For example, let's say there’s an awesome compact pickup truck for $30,000, and buyers can take either $1,000 cash back or get zero percent financing for five years.

For the five-year, zero percent financing offer, you can figure out the monthly payment by simply dividing $30,000 by 60. Opt for this deal and you'll pay $500 per month.

If you take the $1,000 cash back offer, you will pay a total of $29,000 over five years, but you’ll have to pay interest on that money. We’ll assume that you’ll qualify for a 3.25 percent interest rate, which is close to the average right now for buyers with good credit. Use a financial calculator to crunch the numbers, which show that your monthly payments will be about $524.

While the $1,000 cash rebate looks attractive, the math reveals that your monthly payments would be $24 higher. Over the life of the loan, you would pay about $1,440 in interest payments, making the total cost of your new truck about $440 more than if you opted for the zero percent financing.

Another way to find a great deal is to travel to find a car dealer who's having a hard time selling a particular model. Dealers in rural locations might be willing to deal on the sedans on their lots, while urban outlets might make you a deal on a truck. Most manufacturers offer vehicle locators on their websites, so you can find the location of the vehicle you're seeking.

Take a moment to read the fine print on any car deal you’re considering; missing details such as when a deal expires may mean missing out on a stack of incentive cash.

We research deals based on representative ZIP codes across the country. We strive to keep this list up to date, but deals can change without warning. Some deals are limited to a certain number of cars or a percentage of dealer stock, and inclusion on our site does not guarantee that a specific 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 ToyotaNissanFordHondaChevroletHyundaiKiaDodge, RamJeepMazdaBuickGMCSubaruVolkswagenAcuraCadillacPorscheMercedes-BenzAudiBMW, 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.

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