I’ve said again and again that cars are an amazing deal right now. What you can get for your money today is such great value, with both the quality and reliability of the average new vehicle being fantastic.
The holidays are usually a great time to buy a car because everyone else is focused on, well, the holidays. For most of us, our holiday budgets are tapped out and our wallets are exhausted. We’re not looking to buy a vehicle at this time of year. That’s what makes the discounts available right now so very good.
Plus, the car-selling business is hyper-competitive. Look at Toyota and how the marketplace ate them alive after the debacle with sudden acceleration and the ensuing cover-up.
That’s prompted Toyota to kick up their rebates by 50 percent, according to Edmunds.com. Honda, meanwhile, is offering rebates that are now double what they were last year. Both automakers have a big supply of unsold vehicles and will be offering deals for the next four or so weeks. Look for the best offers on leftover 2010 models.
I saw on CNNMoney.com that the average new vehicle price is in the upper $20,000 range ($25,000 to $27,000, depending on whose numbers you believe). But we are in a market where you can get a well-equipped vehicle for $12,000 to $17,000. By “well equipped,” I mean power windows, cruise control and electronic stability control. The latter feature saved my life in my Scion xB when I once nearly rolled over on a highway.
If you’re looking for specific deals, the Honda Insight hybrid has been a real bomb in the market. That’s prompted Honda to cut the MSRP to $17,000 — the lowest price ever offered on a hybrid vehicle.
-by Clark Howard, Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs
Find more answers to your consumer questions at ClarkHoward.com. You can also listen to his radio show live Monday through Friday 1-4 p.m. on AM 750 and NOW 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB.