About Rebates and Incentives

Incentives and Rebates are programs offered by the manufacturers to stimulate sales. The three most common programs are provided directly to consumers in the forms of Cash Rebates, Low Interest Financing and Special Leases. Some manufacturers also provide first-time buyer, military, and other programs to target specific customer segments.

Manufacturers also provide Marketing Support directly to dealers, which may or may not be passed on to consumers. These marketing support programs take many forms, but the most common type of program is a Dealer Cash Incentive. Incentive programs are subject to change at any time by the manufacturer.

Manufacturer to Customer Programs

Manufacturers provide Cash Rebates directly to the customer at the point of sale to reduce the net price of the vehicle. Consumers normally elect to credit a cash rebate as a down payment against the new vehicle's purchase price.

However, there are many instances in which customers are allowed to choose either a Cash Rebate or a Low Interest Financing offer. In these cases, you may find it useful to utilize the Low APR-vs-Cash Back Calculator to help you make this decision based on your individual circumstances. In still other cases, customers may benefit from both the Cash Rebate and the Low Interest Financing offers in combination. This varies by manufacturer. It is important to note that the advertised Annual Percentage Rate (APR) quoted in the offer is normally based on the top customer credit tier and not all consumers will be eligible for this best rate.

Manufacturers often offer Special Lease programs through their captive financing companies. Most of the lease programs listed on Edmunds.com are of this variety and are known as a subvented (subsidized) leases. Subsidized leases such as these are generally based on a Residual Value much higher than the actual worth of the car at the end of the lease and/or an interest rate, expressed as a Money Factor that is subsidized to result in below market rates. Each Special Lease program specifies the monthly payment, the Term, any Down Payment requirement, the Security Deposit, and the annual Mileage Allowance. The estimated monthly payment is based on a typical amount financed and typical Down Payment. The sales price of the vehicle, as well as the Residual Value, Lease Term, Security Deposit, Acquisition Fee and down payment may be negotiated, but they will in turn affect the monthly payment amount. In other words, you might be able to negotiate to a $0 down payment, but your monthly payment would increase commensurately to compensate.

Manufacturer to Dealer Programs

While Cash Rebates, Low Interest Financing, and Special Leases are made available directly to the buyer, manufacturer to dealer Marketing Support is made available exclusively to the franchised dealer for use in marketing their vehicles. Most commonly represented as a Dealer Cash Incentive from the manufacturer, dealers may or may not choose to pass some part of this Marketing Support money on to their customers. Frequently, the salesperson will not even be aware of dealer marketing support programs, but, not to worry - our Edmunds.com True Market Value price has already taken these programs into account.