Zero-Percent Finance Deals Hit Record High in March, Reports Edmunds.com
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — April 20, 2010 — A record number of new vehicles were purchased with zero-percent financing in March, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.
In March, more than 22 percent of financed new cars were purchased with zero-percent finance deals. Last March the total was just 13 percent. The prior high was 21 percent in July 2006.
Remarkably, 71 percent of new Toyotas financed in March had a zero-percent APR — nearly twice the previous Toyota record of 39 percent in August 2009.
The two brands with the next highest percentages of such deals were Mazda at 58 percent of all financed transactions and Mercury at 32 percent.
"Credit must be starting to loosen if almost a quarter of all transactions financed in March were approved for zero-percent financing," said Jessica Caldwell, Senior Analyst for Edmunds.com. "Certainly it seems as if Toyota Motor Credit and other 'captive' finance companies may have lowered standards to help improve sales."
"Many car shoppers don't realize that they have to qualify for special financing deals," noted Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor Philip Reed, who wrote many of Edmunds.com's Auto Finance Tips at http://www.edmunds.com/car-loan/. "Shoppers should always check their credit score and secure financing from a bank or credit union before setting foot in the dealership so that they have a back-up plan if they get declined when seeking the special deals."
In part because of low-interest financing deals on new cars, more than 100 new vehicles currently cost less than their one-year old used counterparts. See the complete list at http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/new-vs-used-car-buying.html.
About Edmunds Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.