The Independence Day holiday weekend is normally a busy time at car dealers, with widespread promotions and discounts to draw in customers.
This year is a little different since dealers face a shortage of cars and attractive deals are much harder to come by. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
“As the pandemic threat subsides, we're seeing interesting ripple effects," said Kelsey Mays, Cars.com consumer news editor. "There is an inventory shortage driving people long distances to find their desired vehicle; a resurgence of vacations with more domestic travel by car; and the normalization of in-person shopping with a continued focus on 'buying local' to support the American economy."
And while many dealers are charging more than the sticker price for a new car, researchers at Cars.com have found a few attractive Fourth of July deals on cars built in the U.S. For example, the Honda Passport, an SUV built in Alabama, comes with a $1,250 cash discount down payment or lease assistance.
Or, creditworthy customers can secure 0% financing for 36 months from Honda's financing arm. Just be prepared to pay the sticker price of between $32,500 to $48,500. The offer ends July 6.
Up to $2,000 cash rebates
Car shoppers may also find relatively attractive terms on Hyundai Sonata, also built in Alabama. Participating dealers are offering $1,500 to $2,000 off in most markets, depending on the trim level.
Buyers who finance at standard rates through Hyundai can get another $500 off in most regions. Again, creditworthy customers can get 0% financing for 60 months plus $1,000 bonus cash and in some regions of the country.
Best of all, shoppers may find a better selection of Sonatas than some other models. Cars.com reports the Sonata is spending an average of 95 days on dealer lots.
The Toyota Avalon, assembled in Georgetown, Ky., may also offer a buying opportunity over the holiday weekend. Participating dealers are knocking $1,500 to $2,000 off Toyota's full-size sedan. However, some deals may require buyers to finance through Toyota at standard rates.
In most areas of the country, shoppers who finance or lease their Avalon can also get another $1,000, although some areas restrict the bonus to select trims. Alternatively, creditworthy shoppers can get 0.9% financing for 60 months in most regions, though a few areas have higher rates or no offers at all, so it pays to shop around.
Used car bargains are scarce
Finding a good deal on a used car or truck might be even harder this holiday weekend. In some cases, a used vehicle can cost nearly as much as a new one.
"Finding the right used car can be challenging - not only are some models in short supply, but the average age of a used car on the road today is about 12 years old," said Brian Moody, executive editor at Autotrader. "A lot has changed in terms of performance, technology and safety in those 12 years.”
Moody says that’s why used car buyers should make sure the used vehicle they purchase at a premium price is reliable. On Autotrader’s short list of good used vehicles are:
2016-2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
2017-2020 Ford Mustang
2016-2020 Ford F-150
2017-2020 Honda CR-V
2015-2020 Jeep Wrangler
2020-2021 Kia Telluride
2016-2020 Lexus IS
2018-2020 Nissan Leaf
2016-2020 Subaru Outback
2016-2020 Toyota Highlander
Keep in mind that these models may be in short supply so comparing prices at more than one dealer may help you find a better deal. Click the links above to read thousands of verified ConsumerAffairs reviews.