The "Zero" Fairytale at Car Dealerships
By Will from Holland
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away,
there was a car dealership where zero actually meant something...
Who hasn't seen or heard the commercial: Get your new set of wheels, and get Zero, Zero, Zero!
Zero Percent Financing! Zero payments for 6 months! Zero down payment!
Get outta your fairytale.
Here's the truth as presented by Remar Sutton, Consumer Spokesperson and a nationally recognized expert on the consumer automotive business:
- Zero Down Payment
This doesn't mean: no money.... Every buyer still has to pay tax, registration, and license, which can run over a thousand dollars. That's equivalent to a down payment, right?
- Zero Payments for Six Months
Are the finance companies being nice and making your first six payments for you? Of course not! They are doing one of two things:
1) adding the six payments to the end of your contract, or,
2) even worse, financing those first six payments.
Either way this "offer" means you pay more interest.
- Zero Percent Financing
According to CNW Marketing Research, barely 9 out of 100 people drawn to dealerships because of zero percent financing actually get it. To make matters worse, the research company found that consumers don't negotiate on the actual price of the car when they go to dealerships for zero percent. They don't realize the price of the car and the cost of financing are two separate issues. Those consumers can pay thousands more than they need to.
There's your "Zero Fairytale."
But saving money when buying a vehicle doesn't have to be a fairytale at all!
Just a month ago, my 21-year-old sister bought her first car ever, and saved a mere $964! She didn't fall for any of the zeros; she just used her common sense and the CUHQ first-time Car Buying tips.
Are you about to buy yourself a car?
Read these guides in our "Cars" section first: