Buying a hybrid any time soon? You may want to start working your way through the wide range of rebates and incentives early. With a record amount of hybrid vehicles hitting the market, there will no doubt be more incentives offered by manufacturers and dealers to push these vehicles off the lots. As with all automotive purchases, doing your homework will save you money and stress during the process of buying your new vehicle.

The mercury Mariner Hybrid

The Mercury Mariner Hybrid is offered with 0 percent financing for sixty months for qualified buyers. Credit:

Consumer (buyer) incentives are rebates offered by the manufacturer to the car buyer. These incentives lower the total price of the new vehicle through low-interest financing offers cash back rebates, low monthly lease payments, and more. Consumer incentives are most often offered nationwide due to the fact that the rebate is coming straight from the manufacturer and not filtered through individual dealerships. A few examples of current consumer incentives offered by some of the major manufacturers include:

  • Toyota Prius buyers can get 0 percent financing for two years or lease payments as low as $219 a month to qualified buyers.
  • Ford (F) Escape buyers can get 0 percent financing for thirty-six months or $2,000 cash back.
  • Mercury Mariner hybrids are offered with 0 percent financing for sixty months or up to $3,155 cash back depending on the region.

Dealer incentives are incentives offered from the manufacturer to the dealer and work to reduce the dealer’s cost of the vehicle from the factory. The main thing to remember with dealer incentives is that dealers are not obligated to pass on savings to you. However, many times these incentives stimulate dealers to sell, especially when they are nearing a sales target. By doing your homework and knowing when and where these dealer incentives are being offered, you’re more likely to negotiate a lower purchase price. Dealer incentives are usually offered regionally to encourage sales of specific models. Here are a few examples of vehicles with an attached dealer incentive offered in the Northeast United States:

  • Saturn VUE – Saturn is offering $200 cash back to dealers.

Buying your new hybrid vehicle should be an enjoyable experience; after all, you’re investing in your future, as well as the future of the environment! By understanding vehicle buying incentives, you’re preparing yourself to make an educated decision on which hybrid to buy, as well as getting a great deal in the process. The internet is full of great sites that help you further understand incentives and how they fit into the car buying process. The Kelley Blue Book Web site ( and are great sites for current incentive information and were both used in the preparation of this article.

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