The coronavirus pandemic has been brutal for the entire world. On the auto side, plunging vehicle sales led every major automaker to offer at least some kind of incentive for new-car shoppers. Arguably the best incentive of them all was an 84-month (seven-year) interest-free loan to woo buyers in a very uncertain economy. As we head into June, it’s looking more like automakers are pulling back from that aggressive offer.
The latest report from Cars Direct summarizes all the various COVID-19-related deals from most automakers, and we see loan terms are starting to change. Hyundai and General Motors have dropped the program completely, and Ford has cut the deal on most of its offerings, though it’s still available in some regions on the best-selling F-150. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles dropped its 84-month interest-free deal back in May.
Similarly, first-payment deferments are also disappearing. Ford and Kia show no deferment options at all, and it’s been significantly scaled back with the brands under GM’s umbrella. Hyundai switched from four months to three months of deferred payments, and FCA has done the same. Speaking of FCA, the automaker also ended employee pricing eligibility for the Jeep Wrangler, but ironically enough, it is still offered for the Gladiator.
It seems automakers are feeling more confident buyers will pick up the pace in the summer months, but many good deals are still available. Automakers such as Honda and Mazda still offer 90-day deferments for first payments, and many of those canceled 84-month zero-percent loans became six-year deals. Some manufacturers still offer a job loss protection of some kind, while automakers like Mazda and Volkswagen have some kind of zero-percent finance offer for nearly every vehicle. Additionally, VW offers zero-percent financing for five years on certified pre-owned vehicles.
In short, if you've been on the fence about taking advantage of spectacular coronavirus-related deals, you might want to act fast.