Incentives Survey: Are New Car Buying Incentives Really Worth It?

Consumers prefer cash incentives are they are most beneficial to the car buyer.
Many Americans are still confused when it comes to differentiating a hybrid car from a plug-in hybrid.
Incentives are available for 2012 crossovers and SUV’s.

In the midst of a fuel crisis and a flailing economy, car dealers and manufacturers are offering up a bevy of incentives for the new car buyer. Anywhere we turn these days, consumers are being enticed by a variety of offers and deals on purchasing that new vehicle.

But just how much of a deal is the car buyer really getting? Do these incentives actually benefit you, the consumer, in the long run?

These are difficult questions to answer, and depend greatly on the model you are considering and the incentive in question.

One type of incentive that has garnered a lot of attention is the federal tax incentives for electric vehicles. For example, the 2012 Nissan Leaf comes with a federal tax credit of $7,500, which is used to attract the attention of potential electric car buyers. However, many people refer to this tax credit as an effort to buy electric cars even if it is marginally more expensive than a conventional car.

Since hybrid tax credits are no longer available, you can still avail of tax incentives if you choose to purchase a plug-in hybrid. An attractive combination of federal and national credits will help make plug-in hybrids more affordable and easy on the pockets.

A new survey conducted in 2011 confirmed the fact that more Americans are confused between the differences of a hybrid and plug-in hybrid from a conventional car. The survey shows that only 50% were aware that plug-in hybrids also use a battery pack, and only 1/3 of the respondents knew that hybrid cars can run on pure-electric mode.

This will confirm the study conducted by Pike Research near the beginning of 2012, saying that more and more Americans are losing interest in electric and plug-in vehicles. The main reason is the price. Despite the governments mandate to issue federal tax credits, most consumers still find the price of electric and plug-in hybrids to be too prohibitive.

When survey respondents were asked to select which type of incentive was generally most beneficial to the consumer, a majority of the participants selected cash incentives as the most beneficial, and employee pricing incentives ranked second.

Although cash incentives are the most preferred type of incentive, they are not enough to persuade a large segment of new car buyers to purchase a larger vehicle, such as a truck or SUV.

However, the market is now enjoying an onslaught of modern and more fuel efficient crossovers and SUVs, along with attractive cash incentives. The 2012 Buick Enclave, for example, is a luxury crossover vehicle that comes with up to $1,500 customer cash. Similar offers are available for the 2012 Ford F-150, where consumers can enjoy $1,000 to $2,000 cash back.

In regards to cash incentives, buyers would benefit from being cautious. It is true that cash incentives are offered for vehicles with weak sales, but these incentives are all part of the overall marketing scheme. With car makers coming up with new vehicles each year, competition can only prove to be beneficial to the American consumer.

Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - Copyright 2014, INC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed.


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