Barbara, Danielson, Calif.

Unfortunately, Barbara, you didn’t provide enough information for a definitive answer, so your best bet is to crunch the numbers with the Cash Back vs. Low Interest calculator. The amount you save by taking the zero-percent offer will depend on how much you borrow the length of the loan, the interest rate you would get if you took the rebate and other factors.


The calculator will allow you to set the terms for both the zero-percent offer and the deal with the $1,000 rebate and figure out your monthly payment and total cost. Here’s a hypothetical example based on buying a $20,000 car with a $5,000 trade-in as your down payment, a 10 percent sales tax and a 48-month loan. Taking the $1,000 rebate and a 48-month loan at 6.35 percent (the current national average) will result in a $378.33 monthly payment and a total of $23,160. Zero-percent financing for four years yields a monthly payment of $354.16 and $22,000 in total.

However, none of that example may apply to you, and zero-percent may not even be available for 48 months. You will need to do the math based on your deal and credit rating. The Car Financing Center can help guide you in your decision, including current rebate and interest-rate offers from manufacturers.

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Answered by Rick Popely on June 28, 2010 in Incentives and deals | Permalink

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