It’s tough to escape the reminders that the Memorial Day holiday weekend is like Tinder for auto dealers and new vehicle shoppers. Despite falling dealer inventories, almost half of potential buyers plan to check out the deals this weekend and there are plenty to be had.
Those on the prowl for a new car, truck or utility vehicle should know that they’re not alone this holiday weekend as 43% of shoppers plan to buy a vehicle this weekend, according to a new Cars.com survey. This is despite a well-publicized fall in dealer inventories. The website estimates new car inventories are down 33% while used cars have fallen 27 percent.
Adding to the “fun” is the fact that 51% of folks are ready to battle for the vehicle they want by paying more for their top choice. This revelation comes in spite of prices on new vehicles jumping 5% since January and used vehicles being up 14% during the same period.
“Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a very active car-shopping holiday with significant discounts offered across the industry, but the global chip shortage and huge consumer demand continues to impact both new and used dealer inventory,” said Kelsey Mays, Cars.com’s assistant managing editor.
Deals can be had, but other factors in play
“A few attractive deals still exist this holiday among the more than 2 million cars for sale on Cars.com, but now is a prime time for consumers with a little-used extra vehicle sitting in their garage to cash in, as most dealers are relying on trade-ins to maintain their stock.”
The website’s car-buying survey also found:
- Inventory lags buyer demand. Because of current inventory shortages on dealer lots, nearly 40% of shoppers have had trouble finding the car they want.
- Shoppers want new cars. Most shoppers (61%) plan to buy new, while 24% plan to buy used; 8% want CPO and 8% are undecided.
- Rooting for U.S. roots. A good portion of car shoppers (48%) plan to buy from brands with historically U.S. roots like Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Jeep, Chrysler and Tesla.
- SUVs reign, but sedans are still popular. Most car shoppers (37%) plan to buy an SUV, followed by a close second of 30% planning to buy a sedan and 11% buying a pickup truck.
- Nearly half of holiday shoppers are considering electric or hybrid. While 45% of shoppers plan to buy a gas-only vehicle, almost the same number (44%) are considering a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or EV model.
Hunting for a good deal
With so many potential buyers hitting dealerships this weekend, any leg up on the competition is a larger advantage than usual. Fortunately, several websites compile “best of” type lists, and TheDetroitBureau’s pulled deals from a few of them.
Cars.com’s best deal recommendations include:
- 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab: Through June 1 eligible buyers can get a $4,000 factory discount, which ends up in a savings up to 11% depending upon the trim level of the truck. Prices will come in between $31,500 to $72,000.
- 2021 Toyota Corolla: The deal is on all versions: sedan, hatchback and hybrid. It includes factory discounts between $1,000 and $2,000, resulting in a savings as much as 8 percent. This deal, which ends June 1, cuts prices to a range of $19,500 to $28,500.
- 2021 Toyota Camry: The brand seems ready to move metal as this applies to the regular and hybrid models, except the TRD trim version. Factory discounts range from $750 to $1,500, resulting in a savings as much as 5%. Need to buy by June 1 with prices starting at $25,000 and topping out at $39,500.
That’s not the only list of potential buys. U.S. News and World Report offers an extensive list of good deals during the holiday, including some 0% financing deals that disappeared for a while, but have made a triumphant return. The top six recommendations, using the magazine’s rankings include:
- 2021 Ram 1500: 0% financing for 72 months;
- 2021 Honda CR-V: $259 per month lease for 36 months with $3,199 due at signing;
- 2021 Kia Forte: $149 per month lease for 24 months with $2,824 due at signing;
- 2021 Mazda CX-30: $199 per month lease for 36 months with $2,999 due at signing;
- 2021 Kia Sportage: 0% financing for 66 months; and
- 2021 Mazda CX-9: 0% financing for 60 months.
The editors offered 11 options overall with the remainder including 2021 Subaru Ascent, 2021 Chevrolet Bolt, 2021 Hyundai Elantra as well as the aforementioned Chevy Silverado and Toyota Corolla models.
“Memorial Day weekend is a great time for shoppers to find an affordable lease,” said Jim Sharifi, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “A number of top-ranked vehicles are available to lease for right around $200 per month. At the same time, many of the available financing incentives include a 0% interest rate for at least five years.”