DRIVE-AWAY deals are not created equally. That’s what we learned when searching for bargains this week.
Some drive-away deals are super sharp but others simply save you the effort of calculating on-road costs.
For example, Ford (to its credit) has a long list of driveaway deals in the “offers” section of its website — none, unfortunately, sharp enough to include in our cover story on this month’s best bargains. We also noticed some old habits creeping in among other brands.
This month Hyundai, Honda, Mazda and Subaru promise “free on-road costs” or “$1000 off” or similar — but don’t mention the actual driveaway price of certain models.
So despite the appearance of a great deal, the price is open to negotiation just like any other month. Some customers will pay more than others.
It’s a mystery why more brands don’t consistently advertise one sharp price for everyone. They would sell more cars. I wonder how many customers didn’t even walk into one of these brands’ showrooms because there were no driveaway prices online for their most popular models?
Hyundai can do some of the sharpest deals in the business (the recent $19,990 drive-away for the i30 was hard to beat) but this month it’s back to trying to arm-wrestle with the customer. Buyers are waking up to the practice of turning discounts on and off from month to month and will simply hold off until the next time the deal rolls around.
Our advice to buyers looking for a bargain: if you can’t see a drive-away price online, look somewhere else. Or brush up on your negotiation skills.