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The Best Time to Buy a New Car? Right Now

This month, nearly half of Americans have delayed buying a new car, according to a new Consumer Reports survey. But if you need a new set of wheels and you have the money and credit to afford it, there’s no better time than right now.

From an unheard of ‘buy one high-end SUV, get a sedan free’ deal in Idaho to ‘two trucks for the price of one’ in Florida, dealers and manufacturers are taking unprecedented steps to move their inventory as the recession keeps consumer spending at bay.

Brian Moody, senior automotive editor for Edmunds, says that if you have great credit, this is the best time in years to buy – and the incentives are not too good to be true. The gimmicks are real this time and because of the economy you don’t need to worry about tricky salesmen changing the deals when you get down to the lot.

Even zero-percent financing is now a reality. If you have the credit, you can get 0% now, Moody says, so ask for it. Furthermore, it’s not just being offered on low-volume or outdated models. Popular vehicles like the Toyota Camry and Corolla are being offered from many dealerships with 0% to those who qualify.

The deals and incentives being offered right now won’t be around forever, Moody says. Expect dealers and manufacturers to recalibrate in 2-4 months after they see how inventory has moved. But if you’re in the market for a new car now and have decent credit and the cash on hand to make the purchase, the time is now.