- For the past few years, new-car prices have obviously been climbing, so it’s nice to learn that there are some traditional Memorial Day deals out there this year.
- With the pandemic fading away and the related supply-chain problems sorting themselves out, we’re back to perks like low financing offers and factory discounts.
- The best deals available knock around 10 percent off the price of the car but don’t expect that sort of sale on everything on the lot.
For years, Memorial Day has been on the rotation for holidays that often come with deals at local car dealerships. It’s the start of summer, after all, and that means hitting the open road to experience construction and jams traffic in new places. After years of a pandemic and related supply-chain problems, there’s reason to wonder if new-car shoppers can expect exceptional discounts on a new set of wheels this weekend.
The good news for buyers is that there are a few signs that things are getting back to normal. how normal? A joint forecast from JD Power and LMC Automotive projects that new-vehicle retail sales for May 2023 will be 9.6 percent higher than May 2022, with almost 1.1 million sales predicted.
Discounts and Lower Interest Rates?
This year, the best Memorial Day deals take the form of up-front discounts and lower finance rates. That’s good, but let’s not forget that the average new car price in the US was just over $48,000 last month. That’s a lot, but it represented a bit of a plateau after almost two years of upward movement. It was the first time in 20 months that the average price of a new car once again dropped below the sticker price. As the world figures out its post-pandemic reality, including normalizing supply chains again, we find ourselves in a short moment of price stability, and dealers aren’t making as much per car as they were before.
“The improved supply of vehicles vs. a year ago has resulted in a decline in dealer profits. However, dealer profits remain well above pre-pandemic levels,” JD Power analyst Thomas King said in a statement. “The primary reason for the decline in profit is that fewer vehicles are being sold for prices higher than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). This month, only 31 percent of new vehicles are projected to be sold above MSRP, which is down from a high of 49 percent in July 2022.”
The somewhat stable prices and improved supply of new vehicles mean shoppers can indeed find deals this weekend. While not all of these are specific Memorial Day promotions, they’re all available until at least the end of the month. With all of this in mind, here’s an overview of some of this weekend’s best new-car deals.
Check Your Dealer, but Discounts Are Out There
Consumer Reports found that the best deals available this weekend could drop the price of a new car by between 6 and 10 percent off the original MSRP. At the top of CR’s list is the 2023 Chevrolet Equinox, which can be had for a 10 percent discount. Other Big Three models are also discounted: the 2023 Dodge Charger and 2023 Ford Edge are both seven percent off right now.
Plenty of models—including the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Honda Passport, and Subaru Outback—currently come with some sort of discounted lease deals. According to US Newsfor example, the Outback can be had for $345 per month if you sign a three-year lease and bring $3545 to the signing.
There are Memorial Day sales offers and substantial factory discounts on some new Jeep models. Until the end of May, the Compass can be had with up to $3500 off—that price is for returning lessees, however—while there are discounts up to $2000 available for the Wrangler. Overall, these discounts are good for between 3 and 10 percent off.
There are other deals to be found, and availability varies by location and other factors, but the good news is that car shoppers might just get lucky this weekend.
Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk, and other outlets. His first green-car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the new technology’s importance not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole . Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV.