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Reward Me Rebates and incentives make buying all the more appealing.

By Jill Amadio

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

December once signaled the end of inventory clearing-out. Now,new cars and trucks arrive at dealerships year-round. But dealersstill need to clear out their inventory, and incentives and rebatesoften jump at year's end.

Cash-back rebates and incentives on new and leased vehicles havebecome part of the consumer and business landscape. They'repopu-lar with buyers and dealers because each side feelsrewarded-buyers with cash savings and dealers with sales.Edmunds.com, an online resource for automotive information,reported in June that the average manufacturer incentive pervehicle sold was $2,507, and that Chrysler, Ford and GM increasedtheir offers $213 over the previous month, to $3,461. Analystspredict that rising interest rates will lead to even better offers.High oil prices and buyers' reluctance to shell out for largeSUVs result in these vehicles carrying the highest incentives,averaging $4,350.

At Toyota, incentives vary from region to region, depending onmarket conditions. On Toyota's Tundra Double Cab pickup, buyersare offered $1,000 or an APR of 0 percent for a 36-month loan. GMCgives $3,000 away on its Savana cargo van and $3,500 each on theSierra 2500 crew cab and the Sierra pickup. If you belong toGM's Owner Loyalty Program, the cash-back offers can jumpthousands of dollars, depending on the vehicle.

Certainly, incentives and rebates on trucks are volatile and canchange from week to week, so keeping up with the latest offeringsis important if you want to save money. There are dozens of usefulmanufacturers' websites that provide up-to-the-minuteinformation on incentives and rebates. Be sure to read the fineprint before buying. With a lease, incentives and rebates can comein the form of reduced rates for perfect credit, a higher residualvalue (what the vehicle is worth at the end of the lease), or alower monthly payment.

One cashless incentive to buy a vehicle comes from GM, whose24-hour test-drive program allows potential buyers to take a modelhome overnight. You can also receive incentives for GM upgrades,such as partitions and winches.

While manufacturers regularly post the figures on theirwebsites, the best place to find them is at your local dealerships.Some incentives and rebates aren't advertised in the localmedia, so a phone call or a visit to the dealer may be necessary toget the best deal.

Incentives and Rebates Online

Jill Amadio is Entrepreneur's "Wheels"columnist.

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