Guide To Military Discounts On New Cars

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - November 27, 2017

A number of automakers have special deals on new cars & trucks to help honor those in active military service. There are even discounts for veterans, retirees, as well as spouses and other members of the same household.

However, offers can differ greatly and encompass a wide range of individuals. So what should you expect with different programs? What are some of the best military discounts right now? And how often do they change?

Here's what you need to know.

How to get military discounts

If you're active duty military, it's generally a straightforward process for obtaining military discounts. In some cases, you may be eligible for a flat rebate on top of current offers.

For example, Ford offers a set cash bonus in addition to current offers. Others, like Toyota, offer a rebate with the caveat that it must be applied toward a finance or lease contract.

In the case of GM, shoppers get special access to Supplier Pricing worth hundreds, or even thousands of dollars off MSRP depending on the model. To get it, shoppers build a car through the program website in order to generate an authorization code that can be taken to participating dealers.

To be eligible for military discounts, shoppers generally need to be affiliated with any of the following branches: U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, plus the National Guard and Reserve. The scope can vary for each automaker, so be sure to check.

Programs can even sometimes be applied to veterans and retirees. For example, just before Memorial Day, we've seen GM expand its program to all veterans. As an added bonus, discounts can sometimes be extended to spouses or other members of the same household.

Here are some of our favorite military discounts.

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General Motors Military Discount

Key highlights: GM Supplier Pricing in addition to current incentives.

What you should know: Most models are eligible. Notable exclusions are all Cadillac vehicles and most "L" or "1SV" base trims.

Who's eligible: Active military, reservists, veterans, retirees and their spouses.

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Ford Military Appreciation Bonus Cash

Key highlights: $500 military bonus in addition to current incentives

What you should know: Ford sometimes ups the discount to $750 around Memorial Day.

Who's eligible: Active military, reservists, veterans (within 180 days of separation) and retirees. Spouses and surviving spouses, as well as other household members are also eligible.

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Toyota Military Rebate

Key highlights: $500 military bonus in addition to current incentives

What you should know: Requires taking out a loan or leasing through Toyota Financial

Who's eligible: Active military and reservists. Retirees and veterans are also eligible, but only within 1 year of retirement or discharge. Spouses and other household members are also eligible

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How often do military discounts change?

It's generally safe to think of most military discounts as "ongoing". However, there can be notable improvements around major holidays such as Memorial Day.

For example, last year Hyundai doubled its military discount from $500 to $1,000 between May 20 to May 31. On May 20, Ford added an extra $250, increasing its discount to $750 for military and first responders.

Since rules and amounts can change, be sure to check program terms carefully. Together with advertised offers, the combined savings could save you serious money.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website