This Fall Could Be An Awful Time To Buy A Truck

By

Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - September 10, 2020

While conventional wisdom holds that new car deals will get better as time wears on, COVID-19 has essentially destroyed that notion when it comes to buying a truck. As dealers across the country navigate an inventory shortage, our analysis finds that this year's truck deals have never been worse than they are right now.

Yesterday, Ford canceled a roughly 4-month long promo on 2020 F-150s of 0% APR for 72 months. Here in California, a $1,000 trade-in bonus from Labor Day is gone as well. In their place, Ford is offering 3.9% APR. On a $50k truck, the change equates to an extra $7,159 in interest and a $99/month increase in payment.

Those considering a GM model will likely be disappointed. The last time we saw 0% financing on either the Chevy Silverado or GMC Sierra was a 72-month deal over 3 months ago. That could come as a shock for shoppers expecting to get a better deal amidst the coronavirus pandemic following a flurry of deals back in March.

Although an inventory shortage is making it hard to find many types of vehicles, trucks are uniquely affected because of the sheer variety of configurations. We think it's likely that consumers could find themselves in a worst-case-scenario involving poor selection, lousy incentives, and little room for negotiation.

Chevy Colorado inventory is shaping up to be one of the most extreme cases. According to a report from Cox Automotive, the midsize pickup had just a 16 days' supply last month (vs. an industry average of 58). Confusingly, the brand is continuing to advertise deals shoppers may not even be able to take advantage of.

Chevy's website still lists 2020 Colorados with up to $4,436 in savings as part of a "10% off MSRP" deal. Even the Silverado has a $309/month, $0 down deal that's among the cheapest leases on a truck. However, a lack of inventory could create a major disconnect between what's being advertised and what's actually available.

For example, an analysis of local Silverado inventory here in Los Angeles recently found just 1 truck within 100 miles in the brand's advertised trim. As a result, getting the best deal possible could be a lot harder than you think. Having said all of that, there are still some deals to be had if you know where to look.

RAM is currently the only major truck brand still offering 0% APR for 72 months. However, the deal is limited to Big Horn & Long Star versions of the RAM 1500. Nissan, a significantly smaller player when it comes to trucks, is offering the same deal on 2020 Titans plus an additional cash incentive worth $2,000.

So what options do buyers have at this stage? If you want a truck that's hard to find, you may find yourself paying a premium based on current availability. Alternatively, it may be wise to wait. For example, the 2021 Ford F-150 will be a major redesign later this year and will start at just over $30,000.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analysis of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured in publications such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine and Autoblog.

Follow On: Twitter

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