Time to Buy a Gas-Guzzler Might Be Now
By: manybanking.com Staff

By manybanking.com Staff
Thanks to last year’s record high gas prices, there has been a seismic shift in the demand for SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks.

These gas-guzzling vehicles saw their values plummet as owners cringed at paying over $100 for a tank of gas. But for now, the good news is that gas prices are back down, though vehicles that get low gas mileage, however, are still in low demand.

The soft-market for SUVs, minivans and trucks translates to lower prices for both new and used vehicles. Many of these vehicles are selling for thousands of dollars below their manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). As usual, previous year models offer the most savings. For example, take a full-size SUV like the 2008 Cadillac Escalade which currently sells for an average of $52,339.  That price is $4,551 less than the MSRP of $56,890, according to Kelley Blue Book.

Consequently, if you’ve had your eye on a new (or used) gas-guzzler, now may be a good time to buy. The savings you enjoy upfront can offer some compensation for the extra costs on gas in the future.

But those extra gas costs aren’t as much as they used to be.  In summer 2008, average national gas prices were well over $4 per gallon. Today, according to the AAA, they are around $2 a gallon. For an SUV that gets 15 mpg (assuming 15,000 miles per year or usage), that’s a savings of $2,000 per year in fuel costs.

Additionally, many dealers are offering discounts, rebates and attractive financing and leasing options to entice buyers towards these currently low-selling vehicles. In the end, these incentives translate to even greater savings.

As of April 2009, here are some standout deals on new SUVs, minivans and pick-up trucks:

2009 Mitsubishi Outlander: This small SUV comes with a $1,000 factory rebate and an offer of 0.0% APR financing for 60 months through Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America for approved borrowers. It also has a lease offer of $289 per month for 42 months and $3,088 due at lease signing with some additional fees.

2009 GMC Sierra 1500: Like most of the vehicles from GMC, this pick-up truck comes with an offer of 0% APR for 60 months to qualified buyers. Alternatively, buyers can choose to take a $4,000 Total Cash Back offer on the GMC Sierra.

2009 Mazda Mazda5: This sporty minivan has an attractive lease deal of $269 per Month with a 36-Month Lease and $2,864 due at lease signing. Additional financing offers are also available, including a 0.9% APR for up to 36 month plus $500 Customer Cash.

Used SUVs, minivans and trucks are also available at significant savings. Resale value of these vehicles has dropped dramatically. Additionally, most dealers are willing to negotiate heavily to clear these vehicles off their lots. Some dealers are also offering financing deals on pre-owned cars in their inventory. For example, all pre-owned Lexus models including the Lexus RX SUV are eligible for 2.9% financing in 2009 through June 1.

There’s no telling whether gas prices will stay as low as they currently are, but experts predict they will not go nearly as high as they did in 2008. So for now, if you’re in the market for a new car, gas-guzzling vehicles may actually be something to consider.

—For more ways to save, spend, invest and borrow, visit MainStreet.com.

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