Car buyers cite one particular incentive motivating them amid coronavirus

One digit and two words: 0 percent interest.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
Car buying

Car buyers like the idea of 0% interest.

Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

Those with the means to still purchase a new car amid the coronavirus pandemic may have already been checking out showrooms, or perhaps some of the very generous incentives kicked others into the market. While automakers are pushing numerous sorts of benefits, there's a single incentive motivating buyers: 0% interest.

According to a survey from Autolist, consumers by and large look at 0% interest financing as a major buying factor. In April, the company surveyed 1,436 car shoppers and found almost half, 48%, said 0% interest was the top reason they'd buy or lease a new or used vehicle during the pandemic. The second top response was flexible payment plans (32%), and deferred payments at the start of the loan or lease was third (27%).

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The auto industry isn't shy to 0% financing offers, but we largely saw them phase out as the economy grew out of recession and hummed along. However, a loan without interest can provide a sense of stability as the pandemic flips typical life upside down and increases economic uncertainty among consumers.

Worth noting is a group that said no incentive would get them to purchase. A total of 13% wouldn't be swayed by any deal or incentive, thanks to the coronavirus.

Those who are in the market will find a lengthy list of brands running 0% interest deals to get buyers into dealerships and out the door with a new car. In many cases, automakers will even carry out home delivery of a new car.

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