According to a new survey by auto-shopping website Autolist.com, zero-percent financing offers currently have the biggest impact on car sales. Nearly half of the 1,436 respondents chose that option from a list as part of a survey conducted in April, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
“These are highly unusual and uncertain times for all consumers thanks to the coronavirus,” said Chase Disher, analyst at Autolist. “So it’s no wonder that car shoppers prefer the long-term stability that zero-interest loans provide.”
As part of the survey, respondents were asked to pick up to three types of incentives that would make them more likely to buy or lease a new or used vehicle at that moment. Survey takers could choose from the following options: zero-percent financing, flexible payment plans for loans or leases, deferred payments at the beginning of the loan or lease, limited-time payment forgiveness if a buyer loses their job, owner loyalty cash, waiving of late fees on loan or lease payments, other, unsure.
The results were as follows:
- Zero-interest financing: 48 percent.
- Flexible payment plans for loans or leases: 32 percent.
- Deferred payments at the beginning of the loan or lease: 27 percent.
- Limited-time payment forgiveness if a buyer loses their job: 24 percent.
- Owner loyalty cash: 17 percent.
- Waiving of late fees on loan or lease payments: 16 percent.
- Other: 10 percent.
- Unsure: 10 percent
Additionally, 13 percent of those who answered the survey said none of these offers would make them more likely to buy a car during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Consumers’ mood really bottomed out in late March and early April, according to our poll,” Disher said. “And while there is still a lot of uncertainty about recovery in the next few months, our data is showing that car shoppers are feeling confident in the long-term health of the economy and their decision to buy a car in 2020.”
Most automakers are currently offering some level of incentive in an attempt to spur customers into purchasing. Autolist has a full rundown of the incentives that automakers are offering during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.