Take Me to Toyotathon: Vehicle Incentives Slowly Returning

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

We’re coming out of a few lean years in the auto industry. Automakers, struggling to keep pace with demand due to supply chain issues and a global pandemic, slashed incentives and even increased prices in some cases. Things are starting to calm down, at least a little, and the deals are slowly returning. 

USA Today reported that incentives rebounded to 2.8 percent of a vehicle’s average transaction in January, far less than in 2021 but an improvement from the end of 2022. Incentives grew at different rates depending on the segment, with ultra-popular vehicles like compact SUVs seeing smaller gains than others, such as midsize cars, which saw more significant increases.

Electric vehicles, which are growing quickly in popularity, are among the least discounted cars, with incentives of just 2 percent. It also appears that automakers are having no trouble selling minivans, as they have even fewer incentives, at just one percent. 

USA Today spoke with Brian Moody, Autotrader’s executive editor, who said buyers might need to shop regionally to find the best deals. If you’re unhappy with your local dealer’s offerings, check stores in other towns or states. You can also look at less popular brands if you’re willing to flex on your desired make or model. Moody pointed out that shopping at the end of the month or year is an excellent way to get deals, and automakers frequently offer incentives around holidays. 

[Image: Jonathon Weiss via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 29 comments
  • Deanst Deanst on Mar 04, 2023

    The “Detroit 3” may have started their old incentive games, but as someone still waiting for a Toyota, I can tell you that I haven’t been offered any incentives!

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 04, 2023

    "Electric vehicles, which are growing quickly in popularity"

    Easy there. Am I on the right website??

    • See 2 previous
    • VoGhost VoGhost on Mar 06, 2023

      Yup. A fad. Like cellphones, indoor plumbing and computers. Just hold out and it'll all be over.

  • Cprescott Cprescott on Mar 06, 2023

    Don't look for a massive spike in incentives from the Duh sisters, Hon, Toyo, and Maz. These companies are perfectly formulated to gouge their customers who are the biggest group of sheeple on the planets. These consumers will pay a tax to buy products whose reputation peaked over a decade ago and have lemmings as new customers (even dumber than the bitter Duh clingers).

    • PickupMan PickupMan on Mar 06, 2023

      You may be right about gouging. But I'll just compare the number of recalls for, say the latest F-150 lightning, or Maverick against the Tacoma pickup in my driveway. The dealership service experience is also much more pleasant with Toyo. Duh.

  • Dave Dave on Mar 06, 2023

    Yeah I was going off of my one person experience so you are probably right. In Orlando though they have two big Mazda dealerships with about 30 cars of each model available. Anyway that doesnt speak for the entire country, but I got a car at msrp which seems like a bargain these days, sadly.