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Vehicles sit on display for sale on the lot of the dealership in Los Angeles, California.
“If you need or want a particular vehicle, the inventory might not be available later in the year, depending on what you’re looking for,” said Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds, an auto research firm.
Some automakers have temporarily revived zero percent financing for well-qualified customers — i.e., those with really good credit scores. For instance, General Motors is offering the rate for 72 months (six years) on popular models including the Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup truck. Ford, Hyundai and Nissan also are offering the bottom rate on certain models for limited times.
However, such financing deals will likely become fewer and farther between, thanks to rising interest rates. Since late 2016, the Federal Reserve has raised a key rate seven times to prevent the economy from overheating and has signaled that the next hike will come in December. Those increases push the cost of borrowing higher for a variety of consumer loans.