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If you’ve been thinking about a new car — especially a Japanese one — now may be the best time of the year to buy.
This favorable timing primarily stems from Japanese companies like Honda and Toyota ending their fiscal year on March 31, the Associated Press reports. American, European and Korean manufacturers, on the other hand, end their fiscal year on Dec. 31.
That means Japanese manufacturers tend to offer their biggest deals this time of year to meet annual sales goals.
Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst for Edmunds.com, tells the AP:
“March tends to be a strong sales month for the auto industry, but is particularly strong for the Japanese makes as shoppers flock to these sales.”
According to the AP, deals on Japanese makes currently include:
- The 2016 Toyota Camry SE is currently selling for as much as 11 percent off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, or MSRP, according to car buying site TrueCar.com. That’s a savings of $2,885. Deals for the Camry include $500 cash plus zero-percent financing for up to 60 months.
- Honda is offering the 2016 Civic compact car for $179 per month with a 36-month lease. In February, Honda was offering the Civic for the same monthly price but for a longer term of 39 months. That’s a difference of $537.
- Subaru will lease you a 2016 Outback SUV for $269 a month for 36 months. In February, a 36-month lease was $289 per month. That’s a savings of $720 over three years.
If you opt for a car loan, just be sure you first compare rates so you don’t pay too much — finding a lower rate can shave hundreds off the cost.
Certain Japanese models are also a smart buy in light of how favorably they have been reviewed over the past year. For example:
- Most of the models on Consumer Reports’ list of the best vehicles of 2016, which was released last month, are made by Japanese companies. By contrast, most of the models on Consumer Reports’ list of the worst vehicles of 2016, released last week, are American-made.
- The Honda Civic was named the 2016 North American Car of the Year at Detroit’s latest annual North American International Auto Show in January.
- The Honda Civic earned the distinction of the overall best buy among all 2016 model year vehicles in Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 Best Buy Awards.
- Two Toyota trucks, the Tacoma and the 4Runner, were named the top 2016 vehicles based on resale value in Kelley Blue Book’s 2016 Best Resale Value Awards.
How do you feel about Japanese vehicles compared with those of American, European or Korean manufacturers? Do you have a preference? Let us know why below or on Facebook.