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J.D. Power and Associates reports: 57 per cent of those who finance a new vehicle do so over a loan term greater than 72 months.

Yes, nearly six of 10 buyers are opting for a loan longer than six years. Even at that, J.D. Power also notes that the average monthly loan payment is about $530 on an average transaction price of about $30,000.

Affordable monthly payments, of course, are at the centre of new vehicle sales. To keep monthly payments within the average family budget wheelhouse, many car companies are offering low interest rates on long-term finance deals spread out over 72 months or more.

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Toyota knows this. That's why the Camry mid-size car is being pushed with 1.9 per cent financing over 72 months. Buyers can also get 0.9 per cent financing for up to 60 months. Best of all, Toyota has in play something called the Camry Loyalty Promotion: a 1.0 per cent rate reduction sends the finance rate to as low as 0.0 per cent if you're a current Toyota owner. Does this sort of thing work? Yes. Camry sales were up nearly 38 per cent last month. Cheap money drives sales.

Free money is even better, though. Sales of BMW's 3-Series jumped 51 per cent in September, placing the 3 among the top 10 best-selling cars in Canada for the first time since Dec. of 2010. BMW Canada is offering 2.9 per cent financing for up to 60 months, but an even cheaper way to buy a 3 is to grab the entire $2,500 factory-to-dealer sales sweetener – and then bargain for more in the form of a dealer discount.

This brings us to the Mazda3, another over-achieving sales performer in September. Mazda Canada has 0.0 per cent financing on the table for 72 months and buyers can combine it with a $400 cash rebate on certain models. Or lease for three years at .99 per cent and bargain for a $1,000 rebate. But the best deal is on cash purchases: a $2,000 factory-to-dealer rebate.

Finally, the Chevrolet Cruze compact. Sales surged nearly 36 per cent last month, boosted no doubt by 0.0 per cent financing over 84 months that can be combined with a $750 factory-to-dealer rebate. Or cash buyers can bargain for a $1,500 factory-to-dealer rebate.

As per usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.

Toyota Camry Toyota Toyota  

2012 Toyota Camry SE I4 auto

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  • MSRP: $26,950
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,665
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $2,200
  • Taxable subtotal: $26,415
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $29,848.95
  • Toyota Camry Loyalty Promotion: 1 per cent rate reduction to 0.0 per cent to current Toyota owners

Marginal: BMW 3-series BMW BMW  

2012 BMW 320i sedan

  • MSRP: $35,900
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $2,095
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,450
  • Factory discount: $2,500 (Alternate Cash Back factory-to-dealer rebate – cash purchases only)
  • Taxable subtotal: $38,470.85
  • Note: a $1,600 Option Credit factory-to-dealer rebate cannot be combined with Alternate Cash Back

2012 Mazda3 Mazda Mazda  

2012 Mazda3 GX manual

  • MSRP: $15,895
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,795
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $400
  • Factory discount: $2,000 (Mazda Retail Cash factory-to-dealer rebate for cash purchases)
  • Taxable subtotal: $15,290
  • Factory discount: $400 (Grad Award factory-to-customer rebate)
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $16,877.70
  • Lease Stackable Cash of $1,000 can be combined with 0.99 lease rate for three years

Chevrolet Cruze RS General Motors General Motors  

2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT Turbo

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  • MSRP: $18,755
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,595
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $700
  • Factory discount: $1,500 (Non-stackable Cash Discount factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $18,150
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $20,509.50
  • $750 in Finance Cash factory-to-dealer rebate can be combined with 0.0 per cent financing for up to 84 months

Pricing information source: . Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.

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About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More


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