Is This a Good Time to Buy a Ford C-Max?

2013 Ford C-Max Energi

Is December the best month to buy a Ford C-Max Energi?  Probably not until December 2013.

According to AOL Autos, today is one of the best days to buy a car in the U.S. The seven best days to buy a car are December 10, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31st. Now that a search of Ford Dealers throughout the country show that the C-Max Hybrid is in good supply, it may be a good time to buy the Hybrid. The inventory for the C-Max Energi is still very limited. I previously posted a C-Max blog to aid researching, pricing, locating, buying extended service plans, and finding tax credits and other incentives for the C-Max.

The three electrified vehicles often compared with the C-Max Energi are the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Plug-in. All four of these vehicles qualify for Federal Tax credits: $3,750 for the Energi [$3750 was Ford’s original conservative interpretation of the law, the IRS has now stated that the tax credit is $4,007], $7,500 for the Leaf and Volt, and $2,500 for the Prius Plug-in. To benefit from the tax credit, it is easiest to lease. With a lease, the owner of the vehicle is the lease holder, e.g., Nissan Finance for a Leaf. The lease holder applies for the tax credit and passes the tax credit onto you, the leasee. With a purchase, you need to have a tax liability of at least the credit in the year you buy to benefit from the tax credit. The tax credit cannot be carried over to future tax years. Because of this, it is often better to lease a Volt or Leaf.

The incentitives for competing cars very greatly across the country.  As of today in Utah, there were three incentives for the C-Max: $1,000 customer cash, 1.9 to 3.9% for 3 to 5 year loans, or $1,000 lease cash for owners of a competing vehicle (which competing vehicles qualify isn’t stated). It also stated that not all C-Max models qualify.

The Prius Plug-in incentives offered in different regions concurrently by Toyota recently varied from no offers to $5,000 cash back and zero percent for 60 months. Incentives that vary this much may be rare. The $5,000 cash back offer on the Plug-in has now been reduced to $3,500. On October 27th, I blogged about lease deals for the Leaf SV and Volt. The 36,000-mile 3-year leases for the Leaf and Volt are not as favorable now as the inventory has decreased. The Leaf lease offered in Utah is now $249 per month rather than $219 with the same down payment. The Volt lease offered now is still $299 per month but the initial down payment has increased from $1,529 at signing to $2,749.

Updated September 27, 2013.

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