Special College Grad Auto Rebates Await Informed Buyers

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college car

If you’ve recently graduated from college, congratulations to you! All of your hard work and studying has paid off and you are standing at an important crossroad in your life: work awaits or you will continue your education in an effort to obtain an advanced degree.

Regardless of the path you choose there are some hidden benefits you may not be aware of for graduating from college: many automakers will sweeten their deals and offer to you an extra rebate over and above the best price you get for your new wheels. That’s right, even after negotiating your best deal and applying all other incentives (low rate financing or manufacturer’s rebate) you could save an additional $400 or so on your purchase.

These programs are offered by most automakers, but have different names and requirements. Though your local dealership should tell you about the rebate, they may forget or not be aware that you recently graduated. So, to help you cull through the offers, the following information with links to some of the available programs currently available can help you out:

Hyundai — The 2008 HMFC College Graduate Program offers $400 rebates to recent grads (within the last 24 months) and people who will receive their degree within the next six months.

Honda/AcuraThe Honda and Acura Graduate Programs will leave you guessing what your discount is until you speak with the dealer.

Ford — Ford’s College Student Purchase Program offers rebates of $500 on Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles. Ford’s program is open to current students as well as to graduates of trade schools.

Mitsubishi — With Mitsubishi, you won’t get a special grad rebate but you could be eligible for your choice of four financing plans. Unfortunately, you’re locked in to what Mitsubishi has to offer to you even if you find an automotive financing plan elsewhere that is better for you.

Toyota — With Toyota, recent grads can get a $500 rebate on a new ’09 Corolla or Matrix; $400 rebates are applied to any other new Toyota through the automaker’s Recent College Graduate program.

Scion — As to be expected, Toyota’s youth brand offers a Scion College Graduate Finance Program giving eligible grads $400 back on the purchase of a new car.

General Motors — GM is aggressively courting recent grads, having set up a dedicated website targeting former students. Instead of offering a rebate, GM sells cars to eligible drivers at the supplier rate, which is below the sticker price.

Volkswagen — Not as clear as some other programs, VW’s college grad rebate deal seems to vary from dealer to dealer. One dealer is offering a $400 rebate, another $500, while yet another says that their rebate is $1000. VW does have a first time owner’s program which could offer special savings to you whether you are a recent grad or not.

Nissan — Running through June 30, 2008, the $500 SignatureGRADUATE® Nissan Cash Back program is on select 2008 models. You must have proof of graduation within 6 months (or past 2 years) from an accredited US two or four year university, college, graduate school or nursing school.

Most programs require that you have a job offer in hand or are currently working. Therefore, for the person attending school and not working, these restrictions may keep you from getting the rebate. You could still be eligible for other financing deals, but the extra grad rebate may not be available to you.

Was your favorite car not mentioned? The absence of their information here doesn’t mean that special offers aren’t available to recent grads. Visit the manufacturer’s website for current offers and ask your dealer what else is available to you.

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Categories: Campus Cars