Cars: Buy one, get one free

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Automobile dealerships are struggling. There are probably too many dealerships and there are fewer car buyers than usual. So they all have inventory they need to get rid of. I had heard of dealers having "buy one, get one free" sales, but hadn't seen any firsthand. Now, one dealer in Milwaukee is giving me the chance.

The Russ Darrow Group is having a major sale at all its dealerships through January 5 to try to whittle down its inventory of 1,000 used and 2,000 new cars. Anyone who buys a new vehicle is automatically entitled to a used vehicle for $1 (basically free) plus tax, title, and license. How good with the used car be? The value will be determined by the price of the new vehicle that's purchased. The more expensive the new car, the more valuable the used car, and values will range from $500 to $10,000.

And if buyers don't want a used car? They can use the credit toward a second new vehicle. This is just another example of the awesome deals available if you're in the market for a new car. Obviously if you can't afford a different car or the time just isn't right to buy one, then this deal makes no difference to you. But for those consumers who were already planning on getting a different car in the next 6 months or so, they definitely have a lot of leverage with the car dealers and ought to play hardball and shop around. There's no better time to get the most bang for your auto buck.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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