Dear Driving for Dollars,
I just read your article on GM’s May The Best Car Win campaign and it brought up a question. If a large number of people take part in this promotion and choose to return the car, what will GM most likely do with these returned cars? They can’t be sold as new, right? I am opportunistic and would be very interested in possibly getting a nearly new used car in great shape for a reasonable price. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this issue.
You are right that a returned car under this program would likely have significant miles on it and therefore be sold at a discounted price. In theory, your idea is correct. Unfortunately for you, it’s unlikely that a large number of people will buy a GM brand car only to return it. As I pointed out in my article, there are some costs involved in essentially having a 60-day “test drive.” And while those costs aren’t huge, they are probably large enough to deter anyone from returning the car unless they are quite unhappy.
In fact, GM expects the return rate to be less than 1 percent. Instead, try looking for a new ’09 model, since most of the 2010 models are available now, or look for a car that has been part of the corporate fleet, meaning it was driven by an employee of the automaker or the dealership. Both of these cars would be considered “new,” allowing you to get the better, new car interest rate on a loan and deeper discounts because of the mileage on them.