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New-Car Sales Continue Strong Pace in July

2013 Ford Fiesta
Sales of the Ford Fiesta are up 89 percent compared with last July. (Ford Motor Company)

On your way into work today, you may have seen more temporary tags on the cars around you than you normally do. That’s because more consumers are buying new cars. July new-car sales are expected to reach their highest levels since 2006, according to Edmunds.com.

“July car sales suggest that shoppers are willing to make their car purchases a priority over other goods,” says Edmunds.com Sr. Analyst Michelle Krebs. “That's because low interest rates and a wider availability of leasing deals are making new cars much more attractive to the average buyer.”

Many automakers offered attractive lease deals in July, including leases with no down payment and leases with low monthly payments. Even luxury brands had some tempting lease offers in July. For new car purchasers, zero-percent financing was also not difficult to find last month, as several carmakers promoted interest-free financing, especially on outgoing 2013 vehicles. Some car companies also offered low interest rates of generally less than 3 percent or up to thousands in cash incentives.

There are other factors that are boosting new-car sales, in addition to enticing automaker incentives. Reuters attributes the strong new-car sales in part to “an improving housing market that has boosted demand for full-size pickup trucks.” Reuters adds, “Monthly [car] sales are regarded as an early indicator of the U.S. economy's health. The industry has held up better than the broader economy because of easier access to credit and consumers' need to replace aging vehicles, which now average more than 11 years.”

High car sales could make it more difficult to negotiate a lower price on a new vehicle, but some analysts say that automakers will likely still offer good deals right now. Kristen Andersson, analyst for TrueCar.com, says in a statement, “Incentives are up almost eight percent in July as the summer sell-down season begins, dealers have more vehicles to clear out from lots than last year.” So if you’re planning to buy a new vehicle, buy soon, as deals may dry up in the coming months.

In the market for a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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