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Cash Is King When It Comes to Cars


TeamSugar member RosaDilia just financed a new ride and put 20 percent down to secure her loan, and her comment about it not being easy (despite having a good credit score) coincided with a New York Times piece about the issue.

Since July, the average down payment has gone up by about $1,000 for non-luxury vehicles, from $4,946 in the first seven months of the year to $5,915 by the end of September. With credit scarce, many car buyers are foregoing a down payment altogether and simply paying cash for their vehicles.

Typically more than 90 percent of buyers use financing, but at the end of September, 31 percent of all non-luxury car sales were cash deals. The all but dried up credit market is debilitating to already struggling dealerships who are having trouble even getting financing for buyers with the best credit.

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