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Record number of car deals made with 0% financing in March

November 10, 2010

A record number of new vehicles were purchased in March with zero-percent financing, reported.

More than 22 percent of financed new cars were purchased with zero-percent finance deals that month. The total in March 2009 was just 13 percent. The prior high was 21 percent in July 2006.

A remarkable 71 percent of new Toyotas financed in March had a zero-percent APR — nearly twice the previous Toyota record of 39 percent in August 2009.

The two brands with the next highest percentages of such deals were Mazda at 58 percent and Mercury at 32 percent.

"Credit must be starting to loosen if almost a quarter of all transactions financed in March were approved for zero-percent financing," said Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst for

In part because of low-interest financing deals on new cars, more than 100 new vehicles currently cost less than their 1-year-old used counterparts.