Sandy victims eligible for car-buying incentives

Bankrate.com

Dear Driving for Dollars,
The wake of destruction left by Superstorm Sandy included thousands of cars that have damage beyond repair and owners who suddenly find themselves having to buy a new car. Many automakers have responded with special car incentives to buyers in the affected areas, with varying requirements of how to get the discounts.

Even with the deals, car buyers should consider their purchase carefully and shop around for the best car loan possible. For a step-by-step overview, read Bankrate's "12 tips for buying the right car in 2012." Here's an overview of the different deals automakers are currently offering.

Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram

Chrysler Group LLC is offering $500 additional bonus cash toward the purchase or lease of most Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Ram cars from the 2012 and 2013 model years. To qualify for these car incentives, buyers must be residents of one of the counties in Connecticut, New Jersey or New York recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, as disaster areas as well as have proof of an insurance claim, indicating damage from Superstorm Sandy. The rebate runs through Jan. 2, 2013.

Ford and Lincoln

Ford Motor Co. is offering a $500 cash rebate toward the purchase or lease of most 2012 and 2013 model-year Ford or Lincoln cars. This car-incentive offer, which runs through Jan. 2, 2013, excludes the Ford Focus Electric, Ford Edge SW all-wheel drive and Ford Taurus SE as well as Ford's high-performance models -- the Mustang Shelby GT/GT500, Mustang Boss and F-150 SVT Raptor. It cannot be used in conjunction with other incentives or special pricing plans. Ford's program is not limited to FEMA-listed disaster areas, but it does require car buyers to provide details of an insurance claim related to Superstorm Sandy.

Mazda

Mazda has a $500 rebate for any new Mazda to Sandy-affected buyers. The offer applies to all new Mazda cars and the only requirement is proof of a Sandy-related car insurance claim of damage or loss. In addition, qualified customers can defer their first payment for 90 days with participating lenders. Mazda has not announced an end date to either offer.

Nissan and Infiniti

Nissan North America has extended its employee pricing and financing program to those affected by Superstorm Sandy for Nissan and Infiniti cars. New buyers financing through Nissan also can delay payment for up to three months. Eligible car buyers simply need to contact the dealer of their choice to get the offers, which can be combined with other rebates and car incentives that may be offered on specific Nissan or Infiniti models. To be eligible, buyers must be in a FEMA-designated disaster area with a car insurance claim. Nissan's program runs through Jan. 2, 2013.

Volvo

Volvo has announced a program for those affected by Sandy where it will provide employee pricing, plus a $1,000 cash-back rebate on a new-car purchase or lease. To be eligible, buyers or lessees must reside in a FEMA-designated disaster or emergency area and provide documentation of a car insurance claim. The program ends Jan. 2, 2013.

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