Zero-Percent Finance Deals Hit Record High in March image

A record number of new vehicles were purchased with zero-percent financing in March, according to Edmunds.com

In March, more than 22 percent of financed new cars were purchased with zero-percent finance deals. Last March the total was just 13 percent. The prior high was 21 percent in July 2006.

Remarkably, 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 of all financed transactions 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, Senior Analyst for Edmunds.com. “Certainly it seems as if Toyota Motor Credit and other ‘captive’ finance companies may have lowered standards to help improve sales.”