New Car Incentives Offered for Healthcare Workers During the Pandemic

Consumer Reports reviewed available offers and found special incentives from automakers and local dealerships

healthcare workers covid 19 NYC Hospital Noam Galai/Getty Images

Automakers and dealerships across the nation are offering healthcare workers special discounts on car purchases during the coronavirus pandemic.

The discount programs might take an extra $500 or more off a car’s sticker price.

Such programs and rebates are not unusual for first responders—911 operators, EMTs/paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement—and military. Now, several automakers and their finance arms are including doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.

Consumer Reports has combed through current national offers, finding ways that healthcare workers and first responders can save when buying a car. This is also a good time to buy because dealerships remain well-stocked with inventory, and transaction prices have been edging downward on most models.

Discounts are common when buying a new car—everyone gets something off the sticker price. Savvy shoppers go further, exploring rebates, loyalty programs, and latest local transaction prices to ensure they get a good deal.

Every brand has its own set of rules, from who is eligible to when the offers expire. Many offers for healthcare workers last only until June, although programs for military and first responders tend to be available year-round. We expect that many of the expiration dates will be extended.

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Definitely read the fine print if you’re interested in pursuing an offer. In particular, look for the identification requirements—some are quite restrictive. And confirm that the discounts can be combined with existing public offers, as most stipulate.

We also saw that some dealers are offering their own discounts. Check your dealership’s website before writing off a particular brand. For example, Toyota continues to offer military discounts at the national level, but some dealerships are giving $500 discounts to medical workers, too.

As always, be sure to do your homework when shopping for a new car. It is easy to simply follow an advertised deal, or in this case a special program, and be persuaded into thinking it’s a great deal. Be sure to check local transaction prices to ensure that you understand what a good deal is. (This information can be found through the Consumer Reports Build & Buy Car Buying Service, linked from each model page.) And of course, practice social distancing as appropriate. Many dealerships are offering to deliver the paperwork and car to your home. (Such dealerships are highlighted in the CR Build & Buy Car Buying Service with a “Buy From Home” badge.)

There are other potential discounts available to military, first responders, and healthcare workers for vehicle service and car rental. Be sure to ask, should you need such services, especially during the pandemic. Below, we present the highlights of the current programs, along with spotlighting a top-rated model from that automaker.

Several other automakers have military discount programs, including BMW, Genesis, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. These provide worthwhile savings for eligible buyers.

Shop CR's Car Buying Service From Home

The Consumer Reports Build & Buy Car Buying Service is evolving to face the challenges of shopper needs during the pandemic. The core service engages a nationwide network of over 16,000 participating dealers to provide up-front pricing information and a certificate to receive guaranteed savings off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. A growing number of dealerships are enrolled in a Buy From Home program, enabling buyers to complete the buying process without going to the dealership. Participating dealerships will take you through the paperwork remotely and deliver a sanitized vehicle right to your home, all at a fair price. When using the Build & Buy Car Buying Service, accessed through the car model pages, you will find Buy From Home participants denoted by a special banner highlighting “Buy from Home: Have your vehicle delivered to you and complete your paperwork at home.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Applies to: Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram models. Excludes many special-edition models, including the Jeep Gladiator, and anything with an SRT or Hellcat badge.
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement
Discount: $500 to $8,000 cash allowance
Expires: July 1, 2020
Further, participating dealers can provide a $500 discount to most models from those brands, plus Alfa Romeo, through Jan. 4, 2021.
Learn more about the FCA program.

Ford Motor Co.

Applies to: Ford and Lincoln models, excluding special-edition models, like the Mustang Shelby GT500 and F-150 Raptor, as well as upcoming models Ford Bronco and Mustang Mach-E
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals
Discount: $500
Expires: June 1, 2020
Learn more about the Ford program.

General Motors

Applies to: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC models, excluding Chevrolet Corvette and certain trim levels
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals
Discount: $700 to $3,500
Expires: June 30, 2020
Learn more about the GM program.

Honda and Acura

Applies to: Honda and Acura models
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals
Discount: $500 Honda, $750 Acura
Expires: July 6, 2020
Learn more about the Honda and Acura programs.

Hyundai

Applies to: Hyundai models
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals
Discount: $500
Expires: Jan. 4, 2021
Learn more about the Hyundai program.

Mazda

Applies to: 2019 and 2020 Mazda models
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, law enforcement, and healthcare professionals.
Discount: $500
Expires: June 1, 2020
Also, Mazda is offering free standard oil changes and cleaning to most makes and models through June 1.
Learn more about the Mazda program.

Volkswagen

Applies to: Volkswagen models
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement
Discount: $500
Expires: Jan. 4, 2021
Learn more about the Volkswagen program.

Volvo

Applies to: Volvo V60, V60CC, XC40, XC60, and XC90
Eligible: EMT/paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement
Discount: Employee pricing (5 percent off MSRP) with a $1,000 purchase or $500 lease discount.
Expires: Jan. 2, 2021
Learn more about the Volvo program.


Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).