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You are an engineer, so I will assume that you ran the numbers, but 0% car loans where you forego a large rebate are not truly 0% (there is an inplied rate of interest resulting from the opportunity cost of foregoing the rebate) and are not even necessarily better deals than taking the rebate and financing elsewhere.

I am not an engineer but we did exactly that when we bought my DW's car. The dealer seemed shocked we did not want to go with the 0% financing and we just nodded that we would prefer the rebate as we had secured our own financing.

It came out cheaper for us, as you mentioned, to take the rebate and utilize a low financing rate. I was surprised how many people thought we were foolish to pass on the 0% financing.

It pays to do your calculations....

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