HOUSTON - 33% of people who were planning to buy a car are expected to buy it this Memorial Day weekend, according to a Cars.com survey.
Dealers are offering low rates and payment deferrals to get customers onto their lots.
The Cars.com survey found 65% of people who were already looking to buy a car are moving up their purchase to take advantage of the huge deals being offered.
"I've been kind of shopping for a car and I kind of wanted to come and get it this weekend before it was gone," said Terrilyn Hicks, who just snapped up a deal today.
"My vehicle came with a $2000 rebate, so it was pretty good," said Hicks.
Cars and keys are being sanitized at dealerships to make customers feel safe from COVID-19.
Cars.com says it's the fear of the virus that's actually pushing some people to buy cars.
"A lot of people are concerned about the sanitation of public transportation and ride-sharing, like Uber and Lyft," said Kelsey Mays with Cars.com.
But mostly it's the incredible deals, such as 3 to 6 months deferred payments, zero percent interest, and longer loans with lower payments, that are bringing customers back in.
"As the city has opened up, we've seen our business begin to grow. While we're not to the same levels as we were before the stay-home order, we're approaching those numbers," said Joey Dupuis, General Manager of Sterling McCall Lexus.
Though consumer advocates warn shoppers to be careful about long loans.
"Six or seven years from now, when that car is relatively older and maybe having some mechanical problems, and you're still making that payment, it might not seem as worth it then," suggests Mays.
Car dealers say they have shifted to selling more cars online, even delivering at home, such as through apps like Group 1 Automotive's Acceleride.
"A lot of people are doing a lot of the preliminary work on the app, then coming in just to see the car and complete the purchase," said Dupuis.
"I think if you can, now is the best time to go ahead and purchase a vehicle, because they have a lot of deals out there. So now is the best time to take them up on the opportunity," said Hicks.
Group 1 Automotive says online sales tripled last month to 7.3%.
But Dupuis says many customers still ultimately want to see the car in person before they buy.