Military auto discount, but only to recent discharges and active duty- what about our veterans?

Most automakers offer some sort of Military cash incentive on new vehicle purchases. Most of them limit the offer (usually around $500) to active duty personnel. Some extend it to veterans who have been honorably discharged within the last 12 months. And a very limited few offer it to all veterans who served our country and were honorably discharged, regardless of how long ago they served.

I have never served in the military, so this doesn’t affect me personally. But am I the only one who finds it disrespectful that most of companies don’t extend their offer to veterans who were discharged more than 12 months ago?

Simply opens up the pool of eligibility too much.

ETA: and if you think they’re using the discout to ‘honor our veterans’ you’re wrong…it’s simply a gimmick to get people in the door.

What **Sicks Ate **said. Plus, I don’t have the stats in front of me, but a hugely disproportionate number of millionaires in the U.S. were formerly in the military. The mental and overall personal discipline instilled in military members makes them much better at money management.

Well, that and the fact they can retire after 20 years (around 38-42 years of age) with a full pension and still work for another 20 years at a different job. That might have something to do with it, too.

I think the rationale is that members of the military get paid very little, so the discount is significant to them. Someone out for more than a year has probably moved on to a civilian job at ~average pay and doesn’t need the help.

Yes, you are right to point it out. We are big talkers about supporting the veterans and such but when it comes down to it it’s just talk. Example–hiring. So many employers are all about saying they hire veterans but they really don’t. It’s just talk.

Yeppers. If you take just the past 40 years of people who were honorably discharged from the military, that’s a pretty large number of people, just from the volunteer army days.

Then if you go back just a wee bit further, you get all the people who were drafted into the army in the Vietnam era and in between Korea and Vietnam. (Korean vets are getting to the age where they shouldn’t drive. :)) So that widens the eligibility pool hugely.

It evens out. You get a military discount but the dealers outside of the gate give generous 23% interest loan to new Joes. No money down!

Not sure what you’re getting at. A full pension for me in 1990 at the E7 rank was about $1700/month. When I divorced my wife, she got half of that. It’s all the way up to about $950 a month now, not that I’m complaining. But a second career wasn’t optional, it was mandatory. Not everyone retires as a five-star general.

Most places I’ve frequented that offer a military discount extend it to retirees as well. It doesn’t surprise me that car dealers don’t; if anyone thinks that they don’t factor it into the sales price down the line, they’re naive. It’s a tactic to get them in the door, plain and simple. A car that you may have been able to negotiate for $22,500 will have the salesman standing firm at $23K.

Sadly, it’s about wrangling customers, not honoring vets.

I’m sure it’s similar to a college grad discount- gets people in the door who don’t necessarily have an established job or credit history. After a year or two, when you might not need the assist, they figure you’ll come in on your own.

You’re right. I’m not bothered by the exclusion of veterans (as I was when I started this topic). I’m just disgusted, but certainly not surprised, that the most common incentive ‘groups’ are active duty military and recently discharged AND recent college graduates! When you graduate college and set out on your own, your first ‘real’ job pays less than minimum wage when you divide your pathetic salary by the number of hours you’re forced to work, a new car payment is EXACTLY what you need!

Most companies have Owner Loyalty incentives and they’d be crazy if they didn’t! Blind brand loyalty is a thing of that past (thankfully) but people a lot of people will continue to buy the same brand of vehicle if they have a good experience, or even if they have good customer service on a shitty vehicle! I used to be one of those “follow the sheep off the cliff” hardcore Honda/Acura owners. Until I leased my dream car, a 2003 Acura 3.2TL Type-S. I was 28 and leased it because there’s no way I could ever afford payments to buy a $32k Acura when I barely made $32k/year in salary! But $399 lease payments for 36-months I could manage…barely. The transmission failed at 11k miles, again at 19k, and yet again at 31k miles. Dealing with Acura (and parent company North American Honda) on those warranty claims became sheer hell! (Over 1-million transmissions in V6 Acura and Honda vehicles failed during the 2001-2004 timeframe and they did anything possible to avoid covering them under warranty, leaving many owners with $4k repair bills).

Finally at 31k, with only 6 months left on my 36-month lease and my $32k “entry-level sports/luxury sedan”’ needing it’s 4th transmission, I raised HELL until Acura Financial just took it back early to get rid of me! And I said Goodbye to Honda/Acura products forever…and I found Mazda. I’m on Mazda number three and, as long as I keep liking the car they make, I’ll keep buying them…

One other incentive that I’ve been seeing more and more often is a “Conquest” or “Competitive” Bonus/Incentive. Typically, these are offered to owners of specific competitor models. For example, a $1000 Conquest incentive on the purchase of a 2014 Hyundai Sonata to owners of a 2006-newer Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, etc.