Zero percent finance deals were more elusive than expected for car shoppers in August, according to the experts at Edmunds. The percentage of sales with zero percent finance deals has been cut in half in the last two years — dropping from 14.6 percent of transactions in August of 2016 to only 7.4 percent this August. This continues a trend that started last year, when only 10.4 percent of August auto sales had zero percent financing. Analysts note that these numbers are particularly uncharacteristic for this time of year, given that zero percent finance deals typically peak in August and September.

“August truly represents the month that we would have expected to see a turnaround in this trend if one was imminent,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis. “Moving forward, shoppers will likely need to do a bit more digging to find other ways to save on a new vehicle because it looks like zero percent finance deals are going the way of the dodo.”

Edmunds analysts note that higher interest rates continued to contribute toward the scarcity of zero percent finance deals in August. The annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles averaged 5.8 percent in August 2018 compared to 4.9 percent in August 2017 and 3.9 percent…