You've probably seen signs like this at car dealerships all over the place:
Only ninety-nine bucks!
No wait - the (relatively) fine print points out that this is every TWO WEEKS, not every month.
And it isn't really two times 99; it's 2.17 times 99 (52 weeks in the year, divided by 12, divided by two...).
I guess this is all part of marketing.
Vendors have almost always expressed prices with a few cents chopped off the next highest dollar.
And, at any price level: $4.99 has always seemed like a lot less than $5.00.
Only a few pennies different, but it seems like more than that, and customers seem to react favourably to this tactic.
Psychologists probably get Ph.Ds studying consumer behaviour like this.
One semi-common exception is high-end restaurants; perhaps there it would seem crass to think you'd be dissuaded from trying Chef Antoine's latest creation by a price that was lower by just a few cents.
Besides, with the penny now officially abolished in Canada...
There may be another marketing gambit going on here. I think people with real jobs (as opposed to freelance automotive journalists...) get paid every two weeks; a bi-weekly hit for your car might make it easier to budget.
Understand though that if you are paid monthly, depending on which day the bi-weekly payment comes due, there might be three payments due in a given month.
From talking with sales people, I gather it isn't always - maybe not even mainly - the actual selling price of the car that matters; it's whether the customer can carry the loan payment (or lease payment), whether (s)he can afford to pay for the vehicle on an on-going basis.
I guess whatever keeps the rolling stock rolling out the door is good for business...