Shopping for a new vehicle can be a harrowing and difficult process, especially if you aren't the type of person satisfied with simply choosing something you like the looks of. A well-researched consumer is always going to come away with a better deal, a better car, and the peace of mind that comes with making a smart purchase. But they will also come away with a better rate on car loans, which may be just as important as negotiating with the salesman.
What you may not know is that these rates are sometimes just as negotiable as the price of your vehicle. Arm yourself with your credit score, note what ranges will be available to someone sitting where you are, and get ready to find the best rates.
Don't go into the dealership without a decent backlog of information. The more research you can do ahead of time, the better you'll be able to come off in negotiations. Shop around online for various lenders. There are websites that will allow you to do this from a central hub. You will also want to check with your own bank. Many people don't even realize their own financial institution offers car loans to their customers and their rates will often be far superior to those you'll get at the dealership.
There has been a trend in the last ten years or so for dealerships to drop nearly all talk about a vehicle's bottom line price. They want to talk to their customers about monthly payments. Ill informed customers want to talk about this as well. $300 a month is a number people can easily get their heads around. They can look at their budget, see how well that number fits, and make a decision based on that information. A number like $15,579 means very little to the average person working paycheck to paycheck. Still, when it comes to looking at car loans, it's important to understand that a lower rate doesn't necessarily make for a lower payment. The term of the loan will have a much greater impact.
Those with credit issues may be frustrated with the rates being offered to them by area lenders. If you're going through the dealership, you may be able to get better rates if you can come up with a down payment. Many lenders look favorably on those who offer a trade in or a down payment of 20% or more and will offer better rates to those who do. This will not only lower the interest, but it will reduce the length of the loan, meaning you'll pay less for the vehicle. Try to offer a down payment if you can.