Saving money when financing a new or used vehicle isnít just a matter of finding low rates. Pre-approved loans with a large down payment can also save you some serious cash. The time to find vehicle financing is before start car shopping though. Walking in with a blank check will give you more leverage during price negotiations.
1. Finding A Good Lender
Finding a good lender can help you save money on both rates and fees. Start by looking for a lender online, not connected with a specific dealer. Often financing offered by a dealership has a higher markup.
Broker sites let you collect quotes from several different financing companies from across the nation. Looking at the APR, you will be able to find the loan with the lowest overall cost. This is the best approach for those who donít plan on refinancing.
If you are planning to refinance your car loan, you may find that a higher rate loan with low or no fees is your better deal. You will also want to ask about any early payment fees.
2. Get Pre-Approved Before Shopping
Getting pre-approved for your car loan will help you save money on a couple of fronts. First of all, you have time to find a low rate loan. You can also select terms for lower rates. For example, buying a new car from a dealership will qualify you for lower rates than a used car purchase.
You also can trim off dollars on the price of your vehicle through your negotiations. A pre-approved loan looks like cash to salespeople, so they are more willing to work with you on the vehicleís price or options.
3. Start With A Large Down Payment
A large down payment of 20% or more will save you money in a couple of ways. First, you will save big on interest charges. Over the course of your auto loan, this will add up to hundreds. Down payments can also qualify you for lower rates.
Donít forget to also look at your budget needs. You can look at differences in monthly payment costs to see what financing is your best fit.