Find the best deal on new-car financing

Getting the best deal on new car financing

The way to get the best deal on new car financing is to do your homework. Showing up at the dealership armed with information puts you in a far better negotiating position than simply walking in and picking out the wheels that appeal to you.

New car financing should be undertaken with as much diligence as taking out any other loan. Although most new cars don’t cost anything close to that of a home, the loan payments will be with you for up to five years. A good place to start your homework is with an auto loan calculator, which will help you figure out payments based on variables such as the term of the loan, your down payment and the interest rate.

Once you have a general idea of the dollar amounts, you can then look to fine-tune your new car loan. Consider, for example, whether it’s better to aim for a low-interest loan or a manufacturer’s rebate by using a car rebate calculator. Rebates give you a lower price for the vehicle, but a lower interest rate reduces your monthly payments.

If you still have a loan outstanding on the car you currently own, you should use a negative equity auto loan calculator and work those numbers into your budget.

Another element to factor in is your credit score. If you haven’t done your annual free credit check yet, make sure you do so before you finance a new car. Your credit score will figure largely in the terms of the auto loan you get.

Once armed with all your information, then it’s time to head out to the dealerships. At this point, consider “three” to be your lucky number: go to at least three dealerships and ask for the best deal they can give you on the auto of your choice. Get any new car financing terms in writing.

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