Brais Seara/Moment Open/GettyImages
7. Shop loan terms, not monthly payments
Look for the cheapest money -- the lowest annual percentage rate over the shortest period. Don't be sidetracked by promises of a lower monthly payment over a longer period of time, says Van Alst. If the only way you can make the payments is to take out a long-term loan, you probably can't afford the vehicle.
RATE SEARCH: Don't miss out on today's low auto loan rates.