HOUSTON – Buying a car isn’t what it used to be. Buying a car is a big purchase that you can save money on if you do your homework. With vehicle shortages across the country, dealers are trying more than ever to make money on the financing side of the deal as well.
“What you have to do is just as you let dealers compete on the sales side, you also have to let them compete on the financing side,” said Mike Rumple, Your Car Buying Advocate.
Get pre-approval for a loan.
Rumple said before you even go to the dealership, you should already know what the interest rate is and get pre-approval on a loan. Credit unions usually give the lowest interest rates. Then you can negotiate with what the dealership might offer for financing.
‘They’ll be able to give you a good price. You just have to make them aware that you know what a good course is,” Rumple said.
Negotiate financing AFTER you’ve already negotiated everything else.
Rumple said the dealership will try to lump the entire process together. It is best to negotiate the interest rate and how you end up paying for the vehicle separately.
“Well, whatever the dealers will say, we don’t choose the tariff. Okay, the interest rate is what it is, it’s based on your credit score, which is reasonably true. But they also do, they can also have you approve an interest rate and then increase that interest rate by 1% or 2%,” explained Rumple. “They make a profit from the bank. At this interest rate.”
The best deal for the selling price of the car may not be the best deal overall. You have to take care of the financing.
Read the fine print of each offer.
Rumple says watch out — you need to read the fine print of any offer that sounds too good to be true.
“Someone might say to you, ‘Well, yeah, we have 0% funding available, but to get that you lose, say, $1,000 worth of rebates,'” explained Rumple. “So that doesn’t necessarily mean you want the 0%, right.”
Sometimes losing discounts but getting 0% financing is not a good deal in the long run.
It might actually be cheaper to buy new.
You may have heard that used cars are currently selling at high prices. Rumple says that with the high demand for used cars right now, you can actually save money buying new cars because interest rates on a new car loan are typically lower. [For more information on saving money on a new car, check here.]
Check with the car manufacturer.
You can also inquire directly with the car manufacturer for offers.
Rumple said you should always use an auto payment calculator to see the different payments you may have. Several websites offer car loan calculators.
BONUS: Rumple investigates how Car buying sites may be trying to get extra money from you.
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