Because all auto loans are not created equal, it's important to do your homework before you sign on the dotted line. The type of loan you end up with will depend on several factors, including your income level and credit score, but there are nonetheless a few strategies that you can use to maximize your chances of getting the best possible loan for your individual needs and purposes. Following are five ways that you can maximize your savings and minimize your stress during the vehicle purchasing process.
Negotiate Price Online
Purchasing an automobile generally involves a bit or bargaining, and you can easily hedge your bets by doing your haggling from behind a screen. You'll be far less likely to give into sales tactics if you've got some electronic disconnect between yourself and the salesperson. Also, there's a growing trend among car dealerships to provide their Internet sales force with a salary rather than a commission-based payment plan. In lieu of commissions, Internet sales personnel are often offered bonuses based on volume, which provides them with an excellent incentive to give you a good deal rather than haggling over details.
Arrange Your Own Financing
Arranging your own financing with your own bank or credit union is another strategy that works in your favor when negotiating the best price deals on automobiles. Auto loan pre-approvals are generally valid for a period of 60 days, which will provide you with plenty of time to shop around for the right vehicle. Keep in mind, however, that simply because you are pre-approved through your bank or credit union for a loan does not mean that you must accept the loan. Consumers often have good luck using pre-approvals as leverage with car dealerships to negotiate even better offers on financing.
Maximize Your Trade-In
Before making a commitment to using your current vehicle as a trade-in, shop it around if you have time. You can usually get a better price for it if you sell it as a private individual, which will provide you with more cash to use as a down payment on your next car. Auto dealerships also vary widely in what they'll offer on trade-ins, and some will purchase your used vehicle outright even if you aren't buying a car from them.
Make Timing Work in Your Favor
Buying a new vehicle at the end of the model year is an excellent way to get a great deal -- the time frame for this is generally from August through October. Dealerships are often anxious to move cars to make room for the newest models, meaning that you'll be able to get a better deal on unsold stock. You may also be able to negotiate a better price if you plan your purchase for the end of the month, because salespeople may be trying to meet their monthly quotas during this period of time.
Find the Right Dealer
If you're going to depend on the dealership's shop to perform regularly scheduled maintenance tasks, it's important that you find a dealer that is a convenient distance from your home or office. Keep in mind that, sometimes, the dealer who offers you the best price may not be the one who best suits your individual needs and preferences. Doing business with a dealer you like and trust is frequently a better investment than simply buying from whichever one will give you the lowest possible price. For instance, cut rate dealerships may not go to bat for you with the manufacturer in the event that something turns out to be wrong with the vehicle that you purchase, and they may not provide quality dealer maintenance.
One last thing to keep in mind -- if you find a vehicle you want to purchase but your preferred dealership doesn't have it on their lot, your dealer may be able to do a swap and get you the car that you want. Visit http://tischerauto.com to learn more.