2. Find the Best Financing Options
When you secure financing beforehand, you walk into the dealership ahead of the game. “When financing is already in place, buyers are empowered to negotiate like a cash buyer for any car — regardless of make, model, year or mileage — at any dealership,” said Todd Nelson of LightStream, SunTrust Bank’s online consumer lending division.
There’s no single best way to finance a used car, but Nelson recommends shopping both banks and car dealerships and then comparing all possibilities to determine which financing offer is best.
“While dealers might have special financing incentives, sometimes even a 0% [APR] loan offer may not be as cost-effective as a cash-back incentive coupled with low-interest financing,” he said.