what dealership has the best financing

What Dealership Has The Best Financing

When it comes to buying a new or used car, securing financing can be one of the most stressful parts of the process. With so many options to consider, it’s difficult to know where to find the best auto loan terms and interest rates.

The dealership you choose to work with can have a significant impact on the financing you’re able to obtain. Here’s an in-depth look at how to determine what dealership has the best financing.

Evaluate Interest Rates

The interest rate is one of the most important factors to compare when shopping for auto financing. Even small differences in the interest rate can add up to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Be sure to compare both new and used car loan rates offered by various dealers.

You may find one dealer offers better financing terms for new vehicles, while another is more competitive for used cars. Don’t just look at the base interest rate – also consider factors like:

  • Promotional financing offers: Dealers may offer special low-rate financing for certain makes/models. This can lower your rate considerably.
  • Credit tier structure: Dealers assign interest rates based on credit score tiers. Find a dealer with better rates for your credit score range.
  • Down payment requirements: Some dealers offer lower rates to buyers who can put more money down.

When evaluating interest rates, be sure to get pre-approved through a bank or credit union as well. This gives you a benchmark to compare the dealership financing against. Aim for the lowest rate possible for your situation.

Evaluate Interest Rates
Evaluate Interest Rates

Compare Loan Terms

In addition to the interest rate, the other key factors that impact the cost of financing are the loan amount and term length. Most car loans typically range from 36 to 72 months in length. Longer terms tend to have lower monthly payments but higher total interest paid over the life of the loan.

Pay attention to whether the dealership offers flexible loan terms and customized structures. Many allow you to choose the exact loan length and adjust the down payment to fit your budget. This flexibility can help you find the best financing package for your needs.

Compare Loan Terms
Compare Loan Terms

Get Multiple Quotes

Don’t just look at one dealer! Shopping around and getting quotes from multiple dealerships is crucial. Submit online pre-approval applications through 3-5 different dealers’ websites. This allows you to compare real loan offers side-by-side.

Local dealerships, large dealer groups, and national chains may offer very different financing terms. When shopping, focus on the out-the-door price and total loan cost, not just the monthly payment.

Dealers can structure the loan to achieve almost any monthly price. The real comparison is how much you’ll pay overall for the car and financing.

Get Multiple Quotes
Get Multiple Quotes

Read the Fine Print

Dig into the details of the financing offer before making a decision. Make sure you understand:

  • Fees: Documentation, undercoating, etching fees.
  • Prepayment penalties: Will you owe extra if paying off early?
  • Rate adjustments: Loan rates can increase after an introductory period.
  • Add-ons: Do you need added warranties, insurance, etc.?
  • Dealer participation: Is the dealer getting a cut of the financing rate?

Hidden fees and fine print clauses can quickly increase the real cost of financing. A deal with the lowest base rate may end up costing you more overall. Scrutinize the details to catch these potentially costly extras.

Read The Fine Print
Read the Fine Print

Get Pre-Approved for Financing

Beginning the car buying process with a pre-approval from your bank or credit union is highly recommended. This gives you a solid point of comparison when evaluating dealer financing offers. If the dealer is able to beat the pre-approval rate,

great! Use that as leverage to negotiate the best possible interest rate and loan terms. The pre-approval also gives you a strong backup financing option if the dealer quotes an interest rate that is too high.

You can politely mention you already have been approved through your bank at a lower rate. Many times the dealer will work to try and match or beat the competitors’ financing.

Get Pre-Approved For Financing
Get Pre-Approved for Financing

Consider Down Payment Assistance Programs

Several dealerships and manufacturers offer special financing programs that help subsidize your down payment. These can make it easier to qualify for financing on certain models by reducing the amount you need to put down upfront.

Programs like Ford Options, Honda Down Payment Match, Toyota Down Payment Support, and GM Down Payment Assistance provide this type of down payment help for buyers with qualifying credit.

There are often limits on vehicle pricing and MSRP amounts. But taking advantage of these programs could potentially save you $1,000-4,000 on the down payment.

Consider Down Payment Assistance Programs
Consider Down Payment Assistance Programs

Check for Special Incentive Offers

Watch for dealerships running special promotions that boost the savings for auto financing. This may be in the form of reduced interest rates, discounted fees, rebates, and Reward Cash offers. You may need to meet certain requirements and use dealer financing to qualify for these incentives.

The potential savings can make it worth using dealer financing over an outside pre-approval in some cases. Just be sure to do the math and determine the actual bottom line price under each scenario. Special offers around major holidays are quite common.

Check For Special Incentive Offers
Check for Special Incentive Offers

Partner with the Right Salesperson

Once you enter the car dealership, partnering with the right salesperson can improve your chances of securing low-cost financing. Develop an open and upfront relationship from the very start.

Explain your budget and that finding the most affordable financing is your top priority. Experienced sales professionals know how to leverage relationships in the finance office to advocate for customers.

They can help guide you to financial products that best fit your needs and work to get ideal approval terms. Having a knowledgeable negotiator fighting for your interests makes a huge difference!

Partner With The Right Salesperson
Partner with the Right Salesperson

Check Used Car Certification Programs

When shopping for used vehicles, look for dealers that offer certified pre-owned (CPO) programs. These programs put used cars through rigorous mechanical inspections and require they meet strict standards. Cars that pass certify as CPO vehicles.

A major perk of CPO programs is access to special financing offers from the manufacturer’s captive finance company. Most offer competitive interest rates comparable to new cars along with flexible loan terms tailored for used vehicles.

The financing terms will still depend on your creditworthiness, down payment, etc. But CPO programs give you an additional avenue for very attractive financing.

Ask About Payment Protection

Many dealers now offer optional payment protection plans that help cover your loan payments in the event of job loss, disability, death, or other qualifying circumstances. While adding a protection plan increases the monthly payment, it can provide peace of mind.

Be cautious with these offers as the coverage may not justify the cost. But a reputable payment protection program paired with strong financing terms can create a very secure auto loan package.

Dealers that make payment protection plans available show they want to setup buyers for financing success.

Ask About Payment Protection

Prioritize an Easy Car Buying Experience

Some dealerships invest tremendously in creating a customer-friendly, low-stress car buying process. This is an important criteria because the overall purchase experience impacts your satisfaction long after driving off the lot.

Dealers committed to simplifying the process may offer conveniences like online applications, paperwork uploading, home test drives, and streamlined purchase workflows. Shopping at dealers who ease and expedite the financing process reduces headaches and leads to better outcomes.

Evaluate Overall Value and Cost

At the end of the day, the “best” dealership financing comes down to the total value you receive weighed against the overall cost. Run the numbers on the purchase price, interest rate, fees, loan terms, perks, and incentives to accurately compare options.

A dealer offering a low interest rate but inflated purchase price does not necessarily provide the greatest value. Look at the big picture when determining the optimal financing package. The dealership that checks all the boxes – cost, loan terms, flexibility, incentives,

and ease of process – is most likely to deliver the financing you want. While securing favorable financing involves some work, the payoff of finding the optimal auto loan is well worth the research and comparison shopping.

Taking these steps will lead you to a dealership that can provide financing that matches your budget and needs. With the right financing partner, you gain peace of mind that you’ve selected the best loan option while getting the car you want.

Evaluate Overall Value and Cost

On down payment assistant programs offered by dealerships

Many dealerships partner with third parties like auto lenders or state/local programs to offer down payment assistance on vehicles. These programs allow eligible buyers to receive grants or loans up to several thousand dollars towards their down payment.

Eligibility is usually based on income levels. Buyers need to apply and be approved for the assistance. In some cases, a minimal down payment is still required from the buyer.

The assistance usually does not need to be repaid as long as certain vehicle ownership requirements are met, like keeping it a minimum number of years. But it’s important to read all the terms of any assistance received.

On common hidden fees to be aware of when evaluating financing offers

  • Document fees, filing fees, administrative fees – these can be several hundred dollars and are typically rolled into the loan amount. Make sure they are reasonable.
  • Prepayment penalties – some loans may charge you a fee if you payoff the loan early. Avoid these.
  • Deferred down payments – sometimes a down payment is waved but added to the total loan. This increases interest paid over the life of the loan.
  • Extended warranty/protection product add-ons – carefully review what you’re paying for and if it’s really needed.
  • Back-end products like gap insurance – only get what is necessary, don’t be pressured into extras.
Evaluating Financing Offers
evaluating financing offers

On determining the overall value and cost of a financing package

Look at the total cost of credit, not just the monthly payment. This includes interest rates, all extra fees, repayment period. Calculate the total interest that will be paid over the life of the loan based on the APR. Lower rates mean thousands saved.

Compare multiple financing options from banks, credit unions or auto lenders to find the lowest rate/costs. Beware of very long repayment periods (7 years+) as you’ll pay more interest even with a lower monthly payment.

Consider the tradeoff between a low monthly cost vs. paying more in financing charges overall.


Who has the best vehicle financing right now?

Some of the top brands for vehicle financing right now include Toyota Financial Services, American Honda Finance, Ford Motor Credit, GM Financial, and Hyundai Capital America. They often offer low interest rates, quality customer service, and flexible financing options like low monthly payments. Comparing rates across lenders is always recommended to find the best available terms.

What car brands have the best financing?

Many of the major brands tend to have competitive financing through their affiliated lenders like Toyota Financial Services, Honda Financial Services, Ford Motor Credit, GM Financial, Hyundai Capital America and more. Some that often have especially favorable rates include Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and sometimes Nissan or Kia depending on current incentives. Always check for special financing offers from the brands directly as rates can change regularly.

What dealership is easiest to get financing?

Large dealership groups with a high volume of sales tend to be easiest to get approved for financing through since they have established relationships with multiple lenders. National chains like CarMax, AutoNation, Sonic Automotive and smaller high-volume independent dealerships can often obtain financing more easily than smaller lower-volume shops. Having a pre-approval from your own bank or credit union can also make the process quicker at any dealership.

Is it better to finance through dealer or bank?

There is no definitive answer as to whether it’s always better to finance through a dealer or bank, as it depends on individual factors. Dealers often have access to multiple lender options and can shop rates, but sometimes charge a higher interest rate. Banks only offer their own rates but you may get a better deal if you have an established relationship. Getting pre-approved through your bank or credit union can give you more negotiating power at dealerships. Comparing offers is the best way to decide.


In conclusion, when looking for the best auto financing, it’s important to shop around and compare offers from multiple dealerships. Don’t just take the first financing quote you’re given – negotiate and see if you can get a better interest rate or more favorable terms elsewhere.

Some key factors to consider when evaluating financing options include the interest rate, length of the loan term, down payment requirements, and any fees associated with the loan. Make sure to understand the full cost of the financing agreement before signing on the dotted line.

Larger dealer groups that do a high volume of loans may be able to offer more competitive interest rates thanks to their size and buying power. However, smaller independent dealerships may have more flexibility to negotiate if you’re a strong candidate and willing to walk away from the first offer.

Doing your research online in advance can help you understand what kind of financing deals tend to be available from different brands and dealers. But ultimately, the “best” financing comes down to your unique situation and what you’re able to negotiate.

Shop around, compare hard numbers, and you’ll be in a good position to find the financing package that fits your budget and needs. Going in informed will help you drive away with an attractive auto loan.

Related posts

Leave a Comment