Buying a car is usually the second largest investment in a person’s life, and financing the purchase of a car is commonplace today, especially if the vehicle in question has a significant value. For most people, buying a new or used car of any value entirely for cash is simply not possible, and so car financing gives you the opportunity to buy it, and eventually you own a vehicle that you may not be able to otherwise, just as a mortgage is taken out to pay for a home.
Even if you have the savings, or the funds to buy a car properly, it is still sometimes a more sensible option to finance the purchase, as it allows you to release your money piece by piece in a controlled manner, rather than tying it all up in a vehicle that could possibly be stolen, written off or simply significantly depreciated in value.
The car financing industry is massive and if you are considering buying a new car to finance, there are a number of things to consider and consider to help you get approved car financing. There are a number of different sources to apply for and obtain car finance, with the obvious coming from the dealership itself, but you can also get finance from the major banks and online financial institutions and companies.
Financing the purchase of a vehicle by the dealer is usually the most convenient option, but there are a few things you should consider before approaching one. Financing through a car dealership can often be “high pressure”, usually because the seller works on a commission basis, pushing for certain add-ons and packages that may seem worthwhile from the start, but end up costing significantly more in the end. Things like insurance, extended warranties, and additional options for the actual vehicle itself to drive the sales value up are all examples of these commissions based on ads, and if you are financing, it can be harder to see the additional amount these things cost as they are effectively “hidden” and spread over the monthly payments or term of the loan.
Procuring car finance outside the dealership with a bank or online institution can give you more control without the pressure of the sales push, and after approval you then have your budget and know exactly how much you can spend, which in turn gives you more control in negotiating a price with a seller. However, because the financing has nothing to do with the dealership, or wherever you actually buy the vehicle, you may not get as much support and customer service as you would if you financed the purchase through it.
When applying for vehicle finance, there are a number of different factors that determine whether you will be approved and if so, what rate you will be paying. Interest rates can vary greatly and probably the most influential factor on the interest rate that is offered to you will be your credit history. Simply put, the better your credit rating, the lower the rate will be, and the worse it is, the higher the amount you will repay the lender due to an increased rate.
Another important factor that affects the interest rate on the car loan is the term of the loan – the actual period over which it will be repaid. As a rule, the shorter the period, the lower the interest rate, and it increases accordingly with increasing maturity. Even if you want to finance the purchase of a used car, you will probably have to pay a higher price than if you buy a brand new car, so this is an important factor to consider before buying. Your address and geographical location can also affect the interest rate offered, as can your profession and career etc., so when you apply for car finance you are prepared to answer a number of questions about these areas.
Before you go to a car dealership to buy and finance a car, it is a good idea to do some research and be aware of current rates and offers from competing companies and banks so that you don’t get completely blinded into the matter and then, if necessary, express yourself during the application process to help you negotiate.