At the Dealership
How to Test Drive a Car
Make an appointment to test-drive the cars you are considering. This is a chance to evaluate the dealership and the salesperson, too. Take your time, bring a friend. See how the vehicle handles. Turn the radio down, you want to hear the engine, the tires, the suspension. Feel how it handles on a freeway or how it corners on city streets. Practice parking in smaller spaces.
Low Interest Rates
Do not be swayed by low-interest-rate deals. These low rate car loan deals typically require shorter terms - which means higher payments. Additionally, you generally have the option to take either the lower rate or a cash rebate. By taking the cash rebate and using it as down payment, you will be able to lower the amount you'll need to borrow and this will result in your having a lower payment. While the lower interest rate can also lower your monthly payments, the shorter term will typically mean higher payments. Unless the rate is low, i.e., 1.9% or 0.9% and you can afford the payments on a shorter term, you may be better off taking the rebate as cash down payment.
Remember, competition always gives you the best price, online and offline. Never buy under time pressure. Do not act like an impulse buyer. Get everything in writing! Once you make an offer, stick to it, and be prepared to leave if you have to. Negotiate from dealer cost upward, not from MSRP downward.
Once you have the dealer's best sales price in writing, consider whether you should get a quote from another dealer. If you are positive that you have gotten the deal you want, then talk rebates, down payment and discuss your trade-in. If there is a factory rebate on your new car, the incentive is from the manufacturer, not the dealer. This rebate is an additional savings on your car, and should not be a part of your negotiations. The same holds true for whatever cash down payment you may have.
The F&I Office
You will move to the Finance and Insurance (F&I) office to sign contracts. Review everything carefully. Research before you buy an extended warranty or other extras at the dealership. Independent companies can sometimes offer very competitive deals. Make sure you check the contract and disclosures before signing. Do not sign anything that you do not fully understand. Check all the numbers. Check your new vehicle for scratches and dents before taking delivery of it. Document any damage or missing accessories.
After The Purchase
Now that you have completed your auto loan with OpenRoad Lending, take a deep breath. The hard work is over. Sit back and enjoy that new vehicle you just purchased. In a few days, you will receive a notice to come back to our site and view your final terms on your loan (since this isn’t determined until you actually use the OpenRoad eCheck®). From there, in a few weeks you will receive information on where to mail your payments and important customer service numbers to help you for as long as your vehicle is financed with us.
Thank you for choosing OpenRoad Lending!