New Car Financing
New cars will typically qualify for the best financing options. Lenders generally provide the lowest APRs and the longest finance terms for new cars. Some lenders will provide new car financing for used cars that are the current model year.
Manufacturer New Car Incentive Financing
Everyone has seen the special financing offers advertised on TV, in newspapers, and on the Internet. Low financing rates, such as 0%, 0.9%, or 1.9% APR, are typically incentivized rates offered by manufacturers (not dealers) to promote and sell their vehicles. Some manufacturers will offer these rates in place of rebates or "dealer cash," so you may receive less of a discount if you opt for these special financing rates. Be sure to check with your dealer before selecting these rates, as they may not always be the best option. Also, keep in mind that the dealer does not decide if cash rebates and special financing can be combined. Lack of clarification with these promotions has been known to cause frustration for the consumer.
Certified Pre-Owned Financing
Similar to new car financing incentives, some manufacturers may offer special rates on Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. When choosing a pre-owned vehicle, be sure to clarify with your dealer whether the vehicle is certified and ask if there are any financing incentives on the particular model. Certified vehicles and financing are only offered at the respective franchise dealerships. For example, you can only buy a Certified Pre-Owned BMW from an authorized BMW Center. A Mercedes-Benz franchise dealer would not be able to sell a BMW under the BMW Certified Pre-Owned program.
Used Car Financing
When buying a used car, your financing options are vast. Some credit unions and lenders may have monthly used car APR specials, but they will not be vehicle-specific. These promotions are usually harder to come by and are not always advertised to the general public.