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Record Low Interest Rates on Car Loans

April 22, 2010

0% financingThe cost of financing a car has hit a record low according to The average interest rate on car loans last month was only 4.4%. This is down from 5.8% just a year ago.

While this may not seem like a big drop, the typical car buyers is actually saving over $1,000 in financing costs compared to last year.

We can thank Toyota for starting the incentives war after they introduced 0% financing following their recall fiasco. Although Toyota has scaled back their incentives to certain regions, other car makers have picked up the slack.

GM, Ford, Nissan, Chrysler, Mazda, Suzuki and Saab all offer 0% financing on some of their models. Even Porsche is offering 1.9% financing on all models except the Panamera.

Banks and credit unions have also become more competitive with their car loans. Last year, it was very difficult to get financing even if you had great credit. Now, many car buyers can secure financing without having to pay outrageous interest rates.

One word of caution: Don't assume you automatically qualify for the low-rate financing offered by the car manufacturers. Many still require you to have great credit. Nothing is worse than going to a dealership thinking you're getting a low interest rate only to discover you don't qualify.

Always have a backup plan and make sure you secure financing before going to a dealership. Securing financing doesn't mean you have to use it. The dealer will usually try to offer a better rate than what you already have.

See the lowest prices on a vehicle in your area (plus see the actual incentives you qualify for)
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My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle, Edmunds Price Promise, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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