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When you find yourself in need of a vehicle, whether new or used, you probably begin to stress a little bit about the money. Paying the full price for a car, especially since the average cost of a brand new vehicle is $30,000 according to the Federal Trade Commission, is a challenge for many individuals, so you likely need to procure a loan. Knowing how to get the best deal on the car loan can save you money overall.

1. Research the cars.

You may have a particular make, model and year in mind, but that doesn’t mean the price for the car will come out to the same at every dealership. Make sure that you conduct your research and check out different prices online. Even if you have a particular dealership where you would like to shop, you might lose a lower price at another entity as a negotiating point.

2. Save up a larger down payment.

The fewer dollars that you put down on the table, the more money you will likely have to pay each month. Try saving up a larger down payment, especially if you plan to finance the car and keep it for a significant amount of time. Even though you are spending more money now, you are creating a clearer path if your financial circumstances change in the future.

3. Trade in your old car.

Deciding to trade in your old car is one way to cut down on some of the down payment amount. For example, let’s say that you really need to make a down payment of $10,000 for the car that you want. However, your current car is worth $8,000. Then, you may have only $2,000 to save up. You will need to check with the dealership to see how much you can get for your car.

4. Pull Your Credit Report.

Whether or not you qualify for a car loan is heavily connected to your credit scores. Low credit scores mean that you are a risk to the lender. Therefore, you need to know what your credit score is now. If your score is low and you can get by with your current mode of transportation, work on fixing that situation first.

5. Repair your credit.

You should work on your credit so that you can qualify for the loan, but you should also accomplish this goal so that your interest rates are not too high. The interest on a loan can seriously hurt your ability to pay, so you want to make sure the rates are reasonable.

6. Shop at the right time.

You should also familiarize yourself with the times of the car when dealerships are looking to sell cars at better prices. For example, consider going when the new models with next year attached to them come onto the lot. You may find that the models for this year are available at lower prices than they were in the past.

7. Stick to your figure.

It is easy to have a number in your head and then to get lured into a higher priced vehicle once you see an intriguing one on the lot. When you speak with the salesperson, let him or her know that you are sticking to your budget and that you do not want to see any cars that exceed that price at all.

8. Negotiate.

Knowing how to negotiate is key. You can bring in material that shows the true value of the car as opposed to the sticker price on the lot. However, you also need to have reasonable expectations. The salesperson cannot drop the price so low that he or she loses money.

9. Try again later.

When you are not getting the deal that you want, you may have to consider walking away. Keep in mind that salespeople know that some prospective buyers will pretend to walk away in order to get a better deal. Only walk away if you are truly at a point where you are finished with the conversation.

10. Evaluate your expectations.

You might want to have the best new car at an incredible price, but that isn’t always possible. If you are struggling to get what you want, consider looking into some other cars that are more affordable.

Sticking to your budget is important, and these tips will help you to do so.