Line Up Financing First
When you’re ready to buy a car, don’t start shopping in earnest until you line up your financing. Get a pre-approved car loan from your bank first. (You don’t have to actually take out the loan unless you buy a car, of course.) Then choose the car you want and negotiate the best price possible.
Then, when the dealer offers financing, see if they can beat the deal you’ve worked out with your bank. In most cases they won’t. Car dealers often offer a low sales price but more than make up the difference on expensive financing terms. Get the best deal possible on financing and on the car itself.