If there’s one thing that people always seems to need, it would be cars. And most of time someone needs a car, they need a car loan. How do you get the best rate on a car loan? What kind of car loan should you use? Should you buy a new car or buy a used car? Should you get a car loan from a bank or from a credit union?

Lease vs Buy
First, decide if you want to lease a car or buy a car. Ask yourself these questions
Do you want a lower monthly payment?
Do you want to get a new car in 2 years?
Do you not care if you have nothing to trade in?
If you answered yes to these 3 questions, then a lease may be just the thing for you.

Most people see a car lease as the option for people who have money to burn. In reality, there are some upsides to a car lease. A lease allows you to walk away at the end of the term, usually 2 years. New cars are covered by warranty during the first few years, so you wouldn’t really have to worry about maintenance costs. You probably wouldn’t even need to replace any tires in the first two years of your car lease. So what are the downsides to a car lease? Well, as long as you wish to have a car, you will be making car payments the rest of your life. You will never actually own a car, unless you chose the buyout option at the end of the lease. This is also known as a balloon payment. It’s a lot of money, so unless you’ve been saving up at the same time, most people don’t go this route. If you had the extra money to save up, you probably would have just bought the car with a traditional auto loan.

A car loan is the other option if you are getting a new or recently new car. A car loan is designed to give you complete ownership of the car after the loan term is complete. Car loans can be short, especially if you pay off the car quickly, or they can be as long as six years. If you want to have low payments on your car loan, then you will need to put more money down when you buy the car. If you are getting an older used car (more than 6 years), then you can either pay with cash, or you can get a small loan of unsecured debt, but you will not be able to get a car loan. Owning a car has many benefits, such as having no car payments at all once it has been paid off. On the downside, be prepared to pay maintenance costs. If you are going to keep a car for many years, or if you’re buying a used car, it’s a good idea to have a savings account where you put money away each month in case of a car repair emergency.

Get the Best Price on Your Car
There are more than enough websites out there to tell you how to haggle the price of a car, and if you enjoy that, then we recommend you do your haggling research. We’re going to tell you how to get the best price on a car without haggling.

If you are buying a new car, try an auto buying service. They can usually shop the best prices and you only pay a small fee. If you have a credit union you belong to, see if they have a credit union auto buying service. They may have good relationships with auto dealers and be able to get you the best deal on the new car.

Do your research
It’s not hard to know what you should be paying for a new car. Get a car buying guide or visit the websites that will tell you exactly what you can expect to pay for that new car.

Wait for the specials
If you can wait, you’ll get some great deals on cars in the late summer or early fall. There are a lot of offers for zero interest car loans. There are also many rebates available. Just don’t go in blindly. Make sure you run the numbers. Also, make sure you take the cash back rebate and apply it to your down payment. If you get the rebate later, take it and apply it to the principle of the loan. This will help you lower your monthly car payment or at least shorten the loan. Either way, you will pay less in interest on the car loan.

Buy Used
You can save thousands of dollars just by buying a car once it has left the dealer lot. Find a reputable used car dealer. If available, use a credit union auto buying service. If they have their own car lot, you can check the cars out there.