Before visiting a dealership, it is advisable to compare financing deals and rebates before selecting your financing deal. Doing this will help avoid poor car finance deals that could otherwise leave you exposed.

Many manufacturers offer special lease deals through their captive finance companies that feature an inflated residual value.

Incentives and rebates

Many car brands provide financing incentives or rebates as a means of driving new-car sales and strengthening brand loyalty. These discounts may apply towards either the car’s purchase price, down payment amount, or interest rate – and typically last only for limited time frames.

Automaker captive financing companies typically offer these financing deals, and often limit them to specific vehicles in dealer inventory. Unfortunately, these cars might not always appeal to car shoppers looking for low or no APR financing plans and their monthly payments may be prohibitively expensive for certain buyers.

When choosing between cash rebate and low APR options, it’s advisable to use an online car loan calculator to crunch the numbers and see which provides more value to you.

Zero percent financing

Though 0% financing offers may appear attractive and save thousands in interest payments, it is important to understand what’s really happening. When dealerships offer these deals they often buy down the rates from carmakers by anywhere between 5%-18% – which costs you money!

Be mindful that most vehicles with 0% financing are slow-selling models or excess inventory; manufacturers offer them as incentives to drive sales and clear space for newer models. Therefore, this could mean you aren’t getting an amazing deal; perhaps taking time to shop around and compare other financing options might be wiser.

Subprime financing

Credit scores that fall outside the ideal range shouldn’t stop people from applying for an auto loan – there are plenty of financing solutions available to those with less-than-perfect credit profiles, like myAutoloan which matches car buyers with lenders to offer personalized terms such as APRs and monthly payments without impacting credit ratings. CarMax also provides loans through various partners.

Subprime car loan application processes resemble those for regular auto loans: dealers submit credit applications of applicants to multiple lenders who then review them and approve or deny them, before the buyer chooses and signs their vehicle loan documents – typically, lenders charge higher interest rates as protection against defaults.

Lease deals

Lease agreements give you the right to use a vehicle for an agreed upon time period, typically with lower down payments than loans and regular maintenance and repairs provided as part of the package. Some automakers also offer incentives when customers lease cars from their own brand through captive finance companies operated by automakers themselves.

To determine the ideal lease deal, search for one with lower effective monthly costs before taxes and fees; compare offers until you find one you like the best; consider lease-end purchase option which allows you to buy car at stated residual value at end of term; also set appropriate mileage limit and select appropriate lease end purchase option.

Lease incentives

Many new car models offer competitive lease incentives this month. Before making your selection, however, it’s essential to compare the overall costs associated with financing and depreciation before selecting one model.

Manufacturers offer special lease offers through their captive finance companies known as subvented leases to help lower monthly payments by increasing the residual value at the end of each term.

These offers tend to become increasingly common during the final quarter of each year as manufacturers look for ways to move cars off dealer lots. Be sure to get an out-the-door figure that includes fees, taxes and charges as well as mileage overage fees which can quickly add up; in such instances it would be wise to increase your down payment in order to minimize total financing and depreciation costs.