Originally Posted by AndyR83
When selecting your financing options, be sure to make an informed decision. The dealership might offer you financing and, on paper, they can make it look like whatever they want. Be sure to find out what interest rate they are offering, and if they have any special incentives (i.e. 0% interest, 0.9%, or something like that.) In this economy, you should be able to find a nice interest rate if you look around a little.
I'd like to add that most dealerships like to negotiate price in terms of monthly payments i.e. "What can you afford monthly?" This way they get the maximum value of the car because they can push your payments way over 60 months without decreasing the cost of the entire car.
Instead, negotiate the price of the car in total. That way you're actually saving money rather than paying for a longer period of time + higher interest rates. Just so you know, a good rule of thumb is every $1,000 down decreases your payment by ~$20/month. That of course is subject to your terms but it's a start.
Go in knowing the maximum you'll pay for the car keeping in mind they need to make money too and walk out if you think its unreasonable. They'll try to create a sense of urgency with you "manuals are hard to find!" or "a couple came in requesting that exact car!" They will call you the next day with a better offer. Guaranteed!