No one wants to pay more than they have to for a vehicle. That’s why many consider the time and effort it takes to negotiate. Negotiation can get you a lower rate on your next caravan loan, too. Knowing the facts about interest rates, fees and loan terms can help you better prepare for negotiations with a dealership finance manager or lender.
Take the time to shop rates at several lenders and get pre-approved for a loan before visiting a dealer. Once you get approved, take that rate with you when you visit dealerships in your area. A few phone calls and a little research can help you determine which dealerships in your area offer the best rates.
If you don’t have a lot of time before you must sign a loan agreement, you might want to ask the dealer for a copy of a “price sheet,” showing the interest rates and loan terms that they offer customers. Many dealerships use this price sheet to show their customers every day.
You might consider dealer finance as well as traditional loan finance, and bear in mind that there are pros and cons to each.
Do your research
Be prepared to show the lender or dealership you’ve done your research. You can provide them with information on similar loans, the average interest rates lenders in your area offer and any fees associated with specific loans. It’s a good idea to use a caravan finance calculator to get an idea of how much you can afford and what your monthly repayments might look like.
When talking to a lender or dealership, it’s important to be open with them. They are more likely to work with you if they know your situation. Let them know if you’re buying the caravan on behalf of someone else or whether there are any other expenses that need financing. By being upfront, the dealer will see that you are more flexible about the terms of the agreement.
One way that you can improve your negotiating skills is to get pre-approved for a loan. The act of getting pre-approved can help you negotiate, as it shows that you are serious about buying the new caravan, and gives you the confidence to negotiate with a set limit in mind.
If your dealership won’t meet or beat another lender’s rate, consider taking your business elsewhere. Don’t settle for an inflated interest rate because it is easier than shopping around. Someone else will be happy to give you the interest rate you want.
Remember that the dealer’s primary interest is selling caravans, not getting you the lowest possible rates on your financing loan. Although they should be willing to work with you if it will ensure a deal gets done, their main priority is still making money. You’ll need to show them why they should make an exception for you.
Be aware that some dealerships offer good deals on the interest rates they charge, but then inflate the price of their caravans through additional fees. You’ll need to determine which is better for you: a lower rate or no extra fees. Inquire about processing fees, loan establishment fees, registration costs and other expenses associated with buying a caravan.