When you finance a vehicle and drive it off the dealership lot, the vehicle you’re driving is yours, and it’s been paid for in full by your lending agent. At this point, you are responsible for repaying the lending agent for the purchase amount, plus interest. The majority of finance agreements are financed either through the dealership you purchased from or an independent bank. The lending agent you choose affects your timeline, your pocketbook, and your options.
Dealership Vs. Third Party Financing: Time Involvement
At the dealership, the legwork is done for you. You can choose your car, get your rate, sign the paperwork, and be out the door with your new vehicle. You’re looking at a few hours from start to finish. You can shorten the amount of time spent at the dealership even more if you like.
If you work with an independent bank for third party financing, you’re looking at a longer timeline. It can even require multiple days to complete your vehicle purchase. For the quickest third party financing process, I recommend sorting your bank’s rate out prior to visiting the dealership. This way, you’ll come in with a head start.
Dealership Vs. Third Party Financing: Cost Savings
When you finance through a dealership, you’re tapping into an entire department dedicated to getting you the best interest rate possible. After all, it’s what they do every day, and they pass their expertise onto you. Finance department staff at dealerships have built connections and relationships with lenders, and they’ll do their best to meet your needs.
In certain situations, your personal bank or credit union might be able to beat the best number a dealership can offer, this depends on numerous variables like your relationship and history with the bank, and the rate they have clearance to offer.
Dealership Vs. Third Party Financing: Financing Options
Through a dealership, you have access to national interest rate options, promotional rates, and negotiable rates. If one lending institution can’t get you the rate you need, there are plenty of other options the dealership can pursue.
A third party financing institution will have a limited number of rate options. While they may run promotions at certain times of the year, typically what you see is what you get. Their rates likely won’t be negotiable, but due to your personal relationship with the bank, they may be more forgiving in the event you default on a payment.
Figuring out which option gives you the best rate on your own will require some extra effort. If you have the time, visit your personal bank a day or two before you plan to visit the dealership and find out what they have to offer. That’s really the best way to know your options.