November and December are the best months for new car shopping. Dealerships turn to incentives to lure customers to the dealership in hopes of making room for newer inventory.
Coupled with the end of the year incentives, interest rates across the country are historically low. The national average, according to Edmunds.com, is now 6 percent. The average rate in San Diego for October was 3.5 percent.
But experts say new car shoppers still need to do their homework and search for the lowest interest rate.
“Go out and do your research,” said Todd Lane, president of California Coast Credit Union. “Find the best interest rate and that’s who you should go with, regardless of what the dealer is offering in terms of financing.”
Doing so, said Lane, could save thousands over the course of the loan.
But finding the lowest interest rate shouldn’t stop at the point of purchase.
Lane tells NBC 7 Responds that consumers can and should look to refinancing auto loans as a way to save some cash.
“That $40,000 or $60,000 car that you purchased, if you refinance it, it could have a significant impact on your monthly payment, which could save hundreds if not thousands over the course of the loan, depending on the length and amount,” said Lane.
Lane said even a half percent drop in interest rates for auto loans around $35,000 could result in $7 off your monthly bill. Over the course of six or seven years, that would save $588 on your total payment.
Refinancing auto loans doesn’t cost anything so that equals money in your pocket.
Whether your refinancing or you have your sights set on a new car, Lane’s advice is simple: Shop around.