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Buying a New Car: How to Save Online

New cars are fun, stylish, and covered by warranty. But how you buy one can mean the difference between being pleased or peeved.

This page:

Assesses the risks and rewards of buying a new car

Explains how online auto sales can save you money

Describes how to save even more on new car financing

Get the lowest auto loan rates:

Capital One Auto Finance offers the lowest auto loan rates in the country, for people with all types of credit ratings.

Apply with Capital One whether you are buying a new or used car, or even if you are buying from an individual. Whatever your choice, you will save thousands.

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If you have poor or no credit, click here to apply for special financing.

Pros and cons of new cars

If you've already decided that you want a new car, you may be thinking: why list the pros and cons now? Good question. It's because understanding the ups and downs will help you get your new car the cheapest way possible.

First, the cons. New cars are expensive and they depreciate quickly. Opt for a long-term loan, and you'll be paying interest on the original value long after it's fallen.

The pros? You already know. New car are stylish, fun, and covered by warranty. And dealerships are very eager to sell you one.

Which brings us to our next point. Dealers want to sell cars, of course, but there are a couple of extra reasons you're such a catch in their eyes: a lot of new car buyers don't shop around enough, and a lot of buyers go for the dealer financing (and unless it's zero percent, this can be a big mistake). Keep reading.

How online car shopping can help you

Whether you want to actually buy a new car online or not, using an online car shopping service can make the whole process a lot simpler

That's because a little time on the internet makes comparison pricing a snap. You can research makes and models, price different options, and read automotive reviews, before you ever set foot in a dealership.

And of course, online auto sales is the real name of their game, so requesting a quote is easy as cake. Specify exactly what you want, and the online auto sales service finds a dealer (or a few!) with a low price quote in your area. They do the legwork, and you get a fast free quote with no commitment.

Over half of all dealerships use automotive online buying services (just think how long it would take to visit all those dealerships!) You kill a flock of birds with one stone, and if you secure your financing beforehand, you've got even more bargaining power.

We make these car buying services sound really great, don't we? Well, they are, 'cause they are free to you, and they don't force you into anything. You can just compare prices to your heart's content. Visit our favorite, Autobytel.

Save money with independent financing

Shopping new cars online will probably get you a lower sticker price. But why stop there? The key to really saving lies not on the lot but in the loan.

A lot of buyers who will haggle at the dealership over a couple hundred dollars in price then turn around and sign onto any old car loan the dealership offers. Don't do it! Getting independent financing on a new car loan can save you thousands of dollars. Here's how:

Car dealerships are in the business of selling cars, not funding loans, and so their financial products are generally going to be more limited, more expensive, and less flexible than a lender's. It's the difference between buying wholesale and retail.

And the low interest rates you see advertised by dealers are often only available to qualified buyers with sterling credit who can afford a big cash down payment.

In fact, good online lenders offer car loans at interest rates an average of 1 to 2 points lower than the national average. (And that adds up to a lot in interest.)

Outside financing also gives you a degree of flexibility and power at the bargaining table that you wouldn't otherwise have. Going to the dealership (online or off) with a pre-approved loan is like negotiating with cash in hand. (And there's no commitment, so if a dealer can beat your financing, all the better!) Read more about getting a low-rate auto loan online.

The cost of insurance

Don't forget to figure the cost of auto insurance into the overall price of your new car. Premiums on new vehicles can be pretty high, depending on your driving history, age, and credit.

Also, if you are buying or leasing a new car, you should seriously consider auto gap insurance to help cover the gap between your policy's coverage and your vehicle's actual value. There is much more information in our extensive auto insurance guide.

Ready to shop for new cars?

So there you have it. No matter where you are in the buying process, it will pay off to spend a little time shopping online, for both the car and the loan.

Try Autobytel's online auto sales service for low price quotes on new cars from dealerships in your area. They offer more new car leads than any other shopping service. (And you can build your dream car, every detail, online.)

Or secure your financing before you shop, with a low-rate online lender. Try Capital One, the nation's largest online auto loan provider, or Eloan, whose instant E-Fund agreement will allow you to buy today.