If you lack the credit score
necessary to get the low financing
promotions offered by some car makers, check with a credit union. A quick check at bankrate.com showed most credit unions offered a 48-month new car
loan for less than five percent. It's a good idea to go to the dealer with your financing in place, according to the Credit Union National Association. Know the annual percent rate (APR) of the loan you've researched so you will know if the dealer's offer is better or worse. Despite the lure of zero percent financing and rebates, have a credit union loan officer run the numbers before you sign anything. Understand financing options and be wary of dealer-added extras such as service packages, wheel and tire insurance
and extended warranties. Consumer advocate Clark Howard says extended warranties are rarely a good deal and should never be purchased unless the warranty is from the carmaker, not another company. Say no, unless you've researched these services and have determined they're a good deal for you.