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The Right Questions to Ask Before Financing Your Car

What to Ask When You Finance a Car

There are times to ask questions and times to stay silent. Buying a new car is a time to ask questions.

When going over financing options on a new or used vehicle with a dealership, questions can be the difference between a customer fully understanding the agreement or signing a financial document unaware of what they are responsible for. Ask the right questions and know your financial obligations when purchasing a car and it will save you a lot of surprise down the road.

Financial Confusion

Car financing can be confusing for those not well-versed in loans or financial legal jargon. Some customers might find financing terms confusing and the paperwork overwhelming, and often do. Car buyers may also find themselves embarrassed to ask what a term or passage from the agreement means in layman's terms.

Don't be embarrassed or afraid to ask. This is your money and your new car.

So not only is it wise to ask for an explanation of the financing on a car, it is the law that a borrower be given a Truth in Lending Disclosure, which should be automatically included within your agreement. This document will detail in plain language the terms and conditions of the financing agreement and how much purchasing the vehicle will cost you in both principle and interest. If this document is not offered, consider shopping at another dealership before finalizing the deal.

Ask The Right Questions

After reading the Truth in Lending Disclosure, there still may be some lingering questions. This is a good thing, as it shows that a borrower is actively seeking a full understanding of the financing agreement. Borrowers who are better informed at the beginning are less likely to miss payments or default on a loan. Knowing this, lenders like to have an inquisitive borrower.

What questions should you be asking? Here are a few of the most important ones to ask so that you are fully prepared to handle financing the car:

  • What is the exact price I am paying? Have the dealership lay out the exact total for the car, including all fees and costs. Make them total it down to the last penny. There will be no surprises this way.
  • What is the real interest rate? Don't settle for knowing the interest rate that originally was proposed. Ask for the annual percentage rate (APR) for a better understanding of the amount in interest to be paid each year. The lender should also be able to show you how much interest you are paying on the amount you are financing.
  • Can I pay the loan off early without penalty? It is typically permissible for a borrower to pay off a car loan early, but not all loans allow it without penalty. Be sure to acquire this information, as well as knowledge of any other hidden penalties that there might be in the contract.

Just like you wouldn't purchase a vehicle without first looking at it, don't sign an auto loan without first understanding what you are paying and for how long.

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Gravatar Donald Branch

I am in the market to purchase a vehicle. I am currently an UBER Driver. which is a self employment basically. I don’t want to apply yet as I have applied to other dealers and did not get approved.
I won’t have a down payment until I drive. I do have documents from Uber regarding the income.
any help?

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Donald,

Thanks for interest in purchasing a vehicle through DriveTime.

We do accept Uber as a valid form of income when reviewing approval options. If you would like to get an idea of your approval options prior to your dealership visit, please visit our website for an online pre-approval:

Please note that approval and down payment options are subject to change upon visiting the dealership based on the physical documentation that you provide at the time of sale, as well as the specifications of the vehicle selected.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to your local DriveTime dealership.

Thank you,
Jacob – Customer Relations

Gravatar Russell Davis

I currently have a 2015 ford f150 with high payments and intrest rates. can I trade with you and get out from under this bad situation.

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Russell,

Thank you for taking interest in DriveTime. i would encourage you to reach out to your local DriveTime dealership pertaining to the trade in of your current vehicle.

Thank You
Jodi- Customer Relations

Gravatar Allen Newton

What would my interest rate on a 5 year loan be if I have excellent credit?

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Allen,

Thank you for your interest in DriveTime. Regarding what your interest rate would be with having excellent credit, I would encourage you to reach out to our Corporate Sales Team at (800) 965-8042 and a team member would be glad to answer all of your questions. You may also visit your local DriveTime dealership and a member of our Sales Team would be able to assist you as well.

Thank You,

Jodi-Customer Relations

Gravatar childa williams

i bought a BMW from Drivetime about 2 and a half years ago. I have had so many issues with this car. I have spent a lot of money on repairs, i looking to trade this vehicle, what is the policy on trading and you still owe on it.

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Childa,

Thank you for reaching out to us! Please know that DriveTime does accept trade ins, however as there are multiple factors it would be best to contact your local DriveTime dealership for details. You can locate the closest store on our website.

Thanks for reaching out!

Thank You,

Kaitlyn – Customer Relations

Gravatar mike

I have my eye on a vehicle. I would like to know the total price with tax, title ,license and any other fees.I would also like to know how long I can finance this loan and what my monthly pymt will be. The car lists for $21,397 Thank You

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Mike,

Thank you for reaching out to us! In order to discuss financial information, I encourage you to reach out to my Internet Sales team at (888)418-1212 or you can chat with an agent on our website.

Thank You,

Kaitlyn – Customer Relations

Gravatar Margaret

I purchased a vehicle from drive time couple of months ago. I would love to purchase another vehicle and use the current vehicle as a trade in or down payment. How can I go about pursuing this? Please Advise

Gravatar Mario Smith

Hello Margaret,

Thank you for reaching out! For any questions regarding a potential vehicle trade-in, I would strongly recommend that you contact your local DriveTime dealer so they may go over any available options with you.


Jacob – Customer Relations