So you’ve had your eye on your dream car for some time but don’t have enough cash right now to drive it out the shop?

Or you’ve been waiting for the right one to come along when you drove past a car yard last weekend and saw ‘the one’, and she was calling out your name? Whatever your story, that car must be yours but if you don’t have enough funds to make it happen, here are some tips on how to own those wheels sooner.

Step 1: The ground work

First things first, you probably already know this after kicking a few tyres, but find out the asking price, then from here you can work out how much money you need to borrow. When deciding on a figure, choose one that you can afford to make the repayments, not too high that you won’t get loan approval or you can’t afford to put petrol in the car.

From here you can choose if you want to look at a personal loan or car loan. Usually the car is used as collateral against the loan so the rate is slightly lower than other loans. But it’s worth comparing different rates and deals online to find one with the features that suit your needs.

Now, the most timely (and important) part of this whole process is deciding which lender to go with, and let me tell you it pays to compare. Comparing online at financial comparison websites like RateCity takes the pain out of this process. No matter whether the car is new or old all you have to do is choose what to search for, enter the amount, term and which state you reside in then it spits out the results of some of the best deals in town. You can apply online too!

So how do I choose the right car loan for me?

Start by expanding your horizons and consider the smaller lenders too. They have some great rates and are very competitive.

When deciding on car loan lenders, the best tip is to look for the lowest interest rate and the lower the better. But don’t get swayed by this alone as some of the lower interest rate deals may charge more for fees. These may include application fees, monthly fees, annual fees, penalties for early payout or extra payment fees.

From here you need to work out how much you will pay back in the long run and which option will save you more. RateCity does the calculations for you showing how much your total repayments will be over the term of the loan, and then add on any additional fees to see which one saves you more.

Start haggling!

Once you have decided on a few lenders, don’t hold back with haggling because you can negotiate your car loan as much as you would with your car price, especially now that you have done the legwork and know the market.

Then before you go any further most lenders will ask for evidence to prove that you are earning the income you state in your application and you can afford the repayments. They will most likely ask for copies of payslips and bank statements – usually for the past six months.

Be honest in your application, check you filled it our correctly and most importantly, read all of the fine print in your contract.

Once those key are in your hot little hand, won’t your new wheels look that much sweeter knowing that you found the best car loan deal in town to match? Good luck and happy driving!