Is it better to get a car loan through a dealership or through a bank?

Answered by Car Loans Expert Jim on February 18, 2021

I'm getting conflicting advice from friends and family on whether I should get a car loan from a dealership or bank. Which is the better choice for me?

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Car Loans Expert

If you can qualify for a car loan with a bank, it will almost always be preferable to dealer financing.

Dealers offer financing primarily to ease the process of getting you to buy a car. Such financing can be more costly. Dealerships act as an intermediary, working with lenders to arrange car loans for buyers. As a result, they’ll charge you a fee for handling your loan, which will make it more expensive.

With banks, their primary interest is getting the customer into a loan that suits them and that they will be able to repay. Depending on your credit score, down payment amount, and whether the car is new or used, a bank will generally be able to offer a lower interest rate than a dealer for a comparable loan.

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