Originally Posted by jetrinka
How about finding out what your payment would be, saving that amount each month until you have the amount needed to buy the car outright. Then you aren't paying some bank any obscene amount of interest over 5-6 years.
well based on the OP's credit and how much of a down payment they are making..interest should be doable. My gf bought her Mazda new with 0% and my little brother just bought a Cooper S and his rate is less than 3%. My brother just graduated college and doesnt exactly have a long credit history either.
Financing 15k @ 3% for 60 months is less than 1200 in interest over those 5 years. The monthly payment would be about $270, if you were able to over pay your monthly and do $300. Your interest paid would be much lower.
It ultimately comes down to the buyer and what they are comfortable with. If i was only able to get a 5-7% rate, I would not be wanting to finance unless I was sure I'd be able to pay off early and avoid all that interest or would be looking at a more affordable car. To answer the initial question, I feel its better to have financing pre-approved. For me its more comforting knowing what my limits are and how much its going to cost me up front. Of course if you can get a better rate with the dealer, that's a plus