Know the facts first: a car is not an investment. It is a depreciating asset, meaning it loses value over time. On average, new cars and trucks lose more than 20% of their value in the first year (Motley Fool). On the flipside, that means that if you can find a well-maintained car that\u2019s just one or two years old, you\u2019ll get a huge discount on an almost-new model!\r\n\r\nFollow these tips to increase the chances of getting the best auto financing option for your car purchase. \u00a0As mentioned above, getting the best financing is only part of the equation, you should negotiate for the lowest\u00a0purchase price. \u00a0Doing your research, calculations and negotiating can save you thousands of dollars.\r\n\r\nConsider these tips on your next auto purchase:\r\n\r\n \tAssess your budget. \u00a0Review your budget and calculate how much car you can afford. \u00a0This will help you set the guidelines for a better informed financial decision.\r\n \tCheck your credit report. \u00a0Make improvements by fixing incorrect information, disputing inaccuracies and paying off existing debt and settling any collection accounts. Know your credit score (get your free credit score through Quizzle or Credit Karma to get an idea of where you fall in the credit score range).\r\n \tGet an auto loan pre-approval. \u00a0Reach out to your bank and credit union and apply for an approval. This will hep you determine how much financing is available but not necessarily needed. A sizable downpayment can help you negotiate a lower interest or better terms.\r\n \tDetermine your car requirements. \u00a0What do you need and want? Know which car is right for you.\r\n \tShop for the best deal. \u00a0The amount you pay for a car is based on the price you\u2019re paying. The lower a price the overall lower total cost for the car.\r\n \tConsider new or used, buying or leasing and down payment amount.\u00a0Do the math to figure out which option is actually best for your situation. The goal isn\u2019t to spend money on a car but rather buying the car at the lowest total cost.\r\n \tKnow your legal responsibilities and consumer rights.\u00a0It\u2019s important you understand the laws around car ownership in your state and consumer rights with regards to your car purchase.\r\n\r\nWhen making a car purchase always think about your long term future. \u00a0The satisfaction you feel\u00a0driving off the dealership lot is powerful but making a poor\u00a0financial decision will have a long lasting impact. \u00a0The cost of the car and financing charges are only part of the true cost of car ownership. \u00a0There are ongoing costs such as annual registrations, gas fill ups, maintenance costs such as tune ups and car washes, and insurance payments.