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Win the Rebate vs. Low Interest Rate Debate

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by Jaime Grimes April 2009

With either a cash rebate or a low interest rate, you could see a real difference reflected in your monthly car payment.

A cash rebate is provided by the manufacturer to reduce the net price of a vehicle. Consumers usually choose to apply the cash rebate as a down payment toward the purchase price of a new vehicle.

A low interest rate, or "low-interest financing," is a loan offered by the manufacturer's finance company at a below-market interest rate. Normally eligibility is based on the customer's creditworthiness, meaning that the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you can get.

Often, it's your choice. With cash rebates, you save a larger sum of money at one time; with a low interest rate, your savings are spread out over the length of your finance term.

To determine which incentive is right for you, first do some preliminary research on the cars you’re interested in. Check out all of the available cash rebates, special percentage rates and other current deals and specials before visiting the dealership. Learn about local rebates and lowered interest rate deals when you search for a specific year, make and model.

Also visit the AutoTrader.com Credit Center and use our Rebate vs. Low Interest Calculator to see how much you could save by purchasing your next vehicle with a rebate versus a low interest loan.

Keep in mind that rebates and special interest rates are not available for all cars, particularly perennial best-sellers.

Check for special offers in your area.

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Win the Rebate vs. Low Interest Rate Debate - Autotrader