Car Rebate vs. Financing Comparison Calculator

This calculator figures which auto dealer incentive is the best value - rebate or special financing.

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Special interest rate:
Regular interest rate:
Cash rebate amount:
Your savings interest rate:
Car purchase price:
Down payment amount:
Loan term (months):
Your combined state and federal tax rate:
Rebate will be:


Car Rebate Vs. Financing: Which Option Is Better?

How do you get the best deal when buying a car?

Sometimes it’s difficult to compare the various dealer incentives – especially when it comes to car rebates and special financing offers.

This Car Rebate vs. Financing Comparison Calculator makes the math easy so you can focus on negotiating – not calculating. This calculator will show you quickly and easily which dealer incentive is the best value by showing you how much you’ll save.

Below is more information about car rebates vs. special financing offers to help you make the right decision.

Car Rebates And Special Financing Basics

Buying a car can be exciting. Unfortunately, it can also be stressful.

A lot of decisions are required including which car to buy, how to find the best deal, how to finance the purchase, and which special dealer incentive you should take.

Car dealers commonly offer two incentives: rebates and special financing. Usually, you must choose between the two. Rarely, will a dealer be willing to combine both incentives into a single purchase.

A rebate is an amount of money that will be returned to you immediately after purchasing a car (or any other product). Rebate offers don’t lower the purchase price, but instead, they return cash back in your pocket. There are usually no eligibility requirements or restrictions for this type of incentive. You simply purchase the product and receive the rebate.

Special financing incentives work differently. The financing company gives a special interest discount to qualified customers lowering your monthly payments and the total purchase cost of your car.

Your goal is to figure out which incentive delivers the greatest value, and that is where the car rebate vs. financing comparison calculator can help. It will take care of the complicated math and tell you which option saves you the most money.

Important Considerations

Before you make a final purchase decision consider the following additional factors when comparing incentives:

  • See if you qualify for zero-percent financing – If you have a good credit history, you will likely qualify for special financing rates. However, only certain vehicle models include zero-percent financing. This is a great deal when you can get it.
  • If you don’t qualify for a zero-percent financing, it may be best to take the rebate – Some financing companies will offer low financing for the first six months of your loan term and after that charge a higher interest rate for the remaining loan term. If this is the case, a rebate may be your better choice.
  • Shop around for the best deal – Compare and calculate offers from different dealers. Make them compete for your business by creating a bidding war to get the absolute best deal.
  • Check with your dealer to see how long before they will give you the rebate – The average waiting period is between six and eight weeks. However, some dealers won’t send your rebate until after six months.
  • Think about how long you plan to keep your car – If you plan to keep your car for a long period of time, then special financing may be your best choice because you will be enjoying the low interest for a longer period of time. If you plan to keep your car for a short period of time then the rebate might be a better choice.

Final Thoughts

The Car Rebate vs. Financing Comparison Calculator makes deciding between rebates and financing much easier. But remember to take into account the other important considerations above.

Use common sense, don’t make an impulse decision, ensure you’re getting the best deal, and buy the car that’s going to suit your needs regardless of the incentive.

In the end, you have to be happy with what you are driving. Don’t allow a dealer incentive to carry excess sway over your decision.

Car Rebate Vs. Financing Comparison Calculator Terms & Definitions

  • Special Interest Rate – The incentive interest rate offered by the car manufacturer.
  • Regular Interest Rate – The interest rate offered for a normal auto loan.
  • Cash Rebate – The amount of money that will be returned by the manufacturer after the purchase.
  • Savings Interest Rate – The percentage rate earned for invested or saved money.
  • Car Purchase Price – The final price of the vehicle that you negotiated with the dealer.
  • Down Payment – The initial amount of money paid for a credit purchase.
  • Loan term – The duration of your loan.
  • Financing – Funding provided for, in this case, the purchase of a car.

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