Auto Rebate vs. Low Interest Financing
Use this calculator to help you determine whether you should take advantage of low interest financing or a manufacturer rebate. A rebate will reduce your auto loan balance, while low interest financing lowers your monthly payment. The best option depends on the price of the vehicle, the size of the rebate and the interest rates available for financing.
- Total purchase price (before tax)
- This is the total cost of your auto purchase. Include the cost of the vehicle, any additional options and any destination charges. Don't include sales tax in this amount. Sales tax will be calculated for you and included in your total after-tax price.
- Term in months
- Number of months for your auto loan.
- Cash down
- Total amount of cash used in this purchase. The larger your cash down payment the smaller the loan you will need to finance this purchase.
- Trade allowance
- The total amount that you are given for any automobile that you trade-in as part of this purchase. In some states a trade-in can also reduce the amount of sales tax you will owe. See the definition for "Sales tax deduction for trade-in" for more information on trade-in vehicles and sales tax.
- Amount owed on trade
- Total loan balance still outstanding on the trade-in.
- Sales tax rate
- Sales tax percentage rate charged on this purchase.
- Low interest financing
- The incentive interest rate you may be able to receive from an auto manufacturer. These rates are usually significantly below standard auto loan interest rates. Low interest financing can be as little as 0% per year. Most manufacturers allow you to choose either low interest financing or a manufacturer rebate, but not both. This calculator assumes that if you choose low interest financing you are not eligible for any manufacturer rebate.
- Manufacturer rebate
- A cash rebate paid by the auto manufacturer to you when you purchase a new vehicle. Most manufacturers allow you to choose either low interest financing or a manufacturer rebate, but not both.
- Traditional financing
- The interest rate you may be able to receive from a bank, credit union or other lender. This is usually a higher interest rate than the manufacturer's low interest financing, but is often very competitive when used in combination with a manufacturer rebate. This calculator assumes that if you choose a manufacturer rebate you are not eligible for manufacturer low interest financing.
- No sales tax deduction for trade-in
- If you live in a state where your sales tax is calculated on your full purchase price check this box. If this box is unchecked sales tax is calculated on the purchase price less trade-in. Currently California, the District of
Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland and Michigan allow no deductions for trade-ins when calculating sales tax. In addition, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon have no sales tax on autos.
- Calculate sales tax before rebate
- Some states will calculate sales tax on your purchase price before a manufacturer's rebate is applied. If your state calculates sales tax on the vehicle price before the rebate is applied, check this box.
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