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Below are the most frequently used terms linked with auto financing. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Extras offered when buying a car from a dealership. Popular add-ons include tinted windows, satellite radio, navigation systems, DVD players, etc..

Amount due at lease signing
These are the fees that most be paid up-front when you lease a vehicle.

Annual percentage rate (APR)
This is the interest rate associated with your auto loan. Typically calculated as a yearly rate.

Acquisition fee
When you lease a car, the dealer will charge you a fee for processing your application. The fee is for insurance verification, credit reports and general processing.

Asking price
This is the price that the dealership will have posted on the vehicle. It is called 'asking price' because the dealer is open for negotiation.

Base price
The price of a car prior to the addition of options. This cost includes the manufacturer's warranty and the standard equipment.

Blue book or Kelly Blue Book
A price guide indicating the fair value of cars.

CARFAX report
Provides a comprehensive history of a vehicle based on the VIN number. This report will contain information about who has owned the car, if the car was every stolen or in an accident as well as if any repairs have been performed.

Certificate of title
Certificate indicating legal ownership of a car. Provided by a title company.

Closed-end lease
Type of lease that allows a car owner to return their vehicle to pay specific fees at the conclusion of their lease. This type of lease is considered more high-risk by lenders. Therefore the cost is typically more expensive than a regular lease.

Dealer hold-back
A 2-3% profit window given to dealers by manufacturers.

Dealer incentives
Incentive programs given to dealers by car manufacturers that are designed to help sell vehicles or to get rid of surplus cars in inventory. Typically, the buyer will also benefit from the savings.

Dealer invoice
The cost a vehicle paid by the dealership. This price includes the delivery of the vehicle. The dealer invoice is usually reduced by dealer rebates and other incentives.

Dealer prep
Never pay this fee. This is when the dealer will try and charge you a fee for the preparation of your vehicle. However, the dealers are already paid this fee by the manufacturers.

Dealer sticker price
Required by law to be positioned on the window of every car in a dealership. Includes the base price, standard features, add-ons with their retail prices, fuel economy, delivery charges, and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Destination charge
Cost you are charged by dealers for having the car delivered to the dealership from the manufacturer.

Disposition fee
The cost charged by the dealer for returning and selling of a vehicle at the conclusion of a lease.

Excess wear charge
Charges you pay when you return a leased car in a condition that is greater than the wear-and-tear limits.

Extended warranty
Commonly known as 'service contracts'. Pays for repairs and services that exceed basic warranty coverage.

Finance rate
The interest rate associated with your auto loan. Otherwise known as the annual percentage rate (APR).

A contract that grants you use of a vehicle for a certain amount of time. You will have monthly payments similar to a car loan. You will have the option of buying the car at the conclusion of your lease.

Lease extension
Allows you to extend the terms of your lease, with the same monthly payments.

Mileage charge
The cost you pay when you drive your vehicle you lease more than the annual mileage limits.

Otherwise known as Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. This is the cost of a car with add-ons.

Open-end lease
Type of lease where the buyer must pay the difference between the market value of the car and the residual value at the conclusion of the lease.

The lowering of a vehicle's price by the manufacturer to help increase sales.

Is when you car is taken away from you when you fail to make auto loan payments. We feature a section that offers tips on how to prevent repossession.

Residual value
The estimated worth of a vehicle when it is brought back after the lease expires.

Rule of 78’s
Dealers typically no longer use this policy. It is a refund of finance costs for paying your auto loan off early.

Indicates who is the legal owner of a vehicle.

Trade in value
The price a dealer will pay you when you look to reduce the price of a new car purchase by trading-in your old vehicle.

Upside down
When you owe more on your auto loan than the your car is worth.

Otherwise know as the Vehicle Identification Number. Used to keep records of a car. Similar to a social security number.

A guarantee of a car's performance by the dealer or manufacturer. A warranty will cover certain costs and repairs for a specific time frame or amount of mileage.

Learn More Terms:
Auto Insurance Glossary
Credit Card Terms

Related Reading:
-Being a Loan Co-Signer
-Loans for Lease Buy-Outs
-Learn How to Avoid Becoming Upside-Down on Your Auto Loan
-Types of Car Loans



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