Many people take out loans to pay for their cars. Interest rates on those loans can eat up your discretionary income, but you can compare auto loan rates to make sure you're getting the best deal.
Check your credit score. This is the baseline that lenders will use to determine whether or not you're approved for a loan, and the rates that you qualify for. If you already know your score before you go in, you can check for potential errors from lenders.
Determine the state where the loan will be. Some people with multiple residences might want to choose the state that has lower rates.
Decide how long you want the life of the loan to be. Interest rates tend to go up when you pay on a loan longer.
Shop around in your area. Call lenders and find out who has the best rate. You can also ask about any special promotions they're offering at that time.
Compare rates from national companies. Many of these can be found through various online websites.
Add up the fees. Sometimes, a bank might have the best rate, but all the extra fees can actually mean you end up paying more.
Get approved before you go to the dealer. When you have rates to compare it to, your dealer might be more eager to find you a better rate through his own contacts.