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Dodge began as a parts supplier to the fledgling U.S. auto industry in the early 1900s, until it rolled out its own vehicles in 1914 under the Dodge Brothers brand. Chrysler bought the company in 1928 and there it stayed, even through Chrysler’s acquisition by Italian car giant Fiat in 2009.
Throughout most of its history, the company has been known for large family cars, pickup trucks and cargo vans, but during the 1960s it turned out a number of desirable high-performance “muscle” cars, including the Charger, the Challenger and the Coronet Super Bee — the powerful Charger is still popular today with law enforcement agencies.
From muscle cars to minivans, if you’re thinking about financing a new Dodge through the manufacturer, you’ll actually be working with Chrysler Capital, which handles deals for many Fiat Chrysler Automotives brands. The idea is to make it easier for customers — and more lucrative for dealers — to keep the entire car-buying transaction under one roof. This article will walk you through Dodge rebates and incentives, options for customers who prefer to lease and alternative financing sources that might be a better fit for some buyers.
Dodge customers can apply for financing through the carmaker’s website or in-person at a dealership, but you can also prequalify for credit through Dodge by providing basic personal and financial information; notably, this process does not affect your credit score because it doesn’t require a hard pull of your credit information. If you decide to commit to a loan through Dodge, you will have to file a formal application, which requires a hard pull that’s likely to shave a few points off your credit score.
Chrysler declined to provide information on the minimum credit score required in order to obtain a loan but said a number of factors, not limited to credit score, influence the decision. According to its press office, Chrysler provides loans to people with a wide range of credit scores.
Some clues into credit scores may be gained by looking at Santander Consumer USA Inc., the U.S. auto lending arm of the Spanish bank. Santander and Chrysler Group LLC jointly manage Chrysler Capital. In 2017, Chrysler Capital loans were evenly split between what Santander refers to as prime and non-prime customers, according to Santander’s most recent annual report. In other words, you won’t necessarily need great credit to qualify for Dodge financing but, as the annual report shows, those with good credit receive better rates.
Serious shoppers should know their score when they are preparing to negotiate with sales staff in an auto showroom. Don’t know your score? Check it here.
Here are some of the incentives Dodge offers. Like most special deals, these vary by region, and are time-sensitive and specific to certain vehicles. Buyers have to make sure the model and trim level of the vehicle they are interested in is eligible for the incentives they want. It may also be necessary to time your purchase based on the expiration dates of discount programs.
This list of incentives is not complete. Additional deals are available and because incentives can change often, so shoppers should refer to Chrysler’s site regularly for updates.
Loan terms for Dodge vehicles range from 24 to 72 months, although the length of the contract might be more limited under certain incentive programs.
Customers can apply for Dodge financing online through Chrysler Capital or at a dealership, but it pays to shop around for financing from a number of lenders. Having more than one financing choice can improve your negotiating position when you visit the dealer.
Learn more about the benefits of getting preapproved here and fill out an online form at LendingTree to potentially find up to five auto loan offers from lenders.
Lease payments are typically lower than car-loan payments, and even with mileage limits, leasing often makes sense for certain drivers. It could be especially attractive to drivers who like changing vehicles every two or three years. If you are uncertain whether leasing makes sense for you, this guide on leasing versus buying might help.
Low-mileage lease: Dodge regularly offers special lease deals. These vary by location and, like any incentive program, pay attention to the expiration date.
Sometimes getting a car loan from the same place you get the car makes sense: the dealer might have incentives and special offers that other lenders cannot match. However, it is almost always best to apply for credit from several sources, including banks, credit unions and online lenders. Your credit score will not typically suffer any more damage if you file multiple applications within a 14-day window than if you apply to just one. Once you line up your options, you can compare offers from up to five different lenders to see which suits your specific needs.
Dodge has a history of making impressions with outrageous design elements, like huge tailfins in the 1950s, and powerful engines in the 1960s. However, the brand took a tame turn in the 1980s, turning out boxy “K-Car” midsize sedans, economy subcompacts and minivans.
Today, Dodge is working to regain the high-performance image it cultivated in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The company builds several versions of its vehicles with extra horsepower to boost speed and stiff suspensions to improve handling. There are versions of the Charger and Challenger with 707 horsepower – an over-the-top figure for a road car. Even the Durango crossover, designed for family errands and long vacation trips, comes in a hot-rod version with 360 horsepower and sportscar-like acceleration.
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