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Hyundai is a South Korean car brand with global reach but has a U.S. focus. It’s a major sports sponsor, working with both the NFL and FIFA, and concentrates on improving the performance of its cars. Recent J.D. Power rankings for initial quality and reliability placed Hyundai near the top of the list, even above luxury brands such as BMW. It also won seven 2018 top safety picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Kia was the only brand with more wins — a total of nine (Hyundai once owned Kia outright in 1998.)
To see how you might get a deal on a Hyundai and Hyundai financing, keep reading. We break down what Hyundai offers and what to ask for so you can get your best deal.
Like most auto manufacturers, Hyundai uses its own financing company to lend to its customers. Because Hyundai makes a profit on the sale of the vehicle, it doesn’t have to make a profit on vehicle financing. Customers with good to excellent credit can usually find a better financing deal through the manufacturer than anywhere else.
Hyundai Motor Finance (HMF) sorts all finance applications it receives into credit tiers in order to determine which deal to offer to whom. The higher the tier, the better loan offer. To be in a top tier, you’ll generally need a credit score of 700 or higher. If you’re not sure what yours is, you can check your credit score at LendingTree. And if it’s not the best, you can read about how to get an auto loan with poor credit.
Ask for a credit tier bump. Your credit score is not the be-all and end-all, however. Your credit history, income, debt, saved assets and the “deal structure” also matter. So if you don’t have great credit or don’t get your best loan offer, you can use these aspects as reasons you deserve a tier bump, and therefore a better auto loan offer. Ask your salesperson, finance manager or HMF representative for a tier bump and point out your good credit history, high income, little debt and/or large savings.
You could also ask what it would take to get a tier bump. The deal structure is a balance of how much the car is worth, how much you want to finance (which could include taxes and negative or positive equity from a trade-in) and how much you want to provide as a down payment. It may be that giving a slightly larger down payment could make a big difference in your APR.
Hyundai offers plenty of customer incentives, though some of them require you finance through Hyundai to qualify. How much they are worth and which models they apply to can change, depending on the time of year, the vehicle’s location and the market. So if you’re seriously looking at a car with a large rebate, keep the rebate’s expiration date in mind.
This may not be an exhaustive list of Hyundai incentives and their requirements. Check the Hyundai website or with a dealer for more information.
Which is better: Low APR or Retail Bonus Cash? If you have to choose between special financing and a rebate, it’s almost always better to take the rebate. The reasoning behind this is that you get the money now rather than having the value of the low APR spread out over the years you have the auto loan.
Whether you apply online or in person at a dealership, expect to pick out the car you want first. Then you’ll provide information like how much of a down payment you want to give and personal details including address, Social Security number, employment, income, debts and monthly rent or mortgage payment.
Online. Once you choose your car, you can play around with the payment calculator. It will ask you what your credit score is and give you an APR available from HMF that you may qualify for, based on the score. You can also select how long you’d like the loan to be and the discounts you may qualify for. The website allows you to toggle between lease and purchase, so you can also see what leasing would look like. On the lease side, you can also choose the annual mile allowance.
After you play around with the calculators and see what your payments could be, you can apply directly to HMF on the website.
In person. We highly recommend you get a few preapprovals before you go in person to a dealership. Dealerships are often able to make money by raising your APR. So if you don’t already know you can get a great rate, you might be pressured to take a high rate.
Get preapproved. Before going in person to the dealership, apply to several lenders, not just Hyundai, for a preapproval. You usually don’t have to know exactly which car you want. And it does not hurt your credit if you do multiple applications within a 14-day window any more than if you only did one application. Credit scoring models are designed to allow this specifically so consumers can shop for their best loan.
You could read up on more of the benefits of getting preapproved here.
Leasing allows flexibility you don’t find in a purchase. For example, if you want a coupe convertible now but know you’ll want an SUV in a couple of years for when you have a kid, this might be a good option for you. At the end of the lease term, you could buy the vehicle for the predetermined price (no haggling necessary), turn it in and walk away, or turn it in and take advantage of any promotions at the time to lease or purchase a new or used vehicle.
It can also be a cheaper option for your wallet on both a monthly and total basis if you like to consistently have a new car. Because you are essentially buying the right to use the car for a few years instead of buying the whole car, monthly lease payments are almost always cheaper than monthly purchase payments, which means you could afford to lease a nicer vehicle than you could afford to buy.
The main downside is that when you lease a new vehicle for 36 months, you usually pay about 50% of what the car is worth. And at lease-end, you could walk away with nothing. There are also restrictions on mileage and wear and tear. If you go over, you could be charged for it.
If you’re not sure if the cost of leasing is worth the benefits, you can read our guide on whether to lease or buy and how a lease buyout works.
No matter if you plan to ultimately finance with Hyundai, it’s smart to get multiple auto loan quotes so you know what loan terms you deserve. If you have multiple options, you’ll be able to choose what works best for you. Alternative lenders include your bank, credit union or online lender. Some banks give APR discounts if you make automatic auto loan payments from an account with them.
Remember to corral your loan options before going to a dealer so you know you’re choosing your best financing offer. You can fill out a single form on a loan marketplace like LendingTree and potentially compare multiple loan offers from up to five different lenders.
Based in South Korea, Hyundai is a global car manufacturer with three brands. In addition to the Hyundai name, it also owns the luxury brand Genesis and is a heavy investor in the mass market brand Kia. Hyundai and Kia are jointly the Official Automotive Partner of FIFA until 2022.
The International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers or, Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), ranks Hyundai as the third largest auto manufacturer in the world, after Toyota and Volkswagen. With so many vehicles to sell, Hyundai is a player in the global market, delivering over 2.2 million vehicles in the first half of 2018.
Even though Hyundai no longer fully owns Kia, the two often partner to develop technology. In 2015 Hyundai released an augmented reality owner’s manual, whereby holding your phone or tablet over the control panel or engine would allow the manual to point out what’s what. Both companies plan to continue the R&D partnership well into 2025, especially regarding eco-friendly advancements.
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