Research current auto-loan rates. Online companies (See Resources.) allow you to compare rates from financial institutions across the country. This will give you a quick resource to determine if your local lender is providing a competitive rate.
Determine your term. Often times, financial institutions will offer a better rate on shorter loan terms. For example, a loan term of 48 months may have a rate 1 to 2 percent lower then a term of 60 or 72 months.
Ask for relationship discounts. For example, if you have a mortgage, checking account and auto loan with a lender, the lender may provide a discount on the auto loan refinance. This discount may range from .25 percent to .5 percent.
Compare refinance fees. Small fees add up quickly. Watch out for application fees and processing fees. If your lender charges these fees, ask about waiving those items; especially if you've been a loyal customer.
Negotiate your auto-loan rate. Financial institutions know that it's more expensive to acquire new customers versus retaining current customers. If you find a better auto- loan rate, talk with your lender. Often times, they'll do a "rate match" to retain your business. In most cases, you'll need to talk with the financial institution manager, who has more flexibility to negotiate.