Guide to Buying a Car in Central IL

Supply-chain disruptions have caused shortages across the economy—and the auto industry is no exception. The current semiconductor or chip shortage has impacted a variety of industries including medical devices, computers, defense technologies, and automakers. So, if you’re in the market for a new or used car, it can be an intimidating time to shop with fewer dealer incentives and less inventory to choose from. However, if you need new wheels now, you can’t wait for the global supply chain to get back to normal. In this guide, we’ll share tips for buying a new vehicle now or anytime in Central IL.


Leasing vs. Buying a New Car

Understanding the differences between leasing and buying your car will help you determine which route will be best for your financial needs.

This is one of the first decisions you’ll make as you begin the process of finding your next car. Understand the differences and pros and cons of leasing vs. buying so you can make an informed decision:


What does it mean to lease a new car?

With a leased car, you make a fixed monthly payment for a set period of time. At the end of the lease term, you must return the car.


Pros and Cons of Leasing Your Car

  • Leasing typically has lower monthly payments, enabling you to choose a vehicle that would otherwise be out of your price range.
  • You get to drive a newer car, usually still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, so you’ll spend less on repairs and maintenance.
  • Leasing could offer tax advantages to business owners.
  • Skip the hassle of trying to sell or trade in your old vehicle when you’re ready for a new one.
  • However, leasing means you always have a monthly car payment.
  • Leasing contracts also impose certain restrictions such as how many miles you can drive, wear-and-tear charges if you don’t return the car in the same condition you received it in, and early termination fees if you change your mind about the car or can no longer afford the monthly payment.

Ultimately, leasing is like paying to drive the car; you aren’t paying off a loan on your way to owning an asset outright. Think of leasing a car like renting a home. You never end up owning an asset, always have a monthly payment, and have to start the process all over again at the end of each lease term. However, if your biggest priority is driving a new car with the latest features, leasing may be more affordable than buying.


What does it mean to buy a new or used car with financing?

Are you looking to buy your next vehicle, but are unable to fund the full purchase in cash? Obtaining financing may be your best next step.

If you decide to purchase your next vehicle, and can’t afford to pay the entire price in cash, you’ll need to obtain financing. We recommend getting pre-approved for your auto loan before you step on a dealer’s lot. An auto loan pre-approval allows you to shop with confidence, knowing how much you can afford to spend, and saves you the hassle and pressure of relying on dealer financing. Apply online for an auto loan from Flanagan State Bank!


Pros and Cons of Financing Your Car Purchase

  • Once you’ve paid off your auto loan, at the end of the term or earlier, you own the car outright and your only recurring payment for it is auto insurance.
  • The longer you can keep your car after the loan is paid off, the more you’ll save compared to if you’d been leasing your car the whole time.
  • You can put as many miles as you like on the car, and beat it up if you want to (or have kids).
  • If you change your mind about the car or can no longer afford your monthly loan payment, you can always sell it or trade it in for a new vehicle.
  • However, owning a car (like owning a house) means you’re responsible for any repair and maintenance costs not covered by a warranty.

Overall, buying a car (even if you have to finance the purchase) is usually a better financial move than leasing, especially if you can be content with a less expensive new car or a well-maintained used vehicle. If you’re working from home now, all the better—you can stretch even more years out of owning your car since you’re driving less.

Both leasing and buying offer the opportunity to negotiate the price of the car or the monthly lease payment.


How To Get a Car Loan in Central IL

Ready to get started with your auto loan? Learn more about your options for next steps using the resources below.

Flanagan State Bank offers direct lending for your car purchase. As mentioned above, you can get pre-approved before shopping so you know how much you can afford. Avoid focusing on monthly payment at the dealership and concentrate on negotiating the purchase price of the vehicle.

When you get your auto loan first, you can focus separately on getting the best lending terms you can qualify for. For example:

  • Includes APR, length of loan, and max amount you can borrow
  • Provides you with tools for negotiating with car dealers
  • Being pre-approved also allows you to compare prices between dealerships

How To Finance a Car in Central IL with Flanagan State Bank

Easily apply online or contact us with questions. The benefits of getting your auto loan from us include:

  • Interest rates as low as 2.75%*
  • Financing available for new and used vehicles.
  • Terms up to 60 months*
  • No penalties for early repayment


*Terms and conditions apply; please contact us for additional information.


Contact us for auto loan help in Central IL!

Looking to finance a car purchase but not sure what steps to take? Connect with a Flanagan State Bank lending representative to help guide you through the car financing process. With a pre-approved auto loan from Flanagan State Bank, buying the new or used vehicle you want can be quick and easy. Learn more or apply online for an auto loan today! You can also visit any of our locations in Flanagan, El Paso, Benson, Bloomington, Le Roy, or Gridley, Illinois.