This large dealership network works with lenders to offer financing for new and used cars.
Bottom line: AutoNation isn’t the most upfront dealership network you could work with, but it does sell a wide variety of vehicles. Still, it may make more sense to shop around for rates before you submit a preapproval application or shop for a car.
Kellye Guinan is a seasoned financial writer with over 500 articles under her belt spanning all things loans from auto to personal to business and everything in between. With four years in the field and five years of research experience, she's able to make complex personal finance decisions easier for anyone to tackle. When she's not up to her knees learning about the latest trends in lending, she spends her time improving her own financial literacy and expertise — and maintaining a Duolingo streak of over 1,300 days.
AutoNation isn’t a direct lender, but its nationwide network of dealerships means you may be able to find financing on a variety of new and used cars no matter where you live. It works with multiple lenders to back its loans, and when you buy a used car, you’ll have the ability to return it.
But there are some big drawbacks to using AutoNation. It doesn’t allow you to negotiate prices, it doesn’t provide much information about its services online and it has a large amount of negative customer reviews. Since you won’t know your financing terms until after you fill out an application, it may be better to compare other lenders before you shop. This way, you know exactly what loan terms you qualify for so you can be sure you’re getting a competitive rate.
- Finalize financing in-store or online
- Vehicle delivery available
- Five-day/250-mile return policy
- Works with dealerships across the US
- No ability to negotiate price
- Poor customer reviews
- Limited information available online
- No centralized customer service
AutoNation reviews and complaints
|BBB customer reviews||1.3 out of 5 stars, based on 42 customer reviews|
|BBB customer complaints||220 customer complaints|
|Trustpilot Score||2.2 out of 5 stars, based on 26 customer reviews|
|Customer reviews verified as of||01 December 2020|
AutoNation doesn't receive glowing customer reviews on its BBB or Trustpilot pages. In fact, AutoNation's BBB page doesn't cover all of the dealerships it works with — if you have problems, you need to reach out to the specific one you visited. And while not many of the recent complaints are about its financing offers, customers cite problems with customer service, poorly maintained vehicles and misleading mechanic reports.
As with any used car, have your vehicle inspected by a third-party mechanic before finalizing your purchase and financing.
How AutoNation compares to other lenders
Find financing options before visiting an AutoNation dealership to get the best deal. Select your credit score range and state, then choose Show me my personalized options to see lenders you might qualify for.
AutoNation rates, fees and terms
While AutoNation states it offers competitive rates, it isn't up front about potential costs or fees. This makes it difficult to know how much you'll pay when you finance through one of its partners. And because AutoNation may perform a hard credit check when you apply, consider comparing other offers first.
What types of car loans does AutoNation offer?
AutoNation works with dealerships across the US to offer financing for both new and used vehicles. And unlike traditional financing, AutoNation offers a five-day/250-mile money-back guarantee on financing for all of its used car programs:
- Certified Preowned (CPO) vehicles. Pass manufacturer inspection and have a manufacturer-backed warranty.
- AutoNation Certified vehicles. Pass a 125-point inspection and have a 90-day/4,000-mile warranty.
- As-Is vehicles. Pass a 50-point inspection and do not have a warranty.
AutoNation doesn't provide any information on the criteria you'll need to meet to qualify for a loan. And because it only finances the vehicles it sells, your car won't have to meet any specific requirements.
How the application works
The online application is meant to save you time when you visit an AutoNation dealership. You'll only need to provide basic information about yourself, including your annual income, date of birth and Social Security number.
AutoNation isn't technically the lender you'll be working with. But like all dealerships, it has connections with banks and other lenders to find you financing for one of its vehicles.
You can also visit an AutoNation dealership and fill out a financing application in person.
What sets it apart
AutoNation is more of a network of dealerships than a lender. While it works with a variety of lenders, it may not be the most competitive choice for your loan. In general, it's not the best option if you're looking for a lot of information before you apply. Its website is bare-bones, and you may be better off applying directly with a lender so you can lock in your loan terms before you shop.
It also doesn't allow you to haggle the price on used cars — which can leave you stuck paying a higher amount. While AutoNation does conduct market research to price its vehicles, you may be able to negotiate a lower price with a traditional dealership.
Is AutoNation legit?
How does AutoNation's money-back guarantee work?
Like most of its options, AutoNation is unclear about how its money-back guarantee works. While you can return any used vehicle within five days or 250 miles, you'll need to reach out to a local AutoNation dealership for more details — including information on restrictions and fees that might apply.
AutoNation isn't a direct lender — so compare other car loan options before you shop to get the best deal on your next car.
Frequently asked questions
Answers to common questions about AutoNation
Will AutoNation purchase my trade-in?
Yes. AutoNation offers trade-in quotes that are good for up to seven days. If you decide to sell your car to AutoNation, you can have it picked up for free or bring it to any AutoNation dealership.
Does AutoNation accept coapplicants?
Yes. You can apply with a coapplicant when you work with AutoNation.