If your Labor Day weekend plans include a visit to a car dealership, make sure you shop around first — not just for the vehicle, but the financing as well.
September is one of the best months to buy a car, with shoppers netting an average 7.64 percent off the sticker price, according to TrueCar.com. Labor Day in particular tends to be big because the three-day holiday weekend intersects with brands' summer sales and the start of model year-end clearances, said Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor for Kelley Blue Book.
"We've been noticing a lot of rebates and sales events," he said. "In particular, we've been seeing a lot of lease deals going on."
Yet Americans are spending more on their cars, with both average transaction prices and amount financed creeping up. During the first quarter, auto loans topped $1 trillion for the first time, according to Experian. That quarter also set records for the average amount financed ($30,032), average monthly payment ($503) and average term (68 months).