If you are like many people these days, your credit has room for improvement. Maybe you had a bankruptcy in the past. Perhaps you lost a job and had to file for unemployment or missed a loan payment.
Just going around to different dealers to see what you qualify for can actually hurt your credit score, which is why you should always know it beforehand.
Downpayments used to be standard practice for car buyers. With credit tightening up, having one might help you get a better rate on your next car loan.
There is a certain attitude you should adopt when going to get your next car. It will stop you from getting taken advantage of and will likely quicken things up.
Find what a credit report looks like, how to check yours and fix it if there are any irregularities.