With the end of the summer near, Labor Day marks a time of change, and, for car buyers, that presents one of the best times of year to shop.

New 2018-model-year cars are starting to arrive at dealerships, which makes it a good weekend to check out the latest vehicles. It also means dealers are looking to move 2017 models to make space for them, and that spells great deals and discounts.

With dealerships across the country offering sales events for limited periods, expect them to be busier than normal over the coming days, but remember there are ways to save time.

Applying for financing before you shop is a smart approach recommended by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

If approved, not only will you have saved yourself the need to arrange to finance at the dealership, you can potentially save money by shopping around for the best financing deal.

Options include banks, credit unions, and finance companies, such as RoadLoans. As the online, direct-lending platform of Santander Consumer USA, RoadLoans enables you to apply for a loan when it suits you; from home, work or your mobile device.

A short, one-page application takes a few minutes to complete and consumers get an instant decision. If approved, just print the loan documents and take them with you to your recommended dealer nearby.

With a loan voucher in hand, RoadLoans customers can enjoy shopping with the confidence of a cash buyer.

And with the preapproval, if the dealership still offers you financing, you have something to compare it to and can choose the best offer.

So if you’re looking to make your dollars go further, consider shopping for a car over the Labor Day weekend, and apply for pre-approval before you go.