A car dealership will take your application and they will send it to several lenders that they work with so they (the lenders) can compete with each other to get the customer the best loan.
A lender will appear on the report as a separate inquiry when it accesses the borrower’s credit report, but credit scoring systems count all auto loan inquires as one, lenders know you are not buying multiple cars but just shopping for the best terms, so looking for the best rate will not affect you when qualifying for credit. They usually take it as a single loan in a time period of 14 to 45 days, and that depends on a scoring model they use to check your score. The same method applies for a mortgage loan as well.
We do recommend getting a copy of your credit report before purchasing a car so you can check you have everything in order before spending a hefty amount. Remember to keep purchases within your budget and be true to yourself about what you can afford so you don’t mess up your score in case any emergency comes up and you get behind your payments, but also remember that we can help you repair your credit if you are looking to buy a car.