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Auto Loan Rates Remain Low for January 2019 Car Loans

As of January 2019, the average APR for a 48-month auto loan was 5.30%.

Average auto loan rates January 2019

  • 48-month new car loans 5.30% APR
  • 60-month new car loans 5.37% APR
  • 36-month used car loans 5.54% APR

The average APR for 60-month auto loans was a little higher at 5.37% APR. However, dealerships can offer much lower rates to qualified borrowers that range from 0% to 3.9%. The average rate to qualify for special rates was 714.

These rates are up only slightly from all the way back in 2007 when  711 was the average credit score for approved buyers according to Experian. Even with reasonable interest rates available, being aware of all financing options is more important than ever.

Back in 2013, interest rates fell to record lows for auto loans. Six years later there is only a slight increase in auto loan interest rates. This makes the purchase of a new vehicle a financial option for many buyers. A borrower with good credit can even qualify for special deals by car companies. 

Buyer considerations

The average cost of a new car is now $30,977. This means that many buyers choose a longer term to pay off their loans. The average term for an auto loan in 2018 was up to 68.47 months. As the length of these loans gets longer to keep monthly payments down, the amount of interest paid goes up. Finding and locking in the best rate possible should be on every buyer’s mind when considering a new vehicle.

Finding the best interest rates

Comparing rates before buying allows buyers to locate the loan that works best for them. Stay aware of your credit score. The best rates are only available to what lenders refer to as “super-prime” borrowers. These are buyers with credit scores of 781 and above. The average interest rate offered to these “super-prime” buyers during the third quarter of 2018 was 3.68%.

The average rate for sub-prime loans (buyers with a credit score of 600 or below) at the end of 2018 was 11.89%. Approximately 1 in every 5 auto loans is made to a borrower with poor credit. Borrowers with bad credit pay three to four times more than those coming to the table with excellent credit.

Search our database for the best current auto loan rates along with qualifying factors for each lender. Our list includes additional lender fees and borrower reviews.

Check the latest deals on new auto loans

Buyers with good to excellent credit often are able to find great deals from car makers, like Honda Financial Services and Nissan Finance. For example, Nissan financing rates are currently lower than 2% on most models. The 2019 Nissan Rogue is now available with either $2,000 cashback for buyers with their own financing, or 0% for five years with $500 in bonus cash. Honda currently has a deal on Accords for 1.9% financing on two or three-year loans. The same deal applies for select Civics. Some of these offers vary according to zip code. Check to be sure that these deals apply with dealers in your area.

Purchasing a new vehicle is an investment that should be made only after putting some effort into finding the best rates. Buyers aware of their credit score and educated about current interest rates can feel much more confident they have the best deal available when driving their new vehicle off the lot.