National auto loan averages

Here's a look at the state of interest rates on five common consumer banking products and the latest rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Oct. 28, 2009.

Auto Loans

Rates: 6.74 percent (60-month, new car); 7.61 percent (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates took another big fall this week, continuing a two-month slide. Rates on new-car loans were down significantly, with the average 60-month rate falling 7 basis points, to 6.74 percent, and the 48-month rate down 8 basis points, to 6.76 percent.

The average rate for a 36-month, used-car loan also took a big hit, falling 10 basis points, to 7.61 percent. This is the 18th week in a row that the average rate for a 60-month, new-car loan was equal to or less than the rate for a shorter-term 48-month auto loan. This is historically rare; investors locking up their money for longer terms almost always ask for higher rates to hedge against the risk of inflation.

Ford got high marks in the annual Consumer Reports auto reliability study released this week. Not only did the study find that Ford was "the only Detroit automaker with world-class reliability," but 90 percent of the Ford vehicles tested received a reliability rating of average or better.

Overall, the study found that Japanese automakers still overshadow domestic vehicles in most measures -- of the 48 models that received top reliability scores, Toyota had 18; Honda, eight; and Nissan, four.

To find updated auto rates in your area, visit Bankrate's auto rate table.

-- Claes Bell



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