Here's a look at the state of auto loan rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted March 24, 2010.
Auto loansRates: 7.07 (60-month, new car); 7.75 percent (36-month, used car)
Auto loan rates fell modestly again this week. The average rate for a 48-month, new-car loan was down 3 basis points, to 7.08 percent, while the average for 60-month, new-car loans backed off 2 basis points, to 7.07 percent.
Rates for used-car loans lost ground as well, with the 36-month used-car average losing 3 basis points, to 7.75 percent.
Our averages this week show a modest drop, but it's important to note that these averages incorporate individual rates all over the country that can be much higher -- and much lower. Right now, some banks on the very low end of the interest-rate spectrum are offering 36-month, new-car loans as low as 3 percent to 5 percent in major markets.
These banks, including local banks and credit unions, as well as national banks like Bank of America and Chase, are balanced out in our average by other banks that are, in some cases, offering auto loans high as 16.99 percent, or even higher. Huge differences like these illustrate the importance of shopping around for car financing; a few minutes spent on due diligence can literally save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of your auto loan.
To find updated auto rates in your area, visit Bankrate's auto rate table.
See all auto loan rates content.
-- Claes Bell