National auto loan rates for March 8, 2012

Interest Rate Roundup
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Auto Loans

  • 4.63% (60-month, new car)
  • 5.43% (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates again broke record lows in our survey. While some of that drop may be attributable to falling rates for auto loans naturally, it also reflects changes in the way banks quoted their rates to Bankrate researchers.

The average rate for a 48-month new-car loan fell 44 basis points to 4.54 percent. The average rate for a 60-month new-car loan was also down significantly, losing 40 basis points and ending up at 4.63 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Used-car loans also came in well below previous records. The average rate for a 36-month used-car loan was down 63 basis points to 5.43 percent.

With gas prices going up sharply, two automakers are introducing trucks that run on a cheaper alternative fuel -- natural gas. Chrysler will soon introduce a natural-gas version of its Ram 2500 Heavy Duty pickup, and General Motors plans to introduce a natural-gas option for its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD, according to a report by the Associated Press. There's currently only one mass-produced natural-gas passenger vehicle in the U.S.: a version of the Civic compact car produced by Honda Motors.





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