National auto loan rates for March 15, 2012

Interest Rate Roundup
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Auto Loans

  • 4.58% (60-month, new car)
  • 5.36% (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates fell again in this week's rate survey, though less dramatically than the drop seen last week.

The average rate for a 48-month new-car loan dropped 6 basis points to 4.48 percent. The average 60-month new-car loan rate fell 5 basis points to 4.58 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

The average rate for a 36-month used-car loan is down 7 basis points to 5.36 percent.

The days of oil are limited, and higher future energy prices are a good bet. Yet, electric cars fail to sell like hot cakes. A blog post on rounded up the sales figures for hybrids and electric cars and found that buyers still aren't on board.

Ford's hybrid sales are down 24 percent over last February's figures. Honda's hybrids have done poorly as well, down 41 percent from a year ago. There is a bright spot. Sales of Toyota Prius cars are up 46 percent from 2011 with sales of 20,593 vehicles, according to the blog by Brad Tuttle.

Until gas prices hurt more than the high upfront cost of electric cars and hybrids, sales of the alternative-energy vehicles will likely remain low.





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