National auto loan rates for Aug. 23, 2012

Interest Rate Roundup
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Auto Loans

  • 4.38% (60-month, new car)
  • 5.04% (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates blew past their old record lows this week. The average rate for a 60-month new-car loan dropped off 7 basis points to an all-time low of 4.38 percent in Bankrate's weekly survey.

The 48-month new-car loan average also was down significantly, falling 6 basis points to 4.25 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Used-car loans also hit record lows, with the average rate for a 36-month used-car loan careening down 7 basis points to 5.04 percent -- another Bankrate record.

Smart cars will soon be all over the roads in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to a report in the Detroit News. Not to be confused with the diminutive European economy cars, smart cars are vehicles equipped with a Wi-Fi-like technology that allows them to communicate with one another and with infrastructure, such as traffic signals, to prevent crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers will soon begin large-scale testing of the technology in 3,000 vehicles in the coming months, according to the report.





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