National auto loan rates for Dec. 15, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
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Auto Loans

  • 5.3% (60-month, new car)
  • 6.32% (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates on new cars were down this week for the first time in more than a month. The average rates for 48-month and 60-month new-car loans fell by 4 basis points to 5.27 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Used-car loan rates also fell -- but to a lesser degree. The average rate for a 36-month used-car loan lost 2 basis points, and it is now at 6.32 percent.

This week, The National Transportation Safety Board issued a recommendation calling for a nationwide ban on the use of cellphones and other electronic devices by drivers. That would include calls made on hands-free devices such as Bluetooth earpieces pitched as a safer alternative to hand-held devices by manufacturers. The ban comes on the heels of a 2010 crash in Missouri linked to text messaging. The accident left two dead and 38 injured, including passengers on two school buses.




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