Auto loan rates were noticeably lower this week. The average rate for a 48-month new-car loan fell 8 basis points, to 5.4 percent. The average rate for a 60-month new-car loan slipped 7 basis points, to 5.44 percent.
Used-car loan rates also took a dip. The average rate for a 36-month used-car loan was down 3 basis points, to 6.38 percent.
The March 2011 earthquake in Japan continues to shake earnings for the top three Japanese auto makers. Toyota, Nissan and Honda have taken an 80 percent production hit in their April through June financial quarter. *However, with recovery faster than expected -- those auto makers are turning their attention to the coming months as they look to make up for their post-quake losses.
If you're shopping for a new or used vehicle, you can get the best interest rates by visiting Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.