Auto rates for May 3, 2012


I'm Greg McBride with and here is your weekly look at auto loan rates.

Car sales are going up and car loan rates are going down. The pent-up demand of drivers that put off buying a car in the worst of the economic storm has given way to a pickup in auto sales as the economic recovery continues. And from a financing standpoint, the timing has never been better.

Rates on used car loans slipped for the second week in a row, with the average 3-year used car rate now 5.19 percent and the 4-year loan rate down to 5.24 percent. Both are record lows.

New car loan rates were stuck in neutral this week, but they continue to idle at record lows. The average 4-year new car loan rate is 4.39 percent and the average 5-year rate is still 4.5 percent.

With plenty of rate offers in the low single digits for both new and used car purchases, it bears repeating the importance of car buyers lining up low rate financing before they head to the car lots. That way you're not beholden to the financing offer the dealer puts in front of you and you've got yourself more negotiating power on the price of the car.

Make sure you're not being taken for a ride on your auto loan. Shop around for the lowest car loan rates and fees in your area by visiting the free search engine at

I'm Greg McBride.



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