National auto loan averages

Here’s a look at the state of interest rates on five common consumer banking products and the latest rates from’s weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Sept. 23, 2009.

Auto Loans

Rates: 6.92 percent (60-month, new car); 7.77 percent (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates were down across the board for the third week in a row. The 60-month and 48-month new-car rates each dipped 3 basis points, to 6.92 percent and 6.94 percent, respectively. The average rate for a 36-month used-car loan also slipped 3 basis points, to 7.77 percent.

Without the Cash for Clunkers program to boost consumer interest, auto sales for the month of September will be down 29 percent compared to August, according to a report released yesterday by the auto industry research firm TrueCar. Of those sales, just 40.2 percent, a record low, will come from domestic manufacturers, the report says.

“As expected, new vehicle sales are down dramatically from August, but the decline will not be as bad as it looked at the beginning of the month,” says Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends at TrueCar. “Fundamental macroeconomic forces that fuel car sales have shown relative improvement within the last several weeks, although we are still a long way from a full recovery.”

To find updated auto rates in your area, visit Bankrate’s auto rate table.

— Claes Bell

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