Skip to Main Content

Auto Loans

Before getting behind the wheel of your new vehicle, compare auto loans, estimate payments and find a financing option that’s right for you. Let Bankrate steer you through the process.

Bankrate’s top-rated lenders

Bankrate’s team of auto loan experts handled the heavy lifting to find the best lender for any sort of driver. We weighed a lender’s available APR ranges, loan amount, funding timelines, fees, repayment terms and customer support to choose our picks.

Personal loans

Best overall

LightStream
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
4.2
Est. APR
7.49%–15.69%
* with AutoPay
Loan amount
$5k– $100k
Term: 2-7 yrs
Min credit score
Not specified

Personal loans

Best for convenience

Capital One
Rating: 4.1 stars out of 5
4.1
Est. APR
Not disclosed
Loan amount
starting at $4,000
Term: 2-7 yrs
Min credit score
Not specified

Personal loans

Best for shopping for multiple loan offers

MyAutoLoan
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
3.7
Est. APR
6.84%
Loan amount
$5k– $120k
Term: 2-7 yrs
Min credit score
600

What is an auto loan?

An auto loan is a type of loan that lets you borrow money to purchase a car. The vehicle typically serves as collateral for the loan. You’ll repay the money at a fixed interest rate through monthly payments for 24 to 84 months until the vehicle becomes fully yours. 

Where to get an auto loan

Choosing where to apply for an auto loan requires similar care as choosing the car you want to make yours. Each type of lender carries its own benefits and drawbacks. Consider both affordability and your own needs.

Dealer financing 

Securing your auto loan from the dealership boasts the convenience of exiting the car lot with a brand-new vehicle and financing. Dealerships may advertise specific perks known as promotional financing. But keep in mind that these are reserved for borrowers with strong credit. Otherwise, dealership financing often don’t offer the most competitive rates.  

Banks and credit unions

Loans offered from banks and credit unions are a great option for those that prefer a recognizable name. And if you have a previous banking relationship, it can mean better rates. Traditional lenders are best for borrowers financing a larger amount and who have strong credit.  

Online lenders 

Financing via an online lender carries the perk of a fully automated experience but can also mean less competitive rates. This option is best for a savvy online driver would doesn’t need any additional in-person support.  

Types of auto loans 

You have choices beyond just new or used loans. Instead, each type has different uses that are built for a certain type of borrower. Consider which type of auto loan is best for you and your financial needs. 

Auto loan basics 

Before getting a loan and putting your new car in drive, make sure you know the answers to these FAQs.

What's new

The trusted provider of accurate rates and financial information
Wall Street Journal
USA Today
The New York Times
CNN
Bloomberg
ABC