Auto loan averages, March 5, 2009

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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 March 4, 2009.

Auto Loans

Rates: 6.91 percent (60-month, new car); 7.69 percent (36-month, used car)

There was a slight increase in auto loan interest rates as measured by Bankrate this week. The 60-month new-car loan rate did not change; it held tight to 6.91 percent. The 48-month new-car loan rate ticked up 1 basis point to 6.9 percent, as did the 36-month new-car loan rate, to 6.83 percent.

The 36-month used-car loan rate fell 3 basis points to 7.69 percent, and the 48-month used-car loan also fell 3 basis points to come in at 7.75 percent.

Indeed, February is the cruelest month. Sales of new vehicles fell industrywide. Autodata reports that sales of American cars plummeted by half from last year. GM sold 126,170 vehicles, down 53 percent from 2008. Ford sold 99,050, down 49 percent from 2008. Chrysler sold 84,050, down 44 percent from last year.

Total light vehicle sales were down 41 percent for the month.

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

— Sheyna Steiner