Every month, HSH collects the latest information on new and used auto loan rates from lenders in dozens of metropolitan areas around the US. The sampling of averages listed here includes only a few of the areas we survey. HSH typically surveys about 500 lenders in a given month.
National data, broken out into 36 month, 48 month and 60 month series of averages are available at low cost, including historical information. Please call for more information. Six-month graphs of these average auto loan rates can be found on our Statistical Release page.
Lending institutions and other market professionals can buy this data for their own use.
Fed Trimmed short-term rates, and has kept them low... auto borrowers see some benefit.
While there isn't a one-for-one lockstep relationship with moves in the Federal Funds Rate, changes in that short-term cost of money certainly influence the rates for auto loans. Since the Federal Reserve had been busily lowering the Federal Funds rate during the course of 2008, rates for new auto loans generally drifted downward in 2009, but eased much faster in 2010 as banks have become stronger and more willing to lend. Over the past couple of years, rates have eased by less than a full percentage point, though.
It's a common misconception that Fed moves have a lockstep effect on other kinds of loan rates. Short-term loan rates are affected by a lower Federal Funds rate to a degree, but most of these loans are largely still funded by locally-gathered deposits; those local deposits -- in the form of CDs, Passbooks and other time deposits -- are the lender's "cost of obtaining funds".
Those "cost of obtaining funds" (aka 'cost of funds') represent the interest rates paid to you for allowing your deposited money to be used by the lender. Now, lenders need to attract your deposit money, so they compete against other lenders by paying as high a rate as needed to attract you and still lend it out profitably. However, paying high rates for deposits means that the lender must charge higher rates for loans in order to preserve profitablity... and if the rates are too high, you'll borrow somewhere else, and they'll make no profits at all.
Given the credit market troubles of this past summer, lenders have struggled to find buyers of loan assets at any price, and have been keeping more loans on their books. In order to raise fresh cash to keep lending, lenders had mostly been raising deposit rates in order to attract depositors, and in turn, auto rates had mostly been stable to rising. The Fed's moves helped to lower the cost of money in open markets, and deposit rates have slipped as a result.
Now, as the lender's "cost of funds" slowly decreases, the interest rates being charged on short-term loans should decrease, too. After all, the lender needs to attract borrowers as well as depositors in order to make money. However, the risks of lending to consumers during the recession have increased, and lenders are more wary of those risks. Higher risks mean making fewer loans, and those loans need to be profitable enough to help cover losses from older loans. As such, while some lenders will lower lending rates quickly in order to help attract new borrowers, some lenders will drift their rates downward more slowly and steadily, preserving wider profit margins. This drifting of rates is one of the reasons that Federal Reserve moves can take anywhere from six months to a year to be fully realized in the economy. It also means that loan rates for automobiles are likely to trend downward only mildly in the months ahead, if at all.
New Auto Loan Averages
Selected Metropolitan Areas
Auto loan pricing varies widely from lender to lender, with differences in rates of two percentage points or more in some areas. We suggest that you shop around for the best your market has to offer, and don't forget to check with your credit union, should you belong to one. The averages listed below apply to a $20,000 fixed-rate loan made to good credit quality borrowers.
Used Auto Loan Averages
Selected Metropolitan Areas
National data, broken out into 36 month, 48 month and 60 month series of averages are available at low cost, including historical information. Please call for more information.
Auto loan pricing varies widely from lender to lender, with differences in rates of two percentage points or more in some areas. We suggest that you shop around for the best your market has to offer, and don't forget to check with your credit union, should you belong to one. The averages listed below apply to a $20,000 fixed-rate loan made to good credit quality borrowers, and are rates which apply to late-model used cars, typically one- to three- years of age.
|New York City, NY||6.09%|
|Los Angeles, CA||7.60%|
|San Francisco, CA||5.58%|
Consumers: would you be interested in a listing of New and/or Used Auto Loans for your area? Please let us know! If there's sufficient demand, we may introduce a low-cost product which lists the latest info we collect for metro areas coast to coast.
All rates listings and averages are Copyright © 2011 by HSH® Associates. May be copied and distributed, providing that full source credit is left intact and that HSH is notified as to the publication, URL, or other location where our data are published.