Average Car Payments: What To Expect | Bankrate (2024)

Average Car Payments: What To Expect | Bankrate (1)

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For many Americans, the cost to finance a vehicle can be one of the biggest hits to their wallets each month outside of housing costs. According to Experian’s third-quarter automotive finance report, drivers are spending over $700 and $500 each month for new and used vehicles, respectively. Insurance costs an average of $2,014 per year, according to Bankrate data.

Whether you have poor credit or are looking to refinance your current loan, it’s important to understand typical monthly payments and rates so you can feel confident that you are getting the best deal.

Car payment statistics

  • The average monthly car payment for new cars is $726.
  • The average monthly car payment for used cars is $533.
  • 39.20 percent of vehicles financed in the third quarter of 2023 were new vehicles.
  • 60.80 percent of vehicles financed in the third quarter of 2023 were used vehicles.
  • Of consumers purchasing new vehicles in 2023, 79.09 chose to finance their vehicle, versus 82.25 percent in 2022.
  • Credit union financing made up 23.11 percent of all auto loans during the same period.
  • The average cost of car insurance is about $168 per month.
  • New loan amounts are down slightly year-over-year third quarter of 2023.
  • Overall loan balances grew 5.4 percent in the same period.
  • SUVs and wagons increased financing share, hitting 60.84 percent of new vehicles financed in the third quarter of 2023.

How much will my car payment be?

Average monthly car payments are based on more than just the cost of the vehicle. Your expected monthly cost is based on how much you are borrowing to finance that vehicle in order to pay off the loan’s principal, along with your interest rate and loan term.

AverageNew carsUsed cars
Monthly payment$726$533
Loan amount$40,184$27,167
Interest rate7.03%11.35%
Loan term68.26 months67.57 months

Source: Experian State of Automotive Finance Market third quarter 2023

Average monthly car payments

Your credit score gives lenders an idea of how risky you might be to take on. If you have a strong credit history, you are likely to be offered more competitive rates. And better rates mean lower monthly payments.

Average auto loan amount

In late 2023, vehicle prices are down slightly compared to last year. New vehicles had an average price of $48,247, while used sat at $26,533, according to November Cox Automotive data.

Credit scoreNew carsUsed cars
781 to 850 (super prime)$36,450$27,442
661 to 780 (prime)$41,890$28,504
601 to 660 (nonprime)$43,360$26,981
501 to 600 (subprime)$40,660$23,510
300 to 500 (deep subprime)$36,272$20,494

Source: Experian State of Automotive Finance Market third quarter 2023

Average auto loan rates

The key to finding the best rate is shopping around with different lender types. Check out online lenders along with more traditional banking options before signing off.

Credit scoreNew carsUsed cars
781 to 850 (super prime)5.61%7.43%
661 to 780 (prime)6.88%9.33%
601 to 660 (nonprime)9.29%13.53%
501 to 600 (subprime)11.86%18.39%
300 to 500 (deep subprime)14.17%21.18%

Source: Experian State of Automotive Finance Market third quarter 2023

Average auto loan terms

Auto loans are available in 12-month increments, ranging from 24 to 96 months. The most common terms are 60 and 72 months, but 84-month terms are becoming more common. There is no perfect term, and it is instead specific to your budget and needs. A longer term means lower monthly payments but a higher cost overall.

Credit scoreNew carsUsed cars
781 to 850 (super prime)62.23 months65 months
661 to 780 (prime)70.26 months68.56 months
601 to 660 (nonprime)74.13 months68.59 months
501 to 600 (subprime)73.87 months66.28 months
300 to 500 (deep subprime)72.63 months62.86 months

Source: Experian State of Automotive Finance Market third quarter 2023

How to calculate how much your car costs

In addition to the monthly payment, account for additional costs. These include common expenses like gas, insurance and maintenance. But you should also set aside money for unforeseen accidents — at least enough to cover your deductible.

To calculate this number before signing off on a new vehicle, you must make some estimates.

  • Starting with vehicle maintenance, use Edmunds’s car maintenance calculator to factor in the average cost based on your vehicle.
  • Next, add that number to expected insurance costs. Although not every state requires it, the average driver should be prepared to pay around $168 a month.
  • From there, add your estimated fuel costs. Use your car’s average miles per gallon, your estimated monthly mileage, and average fuel costs in your area to get this number.
  • Finally, factor in the registration fees and taxes you’ll have to pay, along with the vehicle depreciation.

How much is a down payment on a car?

One way to curb the higher-than-usual vehicle costs creating expensive monthly payments is to put down a sizable down payment. A down payment is the cash you have available, any value that comes from your vehicle trade-in or money from rebates. It will save you money before your financing even begins and make you more appealing to lenders.

A good down payment is at least 20 percent of a new vehicle, or 10 if you’re buying used. On average, in the third quarter of 2023, drivers put down $6,907 for new and $4,111 for used, according to Edmunds.

The bottom line

Although available rates for vehicle financing are affected by many factors outside of your control, there still are choices you can make to put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to this big purchase.

Current interest rates will make monthly payments more expensive, so be patient. Take the time to compare different rates and button up your credit score to qualify for more competitive rates.

Average Car Payments: What To Expect | Bankrate (2024)


Average Car Payments: What To Expect | Bankrate? ›

Car payment statistics

Is $500 a month too much for a car? ›

How much should you spend on a car? Whether you're taking out an auto loan or a personal loan to pay for your car, it's a good idea to limit your car payments to between 10% and 15% of your take-home pay. If you take home $4,000 per month, you'd want your car payment to be no more than $400 to $600.

How much should my car payment be if I make $60000 a year? ›

If your take-home pay is $60,000 per year, you should pay no more than $750 per month for a car, which totals 15% of your monthly take-home pay.

How much should I spend on a car if I make $100,000? ›

Starting with the 1/10th guideline, created and pushed by Financial Samurai, this guideline states: buy a car in cash that costs less than 1/10th your gross annual pay. If you make $50,000 you should buy a car in cash worth $5000. If you make $100,000, the car you buy should be worth no more than $10,000.

What's a good down payment on a 30k car? ›

Consider putting at least $6,000 down on a $30,000 car if you're buying it new or at least $3,000 if you're buying it used. This follows the guidelines of a 20% down payment for a new car or a 10% down payment for a used car.

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