Auto Loan Interest Rates Climb to Second-Highest Level 
in 10 Years, According to Edmunds Analysis
Financing a new car purchase grows more challenging for consumers as average transaction prices hit near-record high, zero percent finance offers drop to their lowest level since 2006

SANTA MONICA, CA — February 1, 2019 — Tightening credit conditions and rising vehicle prices continued to squeeze consumers in January, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. Due in part to an evaporation of zero percent financing deals, the average annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles hit the second highest point in 10 years in January, averaging 6.19 percent. This compares to to 4.99 percent last January and 4.22 percent five years ago. Additionally, the average transaction price of a new vehicle is expected to hit a near-record high of $37,150 in January, and zero percent financing offers dropped to their lowest level since 2006.

"Car shoppers who are returning to the market for the first time in a few years could be in for a big shock," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of industry analysis. "Vehicle prices and interest rates are so high right now that consumers are facing the very real possibility of spending thousands of dollars more on a new vehicle than they did last time they purchased a new car."

Although Edmunds experts note that sales in January showed relative strength and the overall impact of the polar vortex across the Midwest was minimal, analysts caution that sales are likely to take a turn through the rest of 2019.

"Although January saw a slight lift, higher fleet sales give the false appearance of a more robust sales month," said Caldwell. "If the economy starts to slip for any reason, we could see significant repercussions for the overall market."

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in the Edmunds Industry Center at http://www.edmunds.com/industry/.

New-Car Finance Data
January 2019 January 2018 January 2014
Term 69.1 69.2 65.9
Monthly Payment $551 $524 $476
Amount Financed $31,707 $31,236 $27,573
APR 6.19 4.99 4.22
Down Payment $4,191 $3,914 $3,628

 

Used-Car Finance Data
January 2019 January 2018 January 2014
Term 67.2 66.9 64.4
Monthly Payment $407 $384 $363
Amount Financed $21,763 $21,084 $19,441
APR 8.88 7.83 7.58
Down Payment $2,614 $2,473 $2,200

 

About Edmunds
Edmunds guides car shoppers online from research to purchase. With in-depth reviews of every new vehicle, shopping tips from an in-house team of experts, plus a wealth of consumer and automotive market insights, Edmunds helps millions of shoppers each month select, price and buy a car with confidence. Regarded as one of America's best workplaces by Fortune and Great Place to Work, Edmunds is based in Santa Monica, California, and has a satellite office in Detroit, Michigan. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Media Contacts
contact
Talia James
Associate Director, PR and Communications
310.309.6336
General Inquiries
Send us an email or call us at:
310.309.4900