Auto Loan Interest Rates See a Slight Lift in March, According to Edmunds
Special incentives, 0% finance offers extended by automakers see limited success in drawing in new car shoppers during the coronavirus crisis

SANTA MONICA, CA — April 1, 2020 — The average interest rate for a new vehicle loan rose slightly in March, according to the car shopping experts at Edmunds. The annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles averaged 5.8% in March, compared to 5.6% in February. Edmunds data reveals that the share of sales with 0% finance deals saw a slight uptick in March, constituting 4.7% of new vehicle purchases compared to 3.6% in February.

"Automakers reacted quickly to the coronavirus crisis with attractive incentive offers and payment programs, but these unfortunately appeared to fall on deaf ears," said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds. "Consumers were understandably distracted by the rapidly changing news cycle and changes to everyday life created by shelter-in-place orders, and March sales took a blow."

Edmunds experts note that the share of sales with APRs of 10% or higher saw a lift in March, constituting 12.8% of sales compared to 10.7% in February. Loan term lengths also increased in March, surpassing 70 months for the first time on record. According to Edmunds data, the share of borrowers who had a 73- to 84-month loan term rose to 35.3% in March, compared to 32.8% in February.

"Vehicle purchases made in March — particularly the second half — were likely need-based," said Caldwell. "These shoppers might not have necessarily qualified for zero percent finance offers but still needed a car in spite of everything else going on in the world."

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

New-Car Finance Data

March 2020 March 2019 March 2015
Term 70.6 69.6 67.6
Monthly Payment $573 $553 $489
Amount Financed $34,052 $31,962 $28,592
APR 5.8% 6.4% 4.8%
Down Payment $4,008 $4,217 $3,508

Used-Car Finance Data

March 2020 March 2019 March 2015
Term 67.8 67.6 66.1
Monthly Payment $412 $406 $377
Amount Financed $22,155 $21,524 $20,347
APR 9.1% 9.5% 8.2%
Down Payment $2,643 $2,715 $2,410

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.

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