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How Much is the Average Monthly Car Payment in the US?


How Much is the Average Monthly Car Payment in the US? (PDF)

In the vast world of car financing, it’s essential to understand the average monthly car payment as a reference point when embarking on your car-buying journey. However, it’s crucial to note that several factors influence your actual monthly car payment. In this blog post, we’ll explore these factors and provide insights into the car financing market to help you navigate this realm with confidence.

Car model, calculater and coins on white table

Determining Factors for Your Monthly Car Payment

Let’s delve into the key elements that contribute to the total amount of your car loan payment, shaping your financial commitment:

  1. Loan Amount: The principal amount of your loan is based on the vehicle’s sale price, minus any down payment or trade-in credit. This factor holds considerable influence over your monthly car payment.
  2. Interest Rate: The interest rate represents the percentage you pay on top of the principal amount to borrow money. Lenders take into account various factors, such as your credit score, debt, and income, to determine your interest rate. It’s advisable to compare annual percentage rates (APRs) among lenders, as this encompasses any additional fees they may charge.
  3. Vehicle Type and Purchase Source: The type of car you choose and where you buy it can also affect your interest rate. Some lenders may impose higher rates for used cars, while purchasing from a private seller might result in even higher rates.
  4. Loan Term: The duration of your loan, often referred to as the loan term, determines the number of months you have to repay the loan. This factor plays a crucial role in calculating your monthly auto loan payment.

Understanding the Recent Averages

While every car buyer’s circumstances differ, analyzing recent market data offers valuable insights into car financing during the first quarter of 677. Refer to the table below for averages related to factors influencing car payments:


New Cars

Used Cars

Monthly payment



Loan amount



Interest rate



Loan term

68.64 months.

67.42 months.

Credit score



Impact of Credit Scores on Monthly Car Payments

Your credit score carries significant weight in determining your car payment since it directly influences the interest rate on your loan. A lower credit score usually leads to higher interest rates, which in turn increases your monthly car payment. By knowing your credit tier and corresponding average monthly payments, you can better gauge the impact of your credit score on your financing. Additionally, NerdWallet provides average car loan interest rates based on credit scores. Refer to the table below for a comprehensive breakdown:

Credit score

Average monthly payment, new car

Average monthly payment, used car

Superprime: 781-850



Prime: 661-780



Nonprime: 601-660                       



Subprime: 501-600



Deep subprime: 300-500



Loan Term Considerations

Many car buyers opt for longer loan terms to reduce their monthly car payments. However, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of this approach. While stretching out the loan term may lower your immediate financial burden, it can have long-term repercussions. Cars generally depreciate over time, and by the time you reach years five or six of your loan, you may find yourself owing more than the vehicle’s market value. Additionally, longer loan terms often incur higher overall costs due to increased interest payments. Consider the table below to understand the impact of loan term on your monthly payments:

Loan amount/APR


Monthly payment

Total interest


36 months.




60 months.



Calculating Your Monthly Car Payment

Although average car loan figures provide helpful benchmarks, it’s important to recognize that your personal circumstances will shape your unique car payment. To estimate your monthly car payment accurately, consider using an auto loan calculator. By inputting values for variables such as car price, trade-in amount, down payment, interest rate, credit score, and loan term, you can generate an estimate tailored to your situation. Remember, it’s recommended not to exceed 10% of your take-home pay on a car loan payment, ensuring financial stability.

Understanding the average monthly car payment and the factors that influence it empowers you to make informed decisions when purchasing a vehicle. By considering loan amount, interest rate, vehicle type, loan term, credit score, and other variables, you can navigate the car financing landscape confidently. Utilize the available resources, such as auto loan calculators, to estimate your monthly car payment and ensure it aligns with your budget. Stay financially aware and make car buying a smooth and rewarding experience.


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