Best Auto Loans Rates of 2022

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Auto loans are a necessity for most people, especially if you’re buying a new car. Before you take the first loan that comes your way, know how to find the best auto loan rates to ensure you get the best deal available to you.

This list of the best auto loan rates includes traditional loan originators and various auto loan marketplaces that allow consumers to compare quotes.

Comparing auto loan rates (side-by-side) will help you pick the best offer, will save you time, and is the most advantageous for consumers.

Best Car Loan Rates

  • RECOMMENDED
  • EST. APR
  • LOAN AMOUNT

Best Auto Loan Lenders

Best for Auto Loan Refinance
Caribou Auto Loans
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On Caribou's Secure Website
Caribou
  • LOAN AMT.
    $5,000 - $60,000
  • EST. APR
    Varies
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

Caribou is redefining the way consumers refinance auto loans. They have created the easiest process for consumers to refinance auto loans, shop around for new rates, and avoid bad car loan deals.

So, if you are on the market to refinance your auto loan, then Caribou is truly the only place we would recommend for you to go. It is important to note that Caribou is an auto loan refinance marketplace. This means they will help you comparison shop. Simply fill out the form, and they will work with their network of Auto Loan Refinance Lenders to provide you with tailored (low) auto loan refinance rates.

>> More: Caribou Review

Best for Used Car Auto Loans
MyAutoLoan.com Rates and Terms
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On MyAutoLoan's Secure Website
MyAutoLoan.com
  • LOAN AMT.
    $8,000 - $100,000
  • EST. APR
    2.74% - 24.99%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

MyAutoLoan.com is an auto loan lender marketplace. They don’t underwrite or fund loans but instead bring together borrowers and lenders in one place.

You complete one application and receive up to 4 offers from different lenders. There’s no obligation to use any of the lenders, and there’s no charge to use MyAutoLoan.com.

If you choose a lender and move forward, you’ll work directly with the lender itself to finalize the loan details.

>> More: myAutoLoan Car Loans Review

Best Overall Auto Loans
LightStream Auto Loan Rates
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On LightStream's Secure Website
LightStream Auto Loans
  • LOAN AMT.
    $5,000 – $100,000
  • EST. APR
    4.99% – 10.39%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

LightStream is the online lending branch of SunTrust Bank. The entire loan process occurs online. You choose the funding date (upon approval), and LightStream deposits the funds in your account, making you a cash buyer at the dealer.

LightStream offers various loan options for new and used car purchases, car loan refinancing, and buyouts. If you have excellent credit, you may even get an unsecured car loan.

>> More: LightStream Auto Loans Review

Best for Bad Credit Auto Loans
Bad Credit Auto Loans
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On Auto Credit Express®'s Secure Website
Auto Credit Express®
  • LOAN AMT.
    Varies
  • EST. APR
    7.99%$ - 35.99%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

Auto Credit Express® caters to borrowers with less than perfect credit and even helps borrowers in the middle of a bankruptcy or repossession get approved. The professionals at Auto Credit Express® provide a custom-tailored solution to determine which loan option works for you and helps you get matched (and approved) with one of their 1,200 lenders or dealers.

>> More: Auto Credit Express Review

Best Overall Auto Loan Lender
PenFed Auto Loans
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On PenFed's Secure Website
PenFed Car Loans
  • LOAN AMT.
    $500 – $100,000
  • EST. APR
    1.79% – 17.99%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

PenFed is a credit union providing its members incredible benefits, including low-interest rate car loans and a reputable car buying service.

While you get the lowest rates for using the car buying service, you don’t have to use it (only available with select dealers). PenFed offers loans on new and used cars and offers some of the lowest interest rates on the market. Anyone can join PenFed – it’s free to join as long as you are 18-years old, have a savings account with at least $5, and are a US citizen.

>> More: PenFed Auto Loans Review

Best Credit Union for Auto Loans
Consumers Credit Union Auto Loan Rates
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On Consumers Credit Union's Secure Website
Consumers Credit Union
  • LOAN AMT.
    Varies
  • EST. APR
    2.49%*
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

Credit unions usually offer the lowest rates but have barriers to entry. Consumers Credit Union offers both low rates and easy membership qualifications. To qualify, you pay just a $5 membership fee and keep a $5 balance in your Membership Share/Savings account. CCU offers low fixed interest rate loans with a variety of terms. Their loans include 24-hour emergency service and mechanical care coverage, and you can get a rate reduction for setting up autopay.

Best for Online Vehicle Purchase and Financing
Carvana Auto Financing
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On Carvana's Secure Website
Carvana Auto Loan
  • LOAN AMT.
    $1,000 - $100,000
  • EST. APR
    3.90% - 27.90%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

Carvana is a ‘car buying vending machine.’ You shop online for auto financing and the car you want. Carvana sells only used cars, but they meet Carvana’s tough standards.

It offers real-time financing, so you can complete the entire transaction with one company. It’s easy and fast to buy a car and set up financing. Carvana even gives you 7 days to ‘test’ the car to make sure it fits your lifestyle and needs. Choose from delivery to you or pick up at a local Carvana vending machine.

Best for Customer Service + Refinancing
OpenRoad Auto Loan Rates
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On OpenRoad's Secure Website
OpenRoad Auto Loans
  • LOAN AMT.
    $7,500 – $100,000
  • EST. APR
    1.99%*
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

If your financial situation changed since you bought your car, you may want to refinance to save money or shorten your term.
OpenRoad Lending helps you do just that with a simple application process that could save you money. The entire process is done online and takes only a few minutes, and it could save you as much as $1,200+ a year.

Best for Peer-to-Peer Auto Refinance
LendingClub Best Auto Refinance
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On LendingClub's Secure Website
LendingClub Auto Loans
  • LOAN AMT.
    $4,000 – $55,000
  • EST. APR
    2.99% – 24.24%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

Refinancing your car loan is easy with Lending Club. This online marketplace offers a simple application process that matches you with multiple lenders to find the refinance loan that’s right for you once you complete it.

Lending Club offers auto refinance loans for those who are in a better financial situation and want to save money and those who need help, such as a longer-term to lower your payment.

>> More: LendingClub Auto Refinance Review

Best for Bad and New Credit Auto Loans
Best Auto Loan Rates
APPLY NOW
On Car.Loan.Com's Secure Website
Car.Loan.Com
  • LOAN AMT.
    $7,500 – $45,000
  • EST. APR
    2.74% - 24.99%
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

If you’re credit challenged, the Car.Loan.com platform may help you get the loan you need. Car.loan.com helps low credit borrowers get matched with a dealership in the area that can help them with financing.

They have a large network of dealerships that help borrowers with less than perfect credit get the car they need.

>> More: Car.Loan.Com Review

Best for Comparing Auto Loan Rates
Vroom Best Auto Loan Lenders
APPLY NOW
On Vroom's Secure Website
Vroom Auto Loans
  • LOAN AMT.
    Varies
  • EST. APR
    Varies
  • Learn More
  • Auto Loan Details

If going to the dentist is more appealing to you than going to a car dealer, you’ll love Vroom. You can buy a car and get the financing all online. Vroom will even deliver the car to you.

They make it easy to get the price you want (no haggling) and will arrange for financing with some of the largest banking names, like Chase and Ally. You get 7 days to decide if you like the car and the car is delivered directly to you.

>> More: Vroom Auto Financing Review

How Do Car Loans Work?

A car loan is a secured loan. The lender uses the car as collateral. If you default on your payments, the lender can take possession of the car to get their money back. Most car loans have a fixed interest rate for a term between 2 – 7 years.

Car loans typically have interest rates lower than unsecured personal loans or credit cards because lenders have the car as collateral to back them up.

This makes it more beneficial to get a car loan, and it may even be easier to qualify since the bank knows they can fall back on the car if you default.

How to Find the Best Auto Loan Rates (Step-by-Step)

#1. Know Your Credit Score

Before applying for an auto loan, always check your credit score. If you can improve it, take the chance to do so.

If you don’t know what your credit history looks like, pull your free credit report and look for any of the following:

  • Late payments, you can bring current
  • High credit card balances you can pay down
  • Collections or judgments you can settle
  • Mistakes you can dispute with the credit bureau

#2. Are You Looking to Refinance a Car? Or Purchase a New Car Altogether?

Decide your purpose in seeking auto financing. Are you buying a new or used car? It makes a difference not only in the financing options but the platforms you use.

Some lenders only offer new car loans, and others only used car loans. If you have a car loan and want to refinance or have a lease you want to buy out, you’ll need lenders that offer those options.

#3. Compare Current Auto Loan Rates

Get at least 3 loans to compare side-by-side. Don’t look at just the interest rate but the total cost of the loan. Is there an origination fee? Is there a prepayment penalty? Look at the total cost to determine if the loan is right for you.

Jumping at the first loan with the lowest interest rate isn’t always the best choice. The rate may be low, but if the fees are high, the loan’s bottom line may cost more than if you took a loan with a higher rate.

#4. Stay Within Your Budget

Make sure you can afford the payment. Don’t just go by what you can afford on paper. Look at it realistically. Does it fit in your budget? Remember, you could have this payment for the next 2 – 7 years.

#5. Pick the Best Auto Loan Rate & Get Auto Insurance

Choose your loan based on the loan with the best rate and fees, and then get auto insurance. Your lender will require it.

You’ll need proof of paid-in-full insurance for the next year to close on your loan and get the funds to buy the car.

Auto Loan Terminology to Know

  • Loan Terms: Know the length of the loan and the type of loan. For example, a fixed-rate loan has one interest rate for the entire term. The term is the length of the loan, such as 2 years or 5 years. You’ll make monthly payments on the loan for the length of the term.
  • Interest Rates: All lenders charge interest – it’s how they make a profit and pay their interest rates for borrowing the money to lend to you. The lower the interest rate, the less the loan costs you.
  • Soft Inquiry: This doesn’t hurt your credit score. It’s like you pulling your credit to check it. It’s not an indication of intent to lend, and your credit score doesn’t change. Lenders don’t see a soft inquiry on your credit report either.
  • Hard Inquiry: Once you choose a loan, lenders do a hard inquiry, which shows up on your credit report. A hard inquiry means the lender has the intent to lend and is checking your credit score to determine if you qualify. Your credit score may drop 5 points for this.

What Is a Good Interest Rate for a Car Loan?

A good interest rate is a subjective thing, but on average, 3% is a great rate on a car. If you have great credit and qualify for manufacturer financing, you may get rates as close to 0% as you can get. Otherwise, any rate between 3% – 5% is good.

Can You Refinance a Car Loan?

You can refinance a car loan just like you can refinance a home loan. However, there are restrictions, including how much loan you must have outstanding, the car’s age, and mileage. Old cars or cars with high mileage may not qualify for refinancing.

>> More: Best Auto Refinancing Lenders

How Does Auto Loan Refinancing Work?

If you refinance your auto loan, you pay off your existing car loan with a new car loan. Most people do this when their income or credit improves, and they qualify for better financing terms that would make their car loan more affordable.

When Should I Refinance My Car Loan?

It’s best to refinance your car loan after improving your credit or putting yourself in a better financial position. But you shouldn’t be upside down on your car loan (owe more than it’s worth) when you refinance.

>> More: How to Refinance Your Car Loan

How Long Are Car Loans?

Car loans last for 2 to 7 years in most cases. The longer you borrow the money, the more interest you’ll pay and the more the car will cost. Focus on taking the loan with the shortest term that you can afford.

Should You Get an Auto Loan from a Bank, Credit Union, or Dealership?

Today you can get auto loans (or motorcycle loans) from banks, credit unions, and dealerships. The right place to get it is the one that offers the lowest rates and best terms.

Compare your options and see which is the most affordable monthly and long term. Dealership financing is usually the most expensive but include it in your comparisons to know for sure.

What’s the Difference between an Auto Loan and a Personal Loan?

While you can use a personal loan to buy a car, you’ll pay higher interest for it because personal loans are unsecured and auto loans are secured.

This means for an auto loan; the lender uses the car as collateral. If you don’t make your payments, the lender can take possession of the car.

Can I Use a Credit Card to Buy a Car?

You may be able to use a credit card to pay for ‘some’ of the car’s purchase price, but most dealers won’t let you put the entire amount on your credit card because credit card companies charge dealers a transaction fee. The fee can be as much as 3% of the amount charged, which would decrease the dealership’s profits.

>> MoreWhat Credit Score Is Needed to Buy a Car?

Do I Have to Make a Down Payment to Buy a Car?

Most banks require some sort of down payment on a car, but as you can see in our examples above, there are lenders who don’t require a down payment.

It’s in your best interest to make a down payment, though, since cars are a depreciating asset, you could quickly get upside down on your loan if you don’t make a down payment.

>> More: How Much Will A Car Loan Drop My Credit Score?

Summary: Best Auto Loan Rates and Lenders

Bottom Line: Best Auto Loan Rates

Shop around and take advantage of the many auto loan marketplaces available today. There’s no excuse not to compare at least a few loan options to choose the one that’s right for you.

Look at the big picture and not just the monthly payment, so you choose the most affordable loan option.

Methodology

To select the best auto loan rates and lenders, we evaluated 25+ companies across ten key factors and criteria. We reviewed current auto loan rates, availability, terms, loan amounts, income requirements, credit score requirements, vehicle restrictions, industry reputation, and security. Analysts value transparent rates, fees, and robust technological capabilities. Analysts also evaluated online reputation using third-party sites, such as Google Review, Better Business Bureau, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission. Read our strict editorial guidelines and rating methodologies for auto loans for more information about the integrity and transparency of the best auto loans review process.

Kim Pinnelli
Kim Pinnelli

Kim Pinnelli is a Senior Writer, Editor, & Product Analyst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a professional financial writer for over 15 years, and has appeared in a myriad of industry leading financial media outlets. Leveraging her personal experience, Kim is committed to helping people take charge of their personal finances and make simple financial decisions.