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Auto loan rates for Oct. 25, 2012

Claes Bell

Interest Rate Roundup

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Auto Loans

  • 4.24% (60-month, new car)
  • 4.95% (36-month, used car)

Auto loan rates tumbled to record lows in Bankrate's survey this week.

The average rate for a 60-month new-car loan fell 13 basis points to a record low of 4.24 percent. The 48-month new-car average followed suit, sliding 6 basis points to 4.16 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Used-car loans also fell to all-time lows in Bankrate's survey, with the average rate for a 36-month used car loan sliding 6 basis points to 4.95 percent. That's the first time it's been below 5 percent since Bankrate began collecting used auto loan rates almost 14 years ago.

This week, the National Automobile Dealers Association began a publicity campaign to convince auto manufacturers to change the way they incentivize auto sales. As it is now, the rigid sales quotas dictated by manufacturers mean car buyers who make purchases during the last days of the month typically pay a lower price than customers who buy at the beginning of the month, NADA says. That difference in price is unfair and harms dealers' reputations, the organization says.

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