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Best Auto Loan Rates

AUTOPAY, PenFed, and OpenRoad Lending offer some of the lowest auto rates

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With rising car prices, you’ll likely need to take out a loan to buy a car. In fact, Experian reported that over 80% of new cars and nearly 40% of used cars were financed with auto loans in 2022.

Car loan rates can vary between lenders, so it pays to shop around. We researched the 25 leading auto loan purchase and refinance lenders to identify the best, based on their available APRs, loan types, repayment terms, borrower/vehicle requirements, and more; we also conducted a survey of 1,016 auto loan customers, looking at opinions about lenders and the loan process.

Best Auto Loan Rates of December 2023

Best for Fast Loans : PenFed

PenFed Credit Union

 PenFed Credit Union

  • Used APR Range: As low as 6.49%
  • Used Loan Amounts: Not disclosed
  • Used Loan Terms: 3–7 years
Pros & Cons
  • Quick loan application

  • Works directly with dealerships

  • Extra bonuses and incentives available

  • Limited loan term options

  • Minimum loan amount for longer terms

Why We Chose It

PenFed Credit Union allows you to apply for a car loan entirely online. After receiving your preapproval letter, you can submit your identification and sign the loan agreement shortly after, allowing you to finance a vehicle as soon as the same day you apply. 

If you go through PenFed’s car buying service, you may qualify for additional cash bonuses or discounts on a new or used vehicle from a participating dealership. 

The minimum loan amount for terms of 61 to 72 months is $15,000, and the minimum loan amount for terms of 73 to 84 months is $20,000.

You do need to be a member of the credit union to qualify for a loan, but PenFed’s membership is open to the general public. 

Borrower Qualifications

PenFed Credit Union does not disclose its credit score or income requirements. To qualify for a loan, borrowers must be the age of majority in their state and be members of the credit union. If you’re not a member, you can join online during the application process by opening a savings account with as little as $5. 

Penfed’s auto loans are available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. 

Vehicle Qualifications
  • For loans less than seven years: No limit on vehicle age, and must have 125,000 miles or fewer
  • For loans of with a seven-year term: Vehicle must be less than five years old and be under 60,000 miles
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 125%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Yes

Best for Low Rates and Bad Credit : AUTOPAY



  • Used APR Range: As low as 5.69%
  • Used Loan Amounts: $2,500–$100,000
  • Used Loan Terms: 2–8 years
Pros & Cons
  • Network of credit unions and lenders

  • Lower than average rates available

  • Allows co-borrowers

  • Does not disclose APR range

  • Some lenders may charge origination fees

  • Eligibility requirements vary by lender

Why We Chose It

AUTOPAY isn’t a lender. Instead, it connects you with its network of partner lenders. Its partners often offer lower than average rates, and you can qualify for a loan even if you have less-than-perfect credit. 

AUTOPAY’s partners allow you to apply with a co-borrower to qualify for a better rate, and loan terms can be as long as 96 months for certain loan types. AUTOPAY has a prequalification tool that allows you to view your loan options without affecting your credit score.

However, eligibility requirements can vary, and the company isn’t clear about the available rates or fees. 

Borrower Qualifications
  • Must be the age of majority in your state
  • Must have a valid driver's license
  • Must provide proof of income and residency
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: Not disclosed
  • Maximum accepted mileage: Not disclosed
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Not disclosed
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Yes

Best Credit Union for Auto Loans : Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union

 Consumers Credit Union

  • Used APR Range: As low as 6.84%
  • Used Loan Amounts: Not disclosed
  • Used Loan Terms: 0–84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Membership open to the public

  • Car-buying services available

  • Gap coverage available

  • Higher rates for older vehicles

  • Must submit Social Security number to view rates

Why We Chose It

Consumers Credit Union allows members to borrow up to 100% of the purchase price of a new vehicle, and it also has car-buying services that can make the process easier than completing it on your own.

Consumers CU has services and protections you can add to your policy, including guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage and maintenance plans, to protect your new vehicle. 

You must be a member to qualify for a loan, but Consumers Credit Union’s membership is open to the general public. And the only way to view potential rates is to submit your personal information and Social Security number. 

Borrower Qualifications

Consumers Credit Union is available in all 50 states and Washington D.C.; it doesn’t disclose its minimum income or credit score requirements. Borrowers must be at least 18 years of age.

You must join the credit union to take out a loan. To become a member, you must join the Consumers Cooperative Association which costs $5. You must also deposit $5 into a Consumers Credit Union savings account.  

Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: None
  • Maximum accepted mileage: None
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 100%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: Not disclosed

Vehicles that are 2020 model year or older will have higher rates than newer vehicles.

Best Refinance Marketplace : LendingTree



  • Refinance APR Range: As low as 4.50%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $250-$500,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 12–120 months
Pros & Cons
  • Review offers from multiple lenders

  • Low rates available

  • Some partners allow joint applications

  • Some lenders charge added fees

  • Loan minimums and terms vary by partner

  • Eligibility requirements vary by partner lender

Why We Chose It

LendingTree is a marketplace that connects users with its network of lenders. For borrowers looking to refinance an existing auto loan, LendingTree can be an excellent way to comparison shop and find the best rates. 

LendingTree’s partners offer lower-than-average rates, and you can add a joint applicant to improve your odds of qualifying for a loan.

Eligibility requirements and terms vary by the lender underwriting the loan, and some lenders charge origination or application fees.

A longer loan term will give you a smaller monthly payment, but you’ll pay more in interest. Use our car loan calculator to see how rates and loan terms affect your total loan cost.

Borrower Qualifications

LendingTree is available in all 50 states and D.C., but borrower requirements vary by lender.

Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: Varies with lender
  • Maximum accepted mileage: Varies with lender
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Varies with lender
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: No

Best for Fair Credit : LendingClub



  • Refinance APR Range: 5.99%–24.99%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $4,000–$55,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 24–84 months
Pros & Cons
  • Lower than average rates available

  • Connects borrowers to multiple offers

  • Joint applications accepted

  • Does not offer purchase loans

  • Not available in all states

  • Low loan maximum

Why We Chose It

LendingClub is another marketplace that connects borrowers to lenders providing auto loan refinancing.

Borrowers can find loans with terms as long as 84 months, and you can compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best rates. However, LendingClub’s refinancing options aren’t available in all states, and it has a relatively low loan maximum compared to other lenders.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or live in the U.S. on a valid, long-term visa
  • Must live in an eligible state; residents of the District of Columbia and the following states cannot qualify for a loan: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming
  • Current auto loan must have been open for at least one month
  • Current auto loan must have at least 24 months remaining
  • Vehicle must be less than 10 years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: 10 years
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 120,000 miles
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Not disclosed
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: No

Additional requirements:

  • Must have at least 24 months left on the existing loan
  • Loan’s remaining balance must be between $5,000 and $55,000
  • Vehicle must be registered in the same state you live
  • Many cars not eligible for financing, such as the Nissan Leaf and models from Suzuki, Saab, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Hummer, and many more brands

Best for Complete Car Buying Experience : Carvana


Courtesy of Carvana

  • APR Range: Not disclosed
  • Loan Amounts: Price of any vehicle Carvana is selling
  • Loan Terms: 36 to 72 months
Pros & Cons
  • Finance and shop for a car in one place

  • Loan quotes valid for 30 days

  • Loans available to borrowers with poor credit

  • Can only finance Carvana vehicles

  • May pay extra shipping fees

  • Not available nationwide

Why We Chose It

If the traditional car buying experience at dealerships stresses you out, Carvana may be a good alternative. You can shop for a car and apply for a loan online through a single platform, and you can view your loan options without affecting your credit score. 

Carvana sells used vehicles throughout most of the country, and it will even deliver the car directly to your door. When you find a car you like, you can apply for financing through Carvana. Carvana works with borrowers with poor to excellent credit, and it also allows you to add a co-signer to your application to improve your odds of qualifying for a loan. 

Carvana financing can only be used to buy cars on its platform, so you can’t take out a loan and buy a car from a dealer or private seller. And depending on where your selected car is located, there may be additional shipping fees. 

Borrower Qualifications
  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Minimum annual income of $4,000
  • Must not have any active bankruptcies 
  • Available to residents in the contiguous U.S. states
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: Varies
  • Maximum accepted mileage: Any car Carvana is selling
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Not disclosed
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: No (only vehicles listed on the Carvana platform are eligible for financing)

Best for High Maximum Accepted Mileage : OpenRoad Lending

OpenRoad Lending

 OpenRoad Lending

  • Refinance APR Range: As low as 1.99%
  • Refinance Loan Amounts: $7,500–$100,000
  • Refinance Loan Terms: 2–6 years
Pros & Cons
  • Less-than-perfect credit accepted

  • Low rates available

  • Refinances vehicles with up to 140,000 miles

  • Loan-to-value ratio up to 175%

  • Self-employed borrowers need to show additional documents

  • Not available nationwide

  • Some car models not available for financing

Why We Chose It

OpenRoad Lending offers auto loan refinancing to borrowers in 38 states. Borrowers can potentially qualify for significantly lower interest rates through OpenRoad, and the lender is one of the few that will accept vehicles with odometer readings as high as 140,000 miles. It offers loans with an exceptionally high LTV ratio as well, up to 175%.

OpenRoad Lending works with a broad range of credit scores, and it has a relatively low income requirement.

Borrower Qualifications
  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • $2,000 gross monthly income
  • Loan payment cannot exceed 10% of your gross monthly income
Vehicle Qualifications
  • Maximum accepted vehicle age: 8 years
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 140,000 miles
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: 175%
  • Allows private-party vehicle purchases: No
  • Restrictions: No business vehicles, and Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Hummer, Isuzu, Saab, and Suzuki vehicles are not eligible for refinancing

Final Verdict

If you’re looking to buy a new or used vehicle, AUTOPAY, Consumers CU, and PenFed offer loans with low rates and multiple repayment options. And both of the credit unions are open to the general public, so you can easily become a member and take advantage of their auto loans.

For those who want to refinance their loans, LendingTree and OpenRoad Lending can connect you to partner lenders to refinance your car at a lower rate or with different repayment term. 

Whatever your goal is, shopping around and requesting quotes from the best auto loan lenders can help you find a better deal on a new car than you’d get through a dealership’s financing department. 

Guide to Choosing the Best Auto Loan Rates

Types of Auto Loans

  • New car loans: A new car loan finances the cost of a new vehicle, meaning one that has just been manufactured. Typically, you buy new cars from dealers or directly from the manufacturer. 
  • Used car loans: Used cars loans are used to purchase vehicles that were previously owned. Some lenders have restrictions on the car’s make, model, and mileage.
  • Antique or collector car loans: Antique or collector loans are specialty loans for vintage or unique vehicles that may be outside traditional lenders’ restrictions. 
  • Auto refinance loans: Refinancing is replacing an existing auto loan with a new one. Typically, a borrower refinances to get a lower rate or different repayment term. 
  • Cash-out refinance loans: A cash-out refinance loan allows you to borrow more than the car’s value. A borrower may use a cash-out refinance to refinance an existing loan and get cash for other expenses. 
  • Title loans: An auto title loan is a type of short-term loan that gives you a lump sum of cash. The loan is secured by your car’s title. These loans tend to have very high rates and short terms, and are a risky form of debt. 

How To Compare Auto Loans

Take the following loan and lender details into consideration:

  • APR: The APR is how much you pay in interest and fees over a year, presented as a percentage. In general, car loan rates range from 2% to 14%. 
  • Fees: Some lenders charge additional fees, such as origination fees or prepayment penalties, that add to the loan cost. 
  • Term lengths: Car loans usually have terms of 36 to 84 months, though some lenders do offer longer terms. The longer the term, the smaller your monthly payment will be, but the more you’ll pay in interest overall. 
  • Vehicle restrictions: Vehicle restrictions vary by lender. In general, used car loans and refinancing loans are only available on cars that are eight years old or newer and that have fewer than 120,000 miles, but some lenders are more lenient; some may have no restrictions at all. 

How To Apply for an Auto Loan

Follow these steps to get a car loan:

  • Review your credit: Review your credit reports at to make sure all of the information is accurate. If there are any errors, dispute them ahead of time so that your credit is as strong as possible. 
  • Request quotes: Compare quotes from several companies. Many lenders have prequalification options, so you can view available rates and terms without affecting your credit. Look for preapproval forms, in other cases.
  • Fill out the application: Most lenders allow you to apply online. You’ll have to provide information about your income, employment, and Social Security number. You will also need to consent to a hard credit check, which can cause your score to drop by a few points. 
  • Purchase your car: If your application is approved, you can take the loan approval letter with you to buy a car. Or, if you’re buying a car through dealer financing, you can complete the purchase process immediately after your financing is approved. 

Auto Loan Rates by Credit Score

Credit Score Average APR (New Car) Average APR (Used Car)
781–850 4.75% 5.99% 
661–780 5.82% 7.83%
601–660  8.12% 12.08%
501–600 10.79% 17.46%
300–500 13.42% 20.62%

Source: Experian: State of the Automotive Finance Market Q4 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you get the best auto loan rate?

    To get the best possible rates, follow these tips: 

    • Boost your credit: Before shopping for a loan, spend some time improving your credit. Making all of your payments on time and reducing your credit card balances can boost your credit score within a few months.
    • Shop around: Rates and terms vary, and you may qualify for a much lower rate from some lenders. Request multiple quotes to find the best deal. 
    • Add a co-signer: Some lenders allow you to add co-signers or joint applicants. If you have a creditworthy friend or relative willing to apply with you, you could qualify for a lower rate than you would by yourself. 
    • Choose a shorter term: Generally, lenders give the lowest auto loan rates to borrowers who choose shorter loan terms, such as 36 or 48 months. Choose the shortest term you can afford to get the best rates. 
  • Does your credit score affect your auto loan rate?

    Yes, your credit score can significantly impact the rates you get on a car loan. Experian reported that the average APR for those with poor to fair credit was in the double digits. See the best car loans for bad credit to find the best rates you can qualify for if this is your situation.

  • Can you negotiate lower auto loan rates?

    If you have a strong credit history, you may be able to negotiate rates. Some dealerships and manufacturers offer special loan incentives for borrowers with excellent credit, so it’s worth trying. It can be helpful to get quotes from several dealers ahead of time so you can show dealers the loan options you’ve found elsewhere. 

  • What is the best time of year to buy a car?

    The best time to buy a car is generally October through December. This period is when dealerships are bringing on the newest model years, so they need to sell the previous year’s models to make room. Vehicles from the outgoing year may be significantly cheaper.

When negotiating with a dealer, be sure to focus on the out-the-door price—the total price of the car inclusive of all taxes, title, and fees. Discussing the out-the-door price will help you avoid surprises.

Other Types of Auto Loans


The Balance is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected hundreds of data points across more than 20 auto loan lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, borrower requirements, and vehicle requirements, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs. We also conducted a survey of 1,016 auto loan borrowers for attitudes and opinions about lenders and the loan process.

Auto Loan Rates
Article Sources
  1. Experian. "State of the Automotive Finance Market Q4 2022," Page 6.

  2. Pentagon Federal Credit Union. “Shift Into Drive With a Great Rate and a Pre-Qualification.”

  3. Pentagon Federal Credit Union. “PenFed Membership.”

  4. AutoPay. "Vehicle Purchase."

  5. AutoPay. "Auto Loan FAQ," Click "What Are Your Minimum and Maximum Loan Terms (Months)?"

  6. Consumers Credit Union. "Get a Beauty of a Deal With Our Low APR* Car Loans."

  7. Consumers Credit Union. “Membership.”

  8. LendingTree. "Best Auto Loan Refinance Rates in December 2023."

  9. LendingClub. “Auto Loan Refinancing.”

  10. LendingClub. "What Is Auto Refinance?"

  11. Carvana. "Car Payment Calculator."

  12. Carvana. "If I Have Bad Credit, Can I Still Finance My Purchase Through Carvana?"

  13. Carvana. "Do You Service Alaska & Hawaii?"

  14. OpenRoad Lending. “Refinance Your Vehicle.”

  15. OpenRoad. "Auto Refinance and Car Loan Rates."

  16. OpenRoad Lending. "OpenRoad Lending Reaches Milestone of 200,000 Customers."

  17. OpenRoad. "Terms and Conditions Pre Qualifed Offer."

  18. Experian. "State of the Automotive Finance Market Q4 2022," Pages 28, 41.

  19. Edmunds. "When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?"

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