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Auto Loan Calculator

Use our free car loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments. See how the vehicle price, loan term, down payment, and interest rate impact how much you need to pay each month.

Asset Brief is an independent publisher focused on helping you improve your financial decisions. Some of the products featured may be from our partners. This does not influence our reviews, which are based on many hours of research.

$
4 years
%
Your monthly payment
  $758
48 month (4 year) loan
Car price
  $35,000
Loan amount
  $33,250
Your auto loan
Total principal paid $33,250
91% of total loan payment
Total interest paid $3,144
9% of total loan payment
Total loan payment = $36,394
Vehicle
$
$
%
Sales tax of $1,750

Car loan calculator

Purchasing a car is a major financial decision. Our car loan calculator can help you determine the right budget for you.

How to use the auto loan calculator

This car loan calculator will provide you with an estimate of your monthly loan payments. Start by entering the price of the vehicle you are interest in, the loan term and interest rate on the loan. You can optionally enter your down payment, trade-in value and sales tax for a more granular result. 

Here’s what the inputs means:

  • Vehicle price: This is the price of the vehicle you are interested in purchasing.
  • Loan term: This is how long you are looking to borrow for.
  • Interest rate: Enter the annual interest rate on your loan.
  • Down payment: Enter the amount of money you plan to put down on your vehicle. It is common to put down no less than 20% for a new car and no less than 10% for a used car. A higher down payment will reduce the size of your auto loan.
  • Trade-in value: Oftentimes you can trade in your previous vehicle for cash at the dealership.
  • Sale tax: Sales tax is charged on vehicle purchases and most state’s sales tax range from around 5% to 10%.

How much do you want to borrow?

The amount of money that you need to borrow is the vehicle price, adjusted for sales tax, less any down payment and trade-in value.

Auto loan = Vehicle price x (1 + Sales tax rate) Down payment Trade-in value

The more money you put down and the higher the trade-in value on your existing vehicle, the lower your loan amount will be. A smaller loan amount reduces your monthly payment.

The average loan amount for a new vehicle is around $32,000 and about $20,500 for a used vehicle.

How long will your loan be for?

Car loan terms are usually spoken about in terms of months — 36 months, 48 months, 60 months, etc. These correspond to 3, 4, and 5 years. Most auto loans are for 4 to 6 years or 48 to 72 months.

The average loan new for new cars is around 70 months (or 5.8 years) and around 36 months (or years 3 years) for used and leased vehicles.

With longer loan terms, you will pay less each month, but more overall as your interest payments will be greater. Shorter loan terms have bigger monthly payments, but your overall loan costs will be reduced because you will pay less in interest over the life of the loan.

What interest rate will you pay?

The average annual interest rate for new car loans is around 5.45%, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Your interest rate will vary based on the lender and your credit score.

Understanding your calculated results

  • Monthly payments: This is what you can expect to pay each month towards your loan repayment.
  • Loan amount: Your loan amount is how much money you need to borrow to finance your vehicle purchase. The loan amount includes the vehicle price, sales tax, down payment, and any trade-in value.
  • Total principal paid: The principal of the loan is the original loan amount that you borrow.
  • Total interest paid: This is the sum of all interest you pay over the life of the loan.
  • Total payment: The total payment is the sum of the principal and the interest payments.