Average New Vehicle Auto Payment Hits Record High $523 Per Month

The average size of a loan for a new car in the U.S. set a record in the first quarter as did the average payment.

Database firm Experian notes U.S. Monthly Auto Payments Reach Record High in First Quarter.

  • New vehicle loans averaged $31,455
  • The average monthly payment for a new vehicle hit at record $523/month
  • Consumers are lengthening loan terms, with six years being the most common, to adjust to the higher costs and rising interest rates.
  • Outstanding loan balances reached a record high of $1.108 trillion
  • Loans for used vehicles reached $19,536, also a record

Auto Math

$523 * 12 * 6 = $37,656

That total does not factor in the down payment.

Interest = $37,656 - $31,455 = $6,201.

That's $1033.50 in interest annually.


At the end of six years, perhaps the car will fetch $5,000 in a trade-in, but everything depends on miles, damage, and of course advancements in self-driving.

Anyone trading the car in after three or four years will be hugely underwater.

The dream of owning a new vehicle is becoming more elusive,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive financial solutions at Experian.

Elusive Dream?

Ah, the dream of spending $30,000 to $50,000 on a depreciating asset.

Elusive has not yet arrived, but it will.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (19)
No. 1-19

Four words - sub prime auto loans


And I would imagine that the average New Vehicle Monthly Insurance Payment has also hit a record high.


This is not really all that surprising given that cars are getting more expensive and Americans are buying larger vehicles (trucks/SUVs tend to be more expensive than cars). One should note what’s happening with average loan lengths... they keep rising too and are now past 69 months. Gone are the days of the 36-month car loan.

BTW, the amounts above imply an average interest rate of around 6.2% across loans of all vintages. That’s pretty crazy too. My credit union currently charges about 2.9% for a 72 month loan and a couple of years ago it was around 2.2%. If we calculate a blended rate for multiple vintages of say 2.5% for decent credit, that means that the consumer vehicle loan to the AVERAGE buyer is 2.5 times more expensive (interest-wise) than what a credit union would charge someone with decent credit. Remember, this is comparing to the average buyer, no to a sub-prime buyer. This means auto loan companies are making absolutely insane profits.


Who benefits? The manufacturers, temporarily, and the Governments where the plants reside. Meanwhile, US consumers go in over their heads. Think on.


Been reading 84 month loans are becoming increasingly common too, especially for trucks. Can we be far off from 96 month loans?

I don't even remember the exact terms of my last loan in 2015, but I hated them so I made $2500/mo payments to dig out fast. Somehow I think that's not an option for many of these buyers.