Truck Buyers Will Get An Early Gift For 2019

Good news for those looking to purchase a new or used truck between now and the end of the year. Interest rates are staying below 6% according to Edmunds. That’s a lot better than last year at this time when rates bumped up to a bit over 6%. What this means is that now is a great time to finance a new or used car or truck.

The annual percentage rate (APR) on new vehicles financed has been flat for months at 5.7%. At this time last year, they had squeaked over to 6.2%. For the first six months of 2019 interest rates stayed above or at 6%.

You Can Get More Now Than Last Year

These rates are still not as low as they were a few years ago. However, for the difference in the APR, you can get a more expensive vehicle this year and pay the same or slightly less than you would for a lesser equipped one last year. So, this is an early holiday gift for vehicle shoppers.

Even with lower interest rates you still want the financed amount to be as low as possible. So, how much should you put down to try and get those payments at a reasonable monthly rate for your income? New car finance data shows some interesting averages for down payments. 

Here’s The Average Down Payment

Buying New Vehicle
Getty Images

It looks like on average most people are looking to finance a vehicle for around $550 a month. So the calculations work out differently depending on the amount of time you finance the load for and the downstroke. 

With a 5.7% loan for a $38,000 new vehicle most people put down roughly $4,100-4,200. That leaves a balance to finance around $33,000. Financed at around 70 months this gets the payment to around $560 per month. Let’s compare that to this time last year.

Last October for a car roughly $2,000 less with the same $4,200 down payment, financed for the same 70 months, your payment would be just a few bucks less than the first scenario. So same time, same down, and the same monthly payment for a vehicle worth $2,000 less.

Used Trucks Are Looking Good Too

We can do the same for used trucks, too. Currently, the APR for used vehicles is 8.3%. A bit higher than for a new car, for sure. For a $22,000 vehicle, it looks like on average buyers are putting down a little over 10% of the purchase price. In this case, it’s roughly $2,600 down payment.

A year ago the APR was 8.7% which was only slightly higher than it is now. But look at what that small extra .4% does to your purchase. With a 67-month loan life, the average monthly payment comes out to around $415. At that rate, we are looking at the same time for the loan, the same down payment, and the same monthly payment. But look at what happens; you get a vehicle selling for $1,000 less. 

So whether you’re looking for new or used, the lower rates get you a slightly higher-priced vehicle. You get more for the same, or you can opt for less monthly payments by going for the lesser vehicle. It’s all in how comfortable you are at each stage of the negotiations.