The map shows the average monthly car loan payment in each state

New vehicle cost analysis shows Americans are taking longer loans and paying more for their vehicles on average than in the past.

To determine the average monthly loan costs in the United States in 2019, the price comparison site Autowise inserted the average price of new and used vehicles, credit score by state, loan term and down payment. in Carmax’s car loan calculator.

The average cost of a new car is based on figures from Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and JD Power, which stood at $ 34,047. For used vehicles, the consensus average price is $ 20,200. Autowise used Experian’s credit information, 72 months as the average length of a car loan for 2019, and an average down payment of 11.7%.

Here are the estimated average monthly loan payments for new and used cars in each U.S. state, based on Autowise’s calculations:

Source: Autowise

Louisiana ($ 596), Nevada ($ 587) and Georgia ($ 573) ranked among the top for the most expensive monthly payments for new cars, while New Hampshire ($ 487) and Oregon ($ 491) had the lowest, according to Autowise’s calculations. Louisiana also tops the list for used car payments, averaging $ 393 per month, while buyers in Montana pay the least at $ 289.

Autowise notes that while payments vary widely across the country, data from the Federal Reserve shows they have generally increased in recent years. In 2018, the average monthly payment for a new car hit a record high of $ 531.

How to get a better deal on an auto loan

There are a few things to watch out for when buying a car, besides the literal price of the car: The repayment term, which has been steadily increasing, and the interest rate. these two factors will have a significant impact on the amount you pay each month and on the length of the loan.

“Over the past 15 years, average loan balances have increased dramatically across the United States,” says Autowise. “It seems to be the norm now, as Americans prioritize monthly payment amounts over the total loan amount.”

Seven-year loan repayment terms are now common as buyers switch to more expensive cars like SUVs that they can’t pay off faster, Edmunds notes. While extending the term of the loan may reduce what you pay each month, it will likely mean that you will pay more over the course of the loan.

Not only that, but your car will likely have a lower resale value if you sell after it finally gets paid, reports Edmunds. If you can afford to pay more each month for a shorter loan term, you should. Edmunds recommends a 60 month or five year auto loan.

Beyond that, CNBC Make It offers four steps to getting the best deal on a car:

  1. Determine exactly what you want to buy: Know what model of car you want before you go to the dealership, and what your budget is so you don’t go overboard.
  2. Online price search: Use tools like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds True Market Value pricing so you have a rough number in mind before you go to the dealership.
  3. Contact several dealers: Get quotes from at least three different companies to get a better idea of ​​the prices.
  4. Don’t play too hard to get: Rather than threatening to leave, work with the dealership to build consensus.

You can read more about negotiating the best price here.

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