What Is A Good Interest Rate On Car Loan?

What Is A Good Interest Rate On Car Loan?

Written by Bryan Daly
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated August 5, 2022

If you plan on financing a car with a loan, one of the most important things to consider is your interest rate, because it can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars extra to the final cost of your payment plan. That means you could pay far more for your car than you originally hoped. 

Don’t worry, there are ways to obtain a lower interest rate if you’re willing to put in the work. Read this to learn how you can get a good interest rate on a car loan in Canada. 

What Is A Good Interest Rate On A Car Loan?

Generally speaking, most Canadian drivers pay 4% – 7% interest on their car loans. As of May 2022, car loan interest rates are 5.80%.  However, your interest rate could vary greatly according to factors such as your income, credit score, down payment and loan term. 

Car Loans Interest Rate 

January 2022February 2022March 2022 April 2022May 2022 
5.09%5.11%5.23%5.52%5.80%
Source: Statistics Canada 

Types Of Car Loan Interest Rates

Some lenders charge fixed and variable interest rates on car loans:

  • Fixed interest rates remain the same throughout your payment term and can be somewhat higher than variable interest rates, especially if you have bad credit. 
  • Variable interest rates go up and down with Canada’s prime rate. Many drivers start out paying a low rate but have to deal with higher rates as time goes by.  

Where Can You Get A Good Car Loan Interest Rate? 

AmountInterest Term(Months)
Loans Canada Logo - Bad Credit Loans Canada$500 - $50,000Up to 46.96%12 - 84Learn More
Canada Drives$500 - $35,000$29.99% – 46.96%9 - 60Learn more
SkyCap Financial$500 – $10,00012.99% – 39.99%9 - 36Learn more
Carloans411$5,000 - $40,000Varies12 - 72Learn more
Car Loans Canada$7500 - $59,9953.95% +12 -96Learn more
Canada Auto Finance$5,000 - $45,0004.90 % - 29.95%36 - 72Learn more
Eden ParkVaries11.9% +12 - 84Learn more
Splash Auto Finance by RifcoUp to $50,000Varies12 - 84Learn more
SafeLendUp to $50,0008.99% +12 - 72Learn more

How To Get A Good Interest Rate On A Car Loan?

Locking down a great financing deal be tough at times but there are several things you can do to qualify for a good interest rate on a car loan, including:

Compare Rates

Every lender offers different interest rates for their car loans, so remember to shop around and ask all the questions you need. While it can be tempting to accept the first deal you find, there are a ton of lending sources all across Canada.   

Get Quotes & Pre-Approval Offers

Most car lenders and dealerships should be able to give you a commitment-free loan quote or pre-approval offer, so you can get a basic idea of how much your car loan will cost and what interest rates you may qualify for. This shouldn’t affect your credit score or lead to any fees and it might give you some negotiating power when you compare lending sources.     

Review Your Finances & Credit Score

Before you apply for a car loan, don’t forget to create a realistic budget, then check your bank account, credit report and debt levels to confirm that they’re all healthy. If you have a decent monthly income, good credit and little-to-no outstanding debt, it shouldn’t be too difficult to qualify for a good interest rate on a car loan.    

Don’t Choose A Car Loan Based On Your Monthly Payments

When shopping for car loans, think about more than just your payments. For example, longer loan terms often feature lower interest rates but they can cause you to pay more interest over the life of the loan. On the other hand, short terms come with higher rates and payments, which can be pricier upfront but cheaper overall.  

Negotiate

While it’s more common with auto dealers, some car financing lenders will be open to negotiating your interest rate. Then again, most hope that you’ll accept the first rate they give you, so take their “best offer” with a grain of salt. If you can’t qualify for a better rate with your finances and credit, try offering a down payment or trading in your existing car.  

Use A Cosigner

If you don’t have a down payment, collateral or another type of security, you might score a good interest rate by applying with a cosigner. Some lenders even require you to find a cosigner when you have bad credit. Essentially, the cosigner will become responsible for your loan payments if you can no longer afford them, which acts as a guarantee.       

Want To Lower Your Car Payments?

Speak with a Loans Canada representative today and learn how you can refinance your car loan and save. Call us today at 1-877-995-6269 or click here.

Note: Program is currently not offered in Quebec.

Types Of Lenders You Can You Get A Good Interest Rate On A Car Loan

Here are some places you can get competitive interest rates on car loans in Canada:

  • Banks/Credit Unions Most major financial institutions and credit unions offer car loans.  These institutions generally offer the best car loan interest rates, but have strict requirements which make it hard to qualify. If you have a solid income and credit score, you may be able to secure a good interest rate with a bank or credit union
  • Dealerships – Many auto dealers will gladly negotiate and offer you competitive interest rates to sell you a car. Additionally, they may provide in-house loans or partner with more than one third-party lender, which gives you multiple financing options. Compare different dealerships before you settle on a car loan.    
  • Online Brokers/Lenders – If your low credit is preventing you from getting approved by a bank or auto dealer, you can find plenty of alternative lenders and car loan brokerages online who offer good car loan interest rates. These lenders may have higher rates and fees than banks but their requirements are generally easier to qualify for.

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How Do Lenders Calculate Your Car Loan Interest Rate? 

Lenders will normally use these elements to calculate your car loan interest rate:

  • Income – The higher your income is, the more lenders will trust that you’ll pay your loan on time. When you apply for financing, your lender/dealership may ask for your most recent bank statements and/or pay stubs to confirm your income. 
  • Credit Score – Some lenders may inspect your credit and debt history prior to approving or denying you for a car loan. A lower credit score of 300 – 660 is typically interpreted as frequent late payments on existing debt. In turn, this often leads to higher rates. 
  • Type of Interest Rate – As mentioned, variable rates tend to be lower starting off but may fluctuate throughout your car loan term. Fixed rates are usually higher but won’t change at all, making them more reassuring and easier to calculate.    
  • Choice of Vehicle – If you finance a used car with a secured loan, your lender could charge you a higher interest rate. That’s because its market value is lower than that of a new vehicle, which means more risk if you default on your loan.
  • Payment Term – Remember, longer financing terms may result in lower interest rates, but it also means you will be paying more in interest in the long run. Why? The longer your financing term, the longer you pay. Although payments and rates will be higher, a shorter term may help you save a lot more interest.   
Short-Term Car LoanLong-Term Car Loan
Car Loan Amount$40,000$40,000
Interest Rate6%5%
Term Length3 years (36 months)7 years (84 months)
Monthly Payment$773.31$565.36
Total Paid$46,398.72$47,489.93
Total Interest Paid$6 398.72$7 489.93

How Much Does A Good Car Loan Interest Rate Cost? 

It’s not smart to apply for a car loan without doing a bit of basic math first. For example, here’s what you can expect to pay when financing a new car in British Columbia:

  • Cost of Vehicle = $50,000
  • Car Loan Term = 72 months (6 years)
  • Provincial Sales Tax = 12 % on most privately acquired vehicles 
  • Down Payment = $10,000 (20%)
Credit Rating  Credit ScoreInterest Rate Monthly PaymentTotal InterestTotal Paid
Excellent760 – 9003.99%$719.47$5 801.76$55,801.76
Very Good725 – 7596.99%$784.03$10 450.41$60,450.41
Good660 – 7249.99%$851.96$15 340.87$65,340.87
Fair560 – 65912.99%$923.17$20 467.96$70,467.96
Bad 300 – 55915.99%$972.67$24 032.28$74,032.28

Good Car Loan Interest Rate FAQs

What is a good interest rate on a car loan in Canada?

The average car loan interest rate is about 5.8% in Canada, with most drivers paying 4% – 7% when they have decent (but not excellent) credit. Overall, your perception of what a good interest rate is, depends on how much you can comfortably afford. 

What is the highest rate on a car loan by law?

According to Section 347 of the Criminal Code of Canada, the maximum interest rate that a lender can legally charge for a car loan is 60%. Charging a customer anything above that level is considered a criminal offence, no matter what their finances look like.

Can I qualify for 0% car financing?

0% car financing implies that you’ll only be paying the principal portion of your vehicle’s sales price for a specific period. Depending on where you apply and how strong your finances are, you certainly can find a 0% car financing deal. That said, there are some issues associated with 0% car financing to consider before you apply:
  • You typically need a credit score of 700+ to qualify for 0% car financing. 
  • 0% interest is a sales tactic which often lasts for the first few months of a loan. 
  • If you accept a 0% financing offer, you may not get as much money for a trade-in. 
  • Most lenders won’t negotiate or change the conditions of a 0% car financing deal.       
  

Searching For a Good Interest Rate On Your Next Car Loan?

If so, you’re making a financially responsible choice. Even though it’s easier to accept the first interest rate you come across, qualifying for a lower rate can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the course of the loan term. For help finding good car loan interest rates in your area, don’t hesitate to contact Loans Canada today.        


Rating of 5/5 based on 1 vote.

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and traveling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer. Bryan uses the BMO Cash Back Mastercard to earn cash back on everything from boring bill payments to exciting excursions. He is also a strong saver, holding both a TFSA and an RRSP account in order to prepare for his future while taking full advantage of tax benefits.

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