Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Our auto loan calculator helps you estimate what your monthly car loan payment will be. You can select average interest rates by credit score or fill in a rate on your own. You can input car price, down payment amount and loan term to see how variations will affect the following loan details:
Amount of your monthly car loan payment (minus taxes and fees)
Total amount of interest you will pay
Your total cost (car price and interest) over the life of the loan
How to use the car loan calculator
Here’s a guide for the information you will need to input into the car loan payment calculator.
Car price: In this field, put in the price you think you’ll pay for the car. To estimate new car prices, you can start with the vehicle’s sticker price (also called the MSRP). Subtract any savings from dealer negotiations or manufacturer rebates. Then add the cost of options and the “destination fee" charged on new cars.
For used cars, estimating the sale price is a bit trickier. You can start with the seller’s asking price, but you may be able to negotiate it lower. To get an idea of a fair price, use online pricing guides or check local online classified ads for comparable cars.
Interest rate: There are several ways you can determine the interest rate to enter. At the top of the calculator, you can select your credit score on the drop down to see average car loan rates. You can also check online lenders for rates. If you get pre-qualified or preapproved for a loan, simply enter the rate you are offered.
Trade-in and down payment: Enter the total amount of cash you’re putting toward the new car, plus the trade-in value of your existing vehicle, if any. You can use online sites for appraisals and pricing help. When using a pricing guide, make sure you check the trade-in value and not the retail cost (the price at which the dealer sells the car). You can also get cash purchase offers from your local CarMax, or online from services such as Vroom or Carvana, as a baseline.
Number of months: Enter the loan term (the length of time you have to pay off the loan). Car loans are in 12-month increments, with common terms being 24, 36, 48 and 60 months. The longer your term, the more you’ll pay in interest overall.
Note: There’s no need to search for a “calculate” button. Simply put in your numbers and results will update immediately.
A few additional tips about using the car loan calculator
In addition to looking at the monthly car payment result, be sure to consider the total amount you'll spend on the car loan. If you're using the calculator to compare loans, a lower payment may be appealing, but it can also result in much higher interest and overall cost.
Be aware that you could have costs on top of the calculator's total amount paid result, since it does not reflect state and local taxes, dealer documentation fee (which can vary widely) and registration fees. You can search online or call the dealership and ask them for estimates of these costs in your area.
The car loan calculator is a tool that does more than just show you a monthly car loan payment. Use it to compare lender offers and try different interest rates and loan terms. The knowledge you gain can help you negotiate with lenders and dealers and ultimately choose the best auto loan for your financial situation.