Car Loan Calculator
Having an idea of what your potential car loan payment will be puts you in the driver's seat when it comes to shopping for a new car. Knowing exactly how much you can afford gives you the power to negotiate for a better interest rate, more incentives, and even tells you if it's time for you to walk away from the table.
Use our car loan calculator below to get an estimate on your monthly payment.
How to Use the Car Loan Calculator
The car loan calculator above is a simplified tool to make finding out what your potential car loan payment will be. It's important to remember that this tool will not give you the exact figure the dealership will offer you. However, this serves as an excellent barometer to help you find vehicles in your price range that make sense on your monthly budget.
- Vehicle Value: Enter the sticker price of your desired vehicle
- Trade-in Vehicle Value: If you plan on trading in a vehicle, enter its value here
- Down Payment: Enter the amount you plan on putting down on your new car here
- Interest Rate: Enter your pre-approved or your expected interest rate here (in decimal format)
- Loan Term: Enter the number of months it will take you to pay off the loan here
Disclaimer: The figure in the "Car loan payment" field is an estimate. There are a variety of factors that go into your car loan (state taxes, car dealership specific deals and/or kickbacks, etc.) that we did not include in this calculator as it would make it unwieldy to use. Please do not take this number into a car dealership and try to use it as a bargaining chip. It won't work.
Get the Best Price on a New Car
Not everyone has the desire to fight tooth and nail at the negotiating table to shave off a point on their interest rate or get the manufacturer's extended warranty on the house. However, there are some simple and easy ways that you get a better price on a new car.
- Shop Around: Get multiple quotes from multiple dealerships. This lets them know that they have to fight for your business and this will make them more likely to give you a better deal.
- Buy Last Year's Model: The difference between a year old car (that's still on the lot) and a brand new on are negligible. You can shave thousands of dollars off the sticker price going after last year's model because the dealership wants it off the lot.
- Time Your Shopping: Car salesmen have quotas and they make commission. Shopping near the very beginning or very end of the day, week, or month can give you a bit leverage especially if the salesman needs to hit their numbers.
- Big Down Payment: Putting 20% (or more) down on a new car will significantly lower your monthly payment. However, do not let the salesman know that you're planning on putting money down until after you've negotiated the final price of the car.
- Walk Out: This is your nuclear option. If the dealership isn't budging on the price or they're giving you the run around, let them know that you're about to walk out. They don't want that. They want you to stay on the lot because the moment you leave, you're probably never coming back.