Analysts at Edmunds say interest rates on new vehicles are projected to reach their peak level since February 2009.
The average transaction price of a new vehicle is also forecast to remain high, hitting $36,331 in February.
Edmunds analysis shows the new-vehicle financing for February averaged 6.26 percent compared to last year’s 5.19 percent and 4.56 percent half a decade ago. The car shopping experts also note that automakers’ control and restrictions in zero-percent financing deals and low-interest rate offers contributed to this change.
Last month, zero-percent finance offers represented only 3.22 percent of all financed deals in comparison with last year’s 8.28 percent and 6.95 percent in 2014. Moreover, only 18 percent of car buyers received an APR below 3 percent in February in comparison with the previous year’s 29.91 percent, and 45.49 percent five years ago.
“Shopping conditions are pretty unfavorable for consumers across the board, and even those with good credit are having trouble finding compelling finance offers,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis. “As rising vehicle costs and interest rates continue to compromise affordability, more shoppers might find themselves priced out of the new vehicle market.”
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