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Calculate Your Monthly Loan Payments

Enter the vehicle price and your financing details to estimate your monthly payments.

Use this car loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments over the life of your loan. 

Enter the price of the vehicle, your down payment, any trade-ins you may have, and the loan details to get an estimated cost. 

You can make adjustments to the loan term and interest rate to see what type of financing terms will work best for your budget. 

Figuring out what your monthly payment on a car will be is a great way to start shopping for another vehicle. Small adjustments to the numbers above can have a significant impact on the interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. 

Be sure to select financing that matches your needs and your budget. 

The estimated monthly payment above is for informational purposes only and does not include taxes, tag, and title fees or insurance premiums. 

How Do You Calculate Your Monthly Car Payment? 

In order to calculate your estimated monthly car payment, you’ll need to know a few basic numbers, including:

  • The total loan amount (the price of the vehicle minus your down payment and any trade-ins or incentives). 
  • The APR (annual percentage rate) or interest rate. (i.e. the cost of borrowing)
  • The loan term (how many months you will be repaying the loan over). 

Those numbers will give you the total principal and interest for the car loan, which you’ll then divide by the length to get your estimated monthly payments. 

You can play around with numbers in the calculator above to figure out what sort of financing will make the most sense for your budget. 

We’ll break down each of the fields in the calculator above so you can better understand what goes into your monthly payment calculation.

Purchase Price of the Car

The purchase price is the overall cost of the vehicle.

You can think of this as the sticker price or MSRP. 

If you’re buying from a dealership or negotiated with a private seller, you may be able to talk down the overall purchase price with:

  • Negotiation. 
  • Dealer incentives. 
  • Rebates. 

Down Payment

The down payment is the amount of cash you’ll be paying towards the car up front. 

Most experts recommend putting at least 10% to 20% down. 

The higher the down payment you can afford to pay, the lower the cost of your loan will be overtime. 

Trade-In Value

Trade-in value comes into play if you have another vehicle that you’ll be trading in when you purchase your car.

Note that the trade-in value for a vehicle will be less than its retail value or used car estimate. Be sure to keep that in mind when using services like KBB or Nada. 

The trade-in value essentially adds into your total down payment to further lower the amount you’ll need to borrow. 

Interest Rate (APR)

The interest rate or APR is the rate at which the lender will loan you the money for the car. 

This rate is a percentage of the principal amount that you’ll pay over the lifetime of the loan. 

Interest rates are affected by a variety of factors including:

  • Federal interest rates. 
  • Your credit score. 
  • The loan term you select. 
  • Dealership vs. private party purchase. 
  • Lease buyout vs. new vehicle purchase. 
  • New vehicle vs. used vehicle. 
  • The total amount of the loan. 
  • The state you live in. 

Interest rates are subject to change, so you should be sure to shop around with a few lenders when looking for a car loan. 

Your main options will typically include:

  • Getting financing through the dealership/manufacturer. 
  • Getting direct financing through a bank or credit union. 

If you find that rates have dropped or your monthly payments have become too high, you may be able to refinance your loan. 

Loan Term

The loan term is the total amount of time you’ll have to pay off the loan’s principal and interest. 

Car loans are typically offered in 12-month increments. The most common car loans you’ll generally see include:

  • 12 month.
  • 24 month. 
  • 36 month. 
  • 48 month. 
  • 60 month. 
  • 72 month. 

While you may be able to lower the monthly payment by extending the loan term, that means that you’ll be paying more in interest over the life of the loan. 

Additionally, a longer loan term may put you at risk of being underwater on the loan. 

Additional Costs & Fees to Consider when Purchasing a New Car

When you finance a car, your monthly loan payments aren’t the only costs you’ll need to consider. 

Be sure to also factor in:

  • Dealership fees.
  • State and local taxes.
  • DMV tag and title fees.
  • Insurance premiums. 

While those fees are generally paid one-time or annually and won’t directly affect your monthly payment, they are still important to consider as they will affect your overall cost of ownership. 

Learn more about state license plate applications and fees here. 

Resources to Help you Find the Right Car is the perfect place to start shopping around and researching new and used cars. 

Whether you’re in the market for something new or selling your old vehicle, we’ve got the tools and resources to help you along the way. 

Get started with some of our free research tools and car buying & selling guides below. 

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Vehicle Purchase & Ownership Estimates by State (Tax, Tag, Title, Insurance, etc.)

Get a better idea of the full cost of purchasing, registering, and owning a vehicle in each state. Find estimates for taxes and fees beyond your monthly car payment.