# Auto Loan Calculator

Published: 4/25/2021 Last updated: 2/20/2023

## Auto Loan Calculator: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you in the market for a new car and wondering how much you can afford? An auto loan calculator can help you figure out your monthly payments and total interest costs. In this article, we'll explore what an auto loan calculator is, how to use it, and some common questions and examples.

### Auto Loan Calculator Definition

An auto loan calculator is a tool that helps you estimate the monthly payment and total interest costs of a car loan. It takes into account factors such as the car's purchase price, down payment, loan term, and interest rate. By inputting these variables, you can get an idea of what your monthly payments will be.

### Auto Loan Calculator Formula

The formula for calculating an auto loan payment is relatively simple. It involves the principal (the amount of the loan), the interest rate, and the loan term (in months). The formula is as follows:

Payment = (P x r) / (1 - (1 + r)^-n)

Where:

• P = Principal (the amount of the loan)
• r = Interest rate (as a decimal)
• n = Loan term (in months)

For example, if you were taking out a \$20,000 car loan with a 4% interest rate for 60 months, the formula would look like this:

Payment = (20,000 x 0.04) / (1 - (1 + 0.04)^-60) = \$368.33

### Auto Loan Calculator Conversion Factor

In some cases, you may need to convert your interest rate from an annual percentage rate (APR) to a monthly rate. To do this, you can use the following formula:

Monthly interest rate = APR / 12

For example, if your interest rate is 6%, the monthly rate would be:

Monthly interest rate = 6 / 12 = 0.005

### Auto Loan Calculator Examples

Let's take a look at some examples of how to use an auto loan calculator to estimate your monthly payments.

Example 1: Car price: \$25,000 Down payment: \$5,000 Interest rate: 5% Loan term: 60 months

Using the formula above, the monthly payment would be:

Payment = (20,000 x 0.05) / (1 - (1 + 0.05)^-60) = \$377.42

Example 2: Car price: \$15,000 Down payment: \$3,000 Interest rate: 4% Loan term: 48 months

Using the formula above, the monthly payment would be:

Payment = (12,000 x 0.04) / (1 - (1 + 0.04)^-48) = \$271.78

### Auto Loan Calculator Examples in Excel

If you prefer to use a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, you can also calculate your monthly payments using the formula above. Here's how:

1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet.
2. Enter the following headings in row 1: "Car price," "Down payment," "Interest rate," "Loan term," "Monthly payment."
3. In the "Car price" column (column A), enter the purchase price of the car.
4. In the "Down payment" column (column B), enter the amount of money you will put down on the car.
5. In the "Interest rate" column (column C), enter the annual interest rate (as a percentage).
6. In the "Loan term" column (column D), enter the length of the loan in months.
7. In the "Monthly payment" column (column E), enter the following formula: =PMT(C2/12,D2,-A2+B2)

### Auto Loan Calculator Explanation

Now that we've covered the formula and examples, let's dive into some more detailed explanations of the variables involved in an auto loan calculator.

Principal: The principal is the amount of the loan, or the purchase price of the car minus any down payment. The higher the principal, the higher your monthly payments will be.

Interest rate: The interest rate is the percentage that the lender charges you to borrow money. The higher the interest rate, the more you will pay in total interest over the life of the loan.

Loan term: The loan term is the length of the loan, typically measured in months. The longer the loan term, the lower your monthly payments will be, but the more you will pay in total interest.

Down payment: The down payment is the amount of money you put down on the car at the time of purchase. The higher your down payment, the lower your principal, and the lower your monthly payments will be.

Total interest: Total interest is the amount of money you will pay in interest over the life of the loan. It's calculated by subtracting the principal from the total amount you will pay over the life of the loan.

### Auto Loan Calculator FAQ

Q: Can an auto loan calculator tell me how much I can afford to spend on a car? A: Yes, by inputting your desired monthly payment and loan term, an auto loan calculator can help you estimate the purchase price of a car you can afford.

Q: Can an auto loan calculator factor in taxes and fees? A: Yes, most auto loan calculators allow you to input the taxes and fees associated with the purchase of a car, which will be factored into your monthly payment and total interest.

Q: Can I use an auto loan calculator for a used car? A: Yes, an auto loan calculator can be used for both new and used cars. The variables involved in the calculation are the same, regardless of whether the car is new or used.

Q: Can an auto loan calculator tell me how much I will owe at the end of the loan term? A: No, an auto loan calculator only calculates the monthly payment and total interest. It does not factor in any additional fees or charges that may be incurred at the end of the loan term.

Q: Is it necessary to use an auto loan calculator before buying a car? A: While it's not necessary, using an auto loan calculator can give you a better understanding of your financial situation and help you make an informed decision about how much you can afford to spend on a car.

### Conclusion

An auto loan calculator is a valuable tool that can help you estimate your monthly payments and total interest costs for a car loan. By inputting variables such as the car's purchase price, down payment, loan term, and interest rate, you can get an idea of what your monthly payments will be. Whether you're buying a new or used car, an auto loan calculator can help you make an informed decision about your finances and ensure that you're getting the best deal possible.