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Tesla buyers take out the longest auto loans, LendingTree says

Buyers of Ram trucks follow Tesla buyers, while MINI and Lexus buyers take out the shortest loans.

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According to a new study by LendingTree, Tesla buyers are taking out the longest-lasting auto loans.

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Researchers looked at loans closed on the LendingTree platform over the last three years to see where people take out longer car loans and how average term lengths have changed. Though auto loans for new cars tend to have longer terms, this data looks mostly at used cars based on the typical closed loan through the LendingTree platform.

Some of the company’s key findings include:

  • Auto loans originated through the LendingTree platform over the past three years have an average term of 62.9 months. Florida car buyers take out the longest average car loans at the state level — 64.7 months, tied with Arizona — and metro level — four Sunshine State metros land in the top 10, led by No. 1 Jacksonville (66.4 months).
  • Some of the highest-earning metros have the shortest average auto loan terms. San Francisco residents take out the shortest average loans at 60.2 months. New York City and Milwaukee tie for next to last at 61 months, on average.
  • Tesla buyers take on the longest loan terms, at an average of 67.1 months. Buyers of Ram trucks follow at 66.3 months, on average, while MINI and Lexus buyers take out the shortest loans, at an average of 59.7 and 60.4 months, respectively.
  • Hartford, Conn., has the highest rate of borrowers taking on extremely long loans — more than six years — at 14.7%. 13.3% of Charleston, S.C., buyers take on extra-long loans, while 12%, 11.7% and 11.7% of Phoenix, Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta residents, respectively, originate auto loans of more than six years.
  • Average auto loan lengths dipped in 2020 before increasing significantly throughout 2021. Term lengths hit their lowest point in the past three years in November 2020 — 59.9 months, on average — and reached their three-year peak of 65.6, on average, in July 2021.
  • The most common loan lengths nationally are 72 months (36.5%), 60 months (34.8%) and less than 60 months (19.2%). Just 7.8% of borrowers take on loans longer than six years.

To view the full study, click here.

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