What Exactly is a Vehicle APR?

May 30th, 2019 by

Buying a car can sometimes be very difficult, and the paperwork involved can be confusing at times. That’s why it’s very important to come to a dealership that really understands the car buying process.

When you throw in terms like car loans and APR it can get even more intimidating. Lucky for you, Lancaster Toyota knows the ins and outs of the car business and can explain it to the average Joe.

What is APR? | Lancaster Toyota

What is an APR?

The Annual Percentage Rate, or APR, is the total amount of interest paid on the financing of a vehicle, over the term of one year. It’s something the government put in place to protect you from some of the poor-faith car dealerships out there.

It sets the bottom line for how you should compare apples to apples rather than apples to oranges when price shopping. The law is called the Truth Lending Act of 1968, and it requires that all the pricing information for a year of owning or buying the car is included.

 

Is a Lower APR Always Better?

Not necessarily.

For example, let’s take a $20,000 loan and say that Bank A has a shorter loan period than Bank B, and Bank A also has a higher APR. Depending on the rates and other factors, your payments to Bank A would be $25,000 in total over 5 years, while you’d be paying Bank B $26,200 over the course of the loan.

While APR is a great annual comparison tool, it doesn’t tell the full story. A higher APR over a shorter term can end up costing you less money in the long run. APR only gives you a glimpse at an annual period; it concentrates on the fees and interest and ignores the full cost over time.

 

What is a Good APR?

This is the next logical question, but it’s one that is hard to answer.

As we noted above, a high APR over a short term means less total cash output. A lower APR over a mid-length term may have slightly higher cash output.

At the end of the day, the best way to figure out which loan is the best loan for you is to come and discuss your options with our expert financing team here at Lancaster Toyota. As the leading Toyota dealership in the Lancaster area, we know how to navigate the seas of vehicle financing, and we are happy to work with you to find the loan that best meets your needs.


Want to learn more about APR or about other car financing terms? Have questions about car financing options? Ready to fill out a car loan application? Contact our staff at Lancaster Toyota for more information or to schedule a test drive!

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