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4 min read Published on October 26, 2022

Written by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of taking out loans to purchase a car.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to control their finances with precise, well-researched and well-written information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

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Established in 1976, Bankrate has a proven track history of helping people make smart financial choices.

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They ensure that what we write will ensure that our content is reliable, honest and trustworthy. The loans reporters and editors focus on the areas that consumers are concerned about the most — the various types of loans available and the most competitive rates, the best lenders, the best ways to pay off debt , and more — so you’ll feel safe making your investment.

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In the early part of August 2021, President Biden signed an executive order declaring that half of all new vehicles manufactured across the U.S. should be electric in 2030. So now could be the perfect time to get behind the steering wheel of a green car. If you’re already a green driver , you may be able to save money by taking advantage of a green auto loan. Green auto loan is a finance alternative for people who are buying zero- or low-emission vehicles. They often feature and several other benefits. What are green auto loans? A green car loan can be used to buy environmentally friendly cars or those with lower average emissions. These fuel-efficient cars generally fall into the category of hybrid or electric and are available from many manufacturers that range from Ford to Nissan to Tesla. Green auto loans incentivize shoppers to consider these eco-friendly cars by providing interest rate reductions, and other benefits. These loans are able to make green vehicles more affordable for borrowers. For example, Chevrolet offers a 3.49 APR of 1% for 60-month loans when purchasing its Bolt EV. Similar to that, Ford offers a 3.9% APR on loans of up to 72 months for its Mustang Mach-E. These rates are far lower than the current average interest rates for new auto loans, which were between 5.4% and 5.28% in September 2022. But you’ll have to meet credit and other requirements in order to qualify for these discounts. What is a green car? Green cars are one that uses alternative fuel or electricity instead of gasoline or diesel and is therefore more sustainable to the planet. They offer advantages such as less carbon dioxide emissions, lower maintenance, less stops for fuel and quieter engines. A study by an study by the International Council on Clean Transportation discovered that electric vehicles produce the lowest life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions among all types of cars. The study found that the life-cycle emissions of a medium-sized electric vehicle are 60 percent to 68% less than those in the United States. The most eco-friendly vehicles come with an identifier, an award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to vehicles that have the lowest emissions in each model year. A lot of lenders use this distinction to determine whether your car is eligible for a green auto loan. Still, green vehicles are more expensive on average initial cost than conventional automobiles. Many states also encourage buyers to buy green vehicles . According to Kelley Blue Book, the average cost for electric vehicles within the United States in September 2022. But not all electric vehicles cost that much, and certain luxury models are priced higher. For instance, the base cost of a 2022 Nissan Leaf is $27,400, and in 2022, the Tesla Model 3 starts at $48,490. A budget of more than $100,000 for an electric vehicle is also feasible. The Tesla Dual Motor Model X starts at a steep $120,990. Despite the higher costs they are growing more quickly than the sales of different types of cars According to . How do green loans differ from traditional auto loans? A green auto loan operates like a conventional car loan: You’ll through an auto lender get an interest rate that is based on the creditworthiness of your score. You’ll pick the repayment period and make regular payments that pay interest for the loan term. However, the details of both loans could be different. Green auto loans generally have lower rates of interest than conventional ones or through lower base interest rates or discount rates. Since green cars can be expensive, many lenders offer longer term repayments than traditional auto loans to lower the monthly payments. A main defining factor of green auto loans is the location they are available. In contrast to typical auto loans available to get from banks and online lenders, you’re more likely to obtain green auto loan through an . A. University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union and the Vermont State Employees Credit Union and Verity Credit Union all offer green auto loans. Furthermore, some dealers may also offer green loans from the manufacturer. For example, Ford offers financing for its Mach-E model through local dealerships. Similarly, Chevrolet offers financing for its Bolt models through dealers. Why are green auto loans crucial in 2022? The green auto loans and vehicles began in the early- to mid-2000s, and they’re growing at a rapid pace. Gas prices are rising, which could fuel the demand, with prices per gallon being around $3.77 in the last week of October. Based on Kelley Blue Book, Americans electric cars will be more popular in the third quarter of 2022 will be more over the same timeframe in 2021. Many car manufacturers have committed to supporting the federal initiative, and to drive greener vehicle purchases. Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (which owns Chrysler as well as Fiat) have all pledged to boost production of electric vehicles. Next steps and where to apply for an auto loan that is green. loan Before you apply for a green auto loan, make sure that your finances are in best shape possible. Try to improve your -lenders will look at the credit score of yours, as well as income and more to determine if you’re eligible for a loan and what rates they will offer. From there, you can shop around for your new green car loan. Comparing a few rate quotes prior to applying for an loan will help you find the most competitive rate. Take a look at these sources for assistance as you start the process: PlugStar is an especially useful tool for those looking to buy a car earlier in the process. Once you’ve entered your zip code and desired make and model there are cost estimates, available incentives, details on local dealerships, and the footprint of the car’s carbon footprint. EV Life: EV Life’s allows you to get prequalified with a variety of lenders, and automatically qualify you for rebates and incentives, applying those savings upfront to the monthly installment. Credit unions: Local credit unions are among the most ideal places to begin your search for an environmentally friendly auto loan. Credit unions like JetStream Federal Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union and MyPoint Credit Union offer interest rates discounts for auto loans for vehicles that are green. Ask at your nearby credit union about their options when shopping in the market for the perfect auto loan. The end result of purchasing an eco-friendly vehicle will pay off in a few ways. It can help reduce your carbon footprint, take advantage of tax breaks and save a bundle on expenses for fuel. Before applying for a green car loan, research at least three lenders and inquire about their eligibility criteria as well as incentives and discounts. Get preapproved so you can compare fees, interest rates and monthly installments over the life of your loan. Doing some research can lead to an auto loan discount that can save you thousands or hundreds of dollars.


Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She is a specialist in helping readers to navigate the details of taking out loans to purchase an automobile.

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are dedicated to helping their readers gain the confidence to take control of their finances through providing precise, well-researched and well-documented information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

Auto loans editor

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