Even up to 96 months isn't entirely unheard of.
If you or someone you know happens to have a long-term car alone, then they're not alone. It's become rather common, and it's not about to end anytime soon. According to Bloomberg, one of the main reasons why the average long term loan for Ram last year was 73 months boils down to pricey pickup trucks and SUVs. Gas may be cheap, but the vehicles it powers are not. This report further adds that more than two-thirds of US auto sales are light trucks, including trucks and SUVs.
Thanks to plenty of luxury and tech features, the average price tag has ballooned to $35,000. Obviously this is good news for automakers, such as Ram, because it brings in money as well as better sales figures. But while automakers are enjoying the fun, these long term loans will put an increased burden on consumers. Lenders, because people simply can't afford a higher down payment, are stretching loan terms to make the monthly payments doable. It's no longer surprising to see up to 84-months loans. FCA Canada, for example, is currently offering 96-month loans at 4.49 percent on a 2018 Ram 1500.
Following Ram, FCA's Jeep and Fiat brands along with Mitsubishi and Chevrolet are the top five automakers who offer the longest loan terms. Will this trend come to an end soon? Not likely, because automakers are not expected to reduce vehicle prices. And then, of course, there's the issue of defaults. Automakers either work with lenders or have their own in-house financing department. If owners are at any point unable to make their monthly payments, these lenders will be stuck with heavy losses. Also, let's not forget the issue of consumers getting stuck in a situation where they owe more than the vehicle is actually worth.