How Long Can You Finance a Used Car?

Shaking Hands Over Sold Car

The length of the average used car loan has grown from 65 months to 68 months in the period between 2019 and 2022—and the trend is expected to continue. Longer loan terms translate to higher total interest costs, but how long can you finance a used car if you need to push your monthly payments as low as possible?



Although there isn’t a hard, legal limit, most lenders will not offer loan terms of more than 84 months or seven years. Moreover, some lenders will not offer financing for vehicles with more than 100,000 miles, or those that are more than seven years old.

How long can you finance a used car at Stephen Wade Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT? We work with Cedar City-area drivers from all walks of life, and we’ll do everything in our power to match you with the perfect financing plan. You can even apply for financing online and find out what terms we can offer you today.

Long-Term Loans vs. Short-Term Loans

You can probably finance your preferred used car for a period of up to seven years—but should you? Longer and shorter loan terms each have certain advantages over the alternative. Here’s what you need to know:

Reasons to Choose a Short-Term Loan

  • You want to lower your interest costs and pay less for the vehicle when all is said and done.
  • You want to pay off your loan quickly and free up your money for other projects.
  • You don’t want to risk ending up under water—where your vehicle is worth less than what you owe.
  • You can only afford a vehicle with higher-than-average mileage, and you’re worried about rising repair costs.

Reasons to Choose a Long-Term Loan

  • You want your monthly payment to be as low as possible, and you don’t mind paying more in interest.
  • You can only afford a newer, safer vehicle with a longer loan term.
  • You’re choosing a vehicle with low mileage that will be completely paid off by the time it has lots of wear and tear.
  • You don’t plan on reselling your vehicle in the near future.

Not sure if your preferred used vehicle is a smart investment? Find out what to look for when buying pre-owned, or learn more about the benefits of buying new instead of used.

Choosing the Right Loan Term

How long can you finance a used car without getting yourself into trouble? It’s a good idea to choose vehicles that will be paid off before they reach 150,000 miles—but this is just a general guideline. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll be stuck making payments on a vehicle that no longer runs or requires expensive repairs to stay on the road. That’s why banks sometimes avoid loans that will pay for older vehicles, and it’s why we think it’s a good idea to choose the shortest loan that you can afford to repay.

We’re Here to Answer Your Questions!

Financing a used car is a big step—and we know you’ll have questions along the way! Take advantage of our financing and insurance tips if you’d like to continue your research at home in Mesquite, NV or Hurricane. You can also make an appointment online, contact us at 435-375-4826, or stop into our St George dealership at any time.


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