Most people have heard the old saying that failure to plan has failed. Entering a car party without having done market research and without the plan to close a good deal comes down to wearing a “Fleece Me” shirt on the front. Buyers of smart cars carry out extensive research before they enter a car park.

They compare brands and models, read consumer reports and set average selling prices for specific vehicles. They also determine what percentage of their monthly income they can spend on a car and how many years they want to finance the payment. Based on this information, a buyer can select the right car for his needs and know exactly how much money he wants to pay for it.

Various tools help car buyers through the research process, and demonstrably none more important than an automatic loan calculator. This tool uses the selling price, interest rate and loan period to immediately calculate the monthly car payment of a buyer. The best car loan calculators also take into account issues such as sales tax and trade-in value. The following are the best auto loan calculators that include tax.


Cars has an automatic loan calculator full of features that allows car buyers to get the best deal. The main tab has a standard loan calculator that calculates the monthly payment based on vehicle price, down payment, trade-in value, sales tax, interest rate and loan period.

On the following tab, buyers can go back from a monthly payment to get a vehicle price. The entry is the same, except that instead of entering the vehicle price, the buyer enters his desired monthly payment. This is a very useful feature for car buyers who know how much they can afford each month, and about what interest rate they are eligible for based on their creditworthiness, and want to know exactly how much they can pay.

Other features include a side-by-side comparison to determine whether a buyer should accept a money-back offer or a reduced-rate financing and a comparison tool for loans and leases. Buyers who become familiar with Cars’ automatic lending calculator and use it on a large scale before working on a car trade is almost guaranteed not to get loans that are wrong for them.


Autotrader offers a car number calculator that is similar to that of Cars. The main tab asks for the same entry. A small difference is for the monthly period; Autotrader only allows buyers to select a term length in one-year increments, starting with two years and up to six years.

On cars, buyers can enter any number of months. Given that many finance companies offer terms of seven years, or 84 months or longer, not to mention terms in six-month steps, some buyers may find the calculator at limited in this regard.

Like cars, the Autotrader calculator also has an additional tab for calculating a purchase price of a desired monthly payment. However, it does not include some of the extra tools found at Cars such as the comparison between loan and lease.

Bank rate

The automatic lending calculator on Bankrate is unique because it offers bar charts for comparing a low-value financing offer in addition to a manufacturer’s discount. Like cars, this calculator gives buyers the option to enter any term length that they like.

The only thing missing is the feature that allows buyers to start with a monthly payment amount and arrive at a car price. To work backwards in this way, which is very useful in many scenarios for buying cars, a buyer must use the calculator with Cars or Autotrader.