Buy a Car in Virginia | (2023)

If you’re searching for a car loan in Virginia, you’re going to want to make sure you have a credit score of 660 or higher, and be sure to seek out a low interest rate and a loan with a term no longer than 60 months.

The car insurance and comparison shopping app Jerry can help you find the car loan that is right for you in Virginia.

We’ll guide you through the process of finding a loan and comparing lenders and explain how your credit score can affect the loan you’ll be able to secure in the Old Dominion.

How to get a car loan in Virginia

Unless you’ve got cash bulging out of your pockets, a car loan is the most traditional and the easiest way to buy a vehicle in Virginia. Seeking out a loan from a bank, a credit union, or the dealership you’re buying the vehicle from can help you pay off the full value of the car over a period of years.

Here’s what to expect when you take out a car loan in Virginia:

  • You’ll pay a down payment (usually about 10% of the car’s total value)
  • You’ll finalize a loan term (how long your loan will last) and negotiate an interest rate with your lender
  • You’ll have to pay off the loan’s principal (the total amount of money you’ll need to pay back) in monthly installments over the loan’s lifetime
  • You’ll have to pay interest on a monthly basis based on your annual percentage rate (APR)

The exact details of the loan you’re able to secure will depend on a few factors, namely, the make and model of the car you buy, your credit score, and the loan term you negotiate. Take a look at the table below to see what your APR and monthly payment might look like with a car loan in Virginia:

Car MakeAverage Annual Interest RateAverage Monthly Payment
ALFA ROMEO8.53$362
Land Rover8.53$362

Are you ready to find a car loan in Virginia? Here’s what you’ll need to do to make that happen:

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Check your credit

First things first—check your credit score. You want a score of at least 660 or better to qualify for a loan with a favorable interest rate. An above-average score (700 or better) will get you an even better interest rate, around 3%. By comparison, the average interest rate on a typical car loan in the U.S. is about 5%.

Use the table below to estimate your average interest rate and monthly payment based on your credit rating.

Loan TermsAverage Annual Interest RateAverage Monthly Payment

Compare lenders

Don’t jump at the first loan offered to you. It’s a good idea to look around and see what’s on offer. If the dealership you’re shopping in offers you a loan, feel free to listen but don’t sign anything—you could be signing up for a loan that is very favorable to the dealer but not favorable to you.

Instead, compare offers from at least three lenders before deciding which one to take. Try to sign with a lender offering a good (low) interest rate, and look into your approval odds with that lender, as well as their customer service record.

Choose your loan term

A loan’s term, or the period of time you have to pay it back, is negotiable. In Virginia, the average loan term is between 60 and 72 months.

As a general rule of thumb, the longer your loan term is, you’ll pay less in monthly installments, but the higher interest payments you’ll make over the lifetime of the loan will make the loan more expensive. You’ll want to secure a loan for the shortest possible time within your financial comfort zone, ideally not more than 60 months.

Here’s how your APR and monthly payment could change based on your loan term in Virginia.

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Credit RatingAverage Annual Interest RateAverage Monthly Payment
Very Good5.11$341

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Get preapproved

If possible, get preapproved for a car loan. Having a preapproved loan in your back pocket gives you leverage when walking into a dealership, or if you’re about to negotiate a private transaction. Knowing that you are already preapproved, with an interest rate and loan term you are comfortable with, can make for a stress-free shopping experience.

Can you get a car loan in Virginia for a used car?

Yes, you can get a car loan for a used car in Virginia. However, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind when seeking that loan out:

  • You’ll likely pay a higher interest rate on a loan for a used car (usually around 8%)
  • Some lenders won’t give out loans for vehicles that are older than a set number of years
  • A lot of banks have minimums for car loans. If a bank won’t lend you what you need, look into a loan from a credit union

Want to see how the age of your car could affect your car loan in Virginia? Take a look at this table.

Car YearAverage Annual Interest RateAverage Monthly Payment
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Virginia car loan calculator

Now you’re up to speed about how a car loan works, how to pick your loan’s term, and how the type of car you’re buying factors into your loan. Now it’s time to add it all up with Jerry’s car loan calculator to determine how much you should expect to pay for a loan in Virginia and what your interest rate might be based on your credit score, loan amount, term, and the make and model of the car you’re buying.

Remember—these values are averages. When you meet with your lender to work out the details of your loan, the term and interest rate are negotiable, as well as any additional fees or penalties. Use this calculator to ensure success when you sign your loan.

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Average Annual Interest RateAverage Monthly Payment

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How to find affordable car insurance in Virginia

Financing your vehicle is the just first step—after you do that, you’ll need a robust car insurance plan to protect your new ride!

With the car insurance broker and comparison shopping app Jerry, it’s never been easier to get a car insurance policy that works for you. After signing up in just 45 seconds, this car super app gets to work comparing more than 50 top quotes from the country’s best insurers for you to pick from. Once you make your choice, Jerry signs you up for your new policy and cancels your old one.

Best of all, Jerry users save an average of $887 per year on car insurance!

Jerry saved me so much time and money! I went from $230 to $150, still with full coverage! The whole process was amazingly simple!” —Ronda S.


What credit score is needed to buy a car in Virginia?

To enjoy a favorable interest rate, you’ll need a credit score of 660 or higher when seeking out a car loan in Virginia. If your credit rating is above 700, you’ll likely qualify for a very low rate of about 3%, compared to the average of 5% nationwide.

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Will a bank give me a loan for a used car?

This all depends on the bank. Some banks will give you a loan for a used car, but many set limits regarding a car’s age in terms of whether they will loan money for you to buy it. If a bank won’t loan you the money to buy a used car, consider going to a credit union for a loan.


What is needed to buy a car in Virginia? ›

Buying/Receiving A Vehicle
  • Research the Vehicle with NMVTIS. ...
  • Notify the insurance company. ...
  • Ensure that the vehicle is properly titled. ...
  • Register the Vehicle. ...
  • Place license plates on the vehicle. ...
  • Ensure the vehicle has a valid safety inspection sticker. ...
  • Register the vehicle with your city/county (if required)

Can I buy a car in Virginia without a Virginia license? ›

You do not need a Virginia driver's license to title or register your car, however, you must obtain one within 60 days of registering a car in Virginia.

How to buy a private sale car in Virginia? ›

How To Buy a Used Car In Virginia
  1. Step 1 - Gather Documents. Certificate of Title. ...
  2. Step 2 - Get a Vehicle History Report. A vehicle history report can show you the car's maintenance and repair records, collision repair records, flood damage, and more. ...
  3. Step 3 - Get a Mechanical Inspection. ...
  4. Step 4 - Finalize the Purchase.
Jan 26, 2021

Is it expensive to buy a car in Virginia? ›

HOW MUCH MONEY YOU NEED TO BUY A CAR IN VIRGINIA? Virginia is a much cheaper state than Maryland, DC, and other expensive states. The cost of buying a car in Virginia is $1352 for a one-time purchase and $2750 for annual ownership and usage costs that are comparatively cheaper than purchasing a car in Maryland and DC.

Can you buy a car in VA with an out of state license? ›

Make sure that you bring proof of insurance that is both state and VIN-specific. You also have to bring a license for that state and a copy of your state registration. These forms should be consistent with the address of your vehicle's registration.

What is the sales tax on a car in Virginia? ›

Motor Vehicle Sales and Use Tax. Virginia is required to collect a 4.15% Sales and Use Tax (SUT) at the time of titling whenever a vehicle is sold, and/or the ownership of the vehicle changes. The amount due is based on the vehicle's gross sales price, or $75, whichever is greater.


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