While gas prices have been falling, the cost of monthly car payments keeps climbing.
During the third quarter of 2018, the average new car monthly payment accelerated to $530, with the average used car loan payment at $381. According to Experian Automotive data, both figures are at record highs.
The average car loan is now just under $31,000. However, Experian says 20 percent of borrowers are taking out loans of $50,000 or more.
"If you`ve been out of the market for five or six years, then these numbers can be surprising," Melinda Zabritski, Experian's Director of Automotive Credit told CNBC's "On the Money" in a recent interview. "And they`re certainly not going to go down."
The richer price tags haven't yet dissuaded consumers. Despite higher payments, larger vehicles including pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers remain in high demand. Meanwhile, U.S. auto sales are on track to exceed 17 million vehicles for the fourth consecutive year.