Plenti Car Loan
- 30-day pre-approval
- Fast turnaround
- Loan amounts from $2,000
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A car is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make, so it pays to make sure you get it right.
By working out the features you need, you can narrow down the type of vehicles you'll want to compare. Once you've identified a shortlist of potential cars, you'll want to research them further, by checking out their specs and reading car reviews.
|Where to buy||How it works||What it’s good for|
|Dealership (new car)||Walk onto a car lot and shop for a new car||Good for checking out a wide range of options, test driving each of them and getting some expert advice.|
If you want a new car and want to see a lot of options in one place, this might be the best choice for you.
|Dealership (used car)||Visit a used car dealer to see what’s available||Good for finding a lot of relatively affordable options all in one place.|
If you’re after a used car but want the flexibility to shop around on the lot, or you're not confident going to a private seller, then this might be the best option for you.
|Private seller (used car)||Buy a used car directly from a private seller, typically the previous owner||If you’re after the best price possible, then buying used from a private seller is often the way to go.|
Make sure you know how to check the car thoroughly before buying, including its service history.
|Demonstrator vehicles||Buy a lightly-used newer model vehicle that’s been used for test drives, demos and other light purposes by a car dealership||This might be a good option if you want to buy almost-new rather than brand new and want to get a good price on a recent make and model.|
However, the savings can vary and your options will naturally be more limited, and demo cars might be fitted with extras that you don’t necessarily want but will have to pay for anyway.
|Imported cars||Import a car from overseas||It’s safe to say that this will never be the cheapest option as it involves a range of additional taxes and expenses. However, sometimes it might be the only way to get a vehicle that isn’t available in Australia.|
|Car auctions||Bid on vehicles at an auction||This can be one of the most affordable ways to buy a car – it’s so good that car dealers often buy their stock at auctions.|
The downside is that the quality of auctioned vehicles and the quality of their discounts can vary, so you need to have a good sense of how much a car is worth and how to properly inspect it in order to get a good price. Also, you typically won’t be able to take the car for a test drive.
The number one tip is to know how much a car is worth. Look up the value of the make and model beforehand, so you have a ballpark figure to work with. If someone asks for more than that, you can ask why it’s so expensive and haggle for a better price.
From there, familiarise yourself with the different options and features you can get with the car. Decide which ones you want and which ones you don’t and make sure to ask the seller if the car has any of the features you're after.
You’re looking for anything you’ll have to fix yourself, any damage that means it’s a dud and any red flags that might indicate that the seller isn’t being honest.
Turn on the engine to test it properly.
As you drive, check that:
You’ll want to get:
If a car passes the inspection and test drive, the last thing to do before buying is to check its history. Unfortunately there’s a very good chance it won’t pass a history check. But that’s exactly why you need to do it.
You’re checking two things in particular. The first is whether there’s any finance owing on the vehicle and the second is its service history, including previous repairs and whether it’s ever been reported stolen or written off.
If you don’t want to DIY, you can pay a car history service to check these for you. It generally doesn’t cost much and usually includes both a PPSR and service history check.
When buying a used car from a private seller, you’ll need to transfer ownership to make it official. You should generally get all relevant documents at the time of purchase, including:
The seller will need to inform the state road authority that they’ve transferred registration and ownership of the vehicle and you will need to accept the transfer. This can generally be done online through your state motor authority.
If it’s a problem that the seller has tried concealing, such as if you spot any painted-over rust spots, then you’ll want to think twice about whether or not you really know what you’re buying. Similarly, you probably don’t want to buy a car from a private seller if they refuse to let you take it to an independent mechanic for an inspection.
If a car is under finance then the seller should mention this. Ideally, you won’t buy an encumbered vehicle, but you can if you want. You’ll need to have a plan for the finance, however, it’s not your problem until you buy the car so the ideal option might be to make sure the seller takes care of it.
If a car has previously been written off then you shouldn’t buy it, even if it seems fine. It’s almost certainly not as fine as it seems.Back to top
Find out what finance options are available below and compare the pros and cons.
Paying for the car outright
You can use your existing savings to cover the cost of the car.
You can fund your car directly through the dealer. The dealer secures finance on your behalf and you then make regular repayments to cover the purchase of the vehicle.
Regular car loan
You can apply for a car loan with a range of banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders. You borrow what you need to buy the car and then repay the loan over a set term, plus interest.
Finance from a car loan broker
You can also use a broker to help find you a car loan through their network of lenders.
Pre-approved car loan
This when you get approval from a lender for a certain amount before selecting a vehicle. You can then use the funds to cover the cost of the car you want.
A finance option for employees that allows them to lease a car using their pre-tax salary.
This is a business vehicle finance option that lets you lease a vehicle while taking immediate ownership.
In some situations, you’re likely to encounter other miscellaneous expenses too. For example, the luxury car tax (when buying a particularly expensive car), licence plate transfer fees (if you’re buying the plates from the old owner – more if they’re custom plates), stamp duty on the cost of your car insurance (built into your insurance payments) and more.Back to top
If you change your mind after buying, such as if you realise you can’t afford the financing or that you just got a bad deal, then you have a limited time to contact the dealer in writing, cancel your agreement and get a refund.
This period of time is the “cooling off period”. It works differently in each state, but in all cases, the cooling off period will only apply to purchases from licensed car dealers. It is not available when buying at an auction or from a private seller.
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You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.69% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.99% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.99% p.a.
Purchase a new or used car up to 2 years old and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
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