Learn how quickly you can get on the road with your new vehicle.
Applying for a car loan can seem daunting. You need to gather a lot of information about both yourself and the car, and then you have to wait to find out if you've been successful. Knowing how long that wait will be before you apply can give you some peace of mind and help you better plan your vehicle purchase. Find out all about the process and how long it will take below.
The car loan application process
When you apply for a car loan the length of time it takes will depend on several key factors:
- Submitting your application. As most lenders offer online applications, this usually only takes 10 to 15 minutes.
- Immediate response. You may receive an instant response at this stage, but not all lenders offer this. If you do receive an instant outcome it is usually considered a conditional approval.
- Unconditional approval. The turnaround time for unconditional approval differs, as you can see from the table below.
- Loan funding. After receiving unconditional approval from your lender, you can generally expect to receive your funds within one to three business days. However, it's best to confirm specific timings with the lender you apply with.
What can slow down your application?
There are various issues that can delay the approval of your car loan application, so make sure you avoid the following:
- Not submitting all required documents. Lenders can only fully approve your loan once all documents have been received. If they are waiting on certain documents they may need to contact you to have you send them over, or they may only be able to conditionally approve you. Make sure you check what documents are required before you apply.
- Applying after the time cut-off. Some lenders can offer same-day approval if you apply by a certain time, for example by 2pm. You can confirm this on the lender's website before you apply. If you aren't sure, contact the lender or apply early in the morning to ensure the quick processing of your loan.
- Failing to provide enough information about your vehicle. This is especially true if you're purchasing a used or older car. Make sure you provide requested information. An older or classic car may mean it needs to be manually valued, which can slow down the application further.
What is pre-approval?
If you haven't found your car yet you may want to opt for pre-approval. Pre-approval means you have been approved for a specific loan amount and you can use up to and including that amount when you go out to buy your car. Conditional approval is similar, with you being approved for the loan provided you meet certain requirements. You may need to submit additional documents or speak to a loan specialist for full approval. Both pre-approval and conditional approval can last from between 30 to 120 days depending on the lender.
How long will your car loan take to be approved?
|Brand||Pre-approval?||How long it takes to be approved|
|ANZ||Three business hours|
|Aussie||Two business days|
|Bankwest||(conditional approval)||Instant conditional approval
Full approval in 24-48 hours after submitting all documents
|Bendigo Bank||Three to seven business days|
|Beyond Bank||24-48 hours|
|Commonwealth Bank||One to three business days|
|CUA||Initial response in 30 seconds
|Gateway CU||48-72 hours|
|IMB||Four to six hours|
|NAB||Two business days|
|RACQ||Five business hours|
|RACV||Five business hours|
|St.George||Response in 60 seconds unless further details are needed|
|Westpac||(conditional approval)||Two business days|