When you're planning on taking out a car loan, it's important that you understand how much you can afford to borrow. Understanding your borrowing limits will help make sure you get the loan that is right for you and avoid costly interest repayments. Use our car loan repayment calculator on the table below to see what repayments will be on actual products from a range of lenders. You can also use our calculator tool and input your own loan information.
Enter the details of a loan below to calculate repayments
The table below features an automatic payment calculator. Simply pop your details in and you'll be able to
How do I use the car loan repayment calculator?
Don't let the graph put you off, the car loan repayment calculator is easy to use. Just follow these simple steps:
Enter your total loan amount. If you aren't sure of this amount just yet, enter an amount you think will be sufficient to finance your car.
Enter your purchase rate. Use the comparison rate of the car loan to more accurately determine your repayments.
Enter the loan term. The shorter the term the more your repayments will be, but the more you will save on interest. You should check the loan terms offered by the different loans you are looking at to make sure you are able to choose the terms you want.
Set your repayment frequency. You will need to check the options offered by the loan you are looking at, as not all lenders offer every type of repayment frequency. If you are able to choose the frequency, you should try and match it to when you get paid ie. monthly pay, monthly repayments.
Choose your repayment type. Principal and interest repayments refer to you making repayments which go towards both the amount you borrow and the interest charged on that amount. Interest-only repayments involve you only paying the interest which is charged on the loan amount, so you don't actually pay any of your loan off. If you are unsure, you should select the principal and interest option.
*Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should only be used as an indication. They are neither a recommendation nor an eligibility test for any product and should not be construed as financial advice, investment advice or any other sort of advice.
How to use the car loan calculator to help you save
Now you've got the basics of how to use the car loan repayment calculator, it's time to learn how to really use the calculator. Let's say Jane is looking at taking out a $5,000 car loan at an interest rate of 7.80% p.a. for a five year loan term. She's planning to make monthly principal and interest repayments for the duration of her loan.
Here's what the car loan calculator tells Jane her repayments will be:
Jane will be making a monthly repayment of just over $100 and incur $1,054.24 in interest payments over the life of her loan. Jane decides that she can afford to put more than $100.90 a month towards her car and she wants to save herself some money on interest.
Here's what happens when she tweaks her loan term in the car loan calculator:
As you can see, by choosing a four year loan term instead of a five year loan term, Jane only increases her repayments by about $20 a month (only $5 extra a week) and she saves herself $217.64 over the life of the loan. Not to mention she pays off her loan one year earlier.
After using the car loan calculator and getting that result, Jane decides that she wants to reduce her repayments and also save herself money on interest. Have a look at what happens when she decides to make weekly repayments instead of monthly:
By making her repayments weekly instead of monthly, Jane saves herself $2.40 a week and $12.39 over the life of her loan. Not much, but it's something.
Like Jane, see how much money you can save on your loan by using the car loan calculator. If you want to compare your car loan options, you can use the table above.
We can use the example of an individual who is trying to secure $20,000 to purchase a new car in order to better understand how the calculator works. If the first loan they found were to advertise a 12% p.a. rate, with an upfront fee of $500 and monthly maintenance charges of $10, they would be making monthly repayments of $664 over the course of three years. The total amount of interest paid over that three-year period would be $4,774.
If you compare this loan to one with three-year loan terms, a $1,000 upfront fee, a $20 monthly fee and an interest rate of 10% p.a., you might assume that the lower rate will be cheaper. However, the car loan calculator shows that the better deal is actually the 12% p.a. loan. The lower fees make this loan $178 cheaper over the course of the three years despite the higher interest rate.
Frequently asked questions
Some questions that we get asked frequently include:
Are all the possible fees included in the loan comparison calculator?
There may be other fees associated with the loan that you will need to discuss with the bank or broker. These could include transaction or activation fees as well as exit fees.
How are repayment amounts calculated?
There are assumptions in this calculator that there are 12 months, 26 fortnights and 52 weeks in the year. To work out weekly or fortnightly repayments, your total yearly repayment amount would be divided by the appropriate number that matches the terms that you chose.
Why should I use the car loan calculator?
Even a short term car loan is a big financial commitment to make. A smart borrower will use all the resources available to compare the different loans that are being offered to them. The calculator is not able to make the decision for you, but it will give you a better idea of exactly how much money over the principal cost of the loan you are going to be paying along with the repayment amount.
Matt Corke is Finder's head of publishing for rest of world and New Zealand. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time, he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
In this submission to the Treasury inquiry into Future Directions for the Consumer Data Right being led by Scott Farrell, we focus on the topic of switching and how this could be encouraged through the introduction of write-access to the CDR. We also share some details on switching in the industries set to be covered by the CDR, as well as high-level views on how write-access could be used to enable payment initiation through the CDR.
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