Car repair loans

Borrow up to $5,000 with a car repair loan.

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A car repair loan can make it easy to find the money you need to get your car going again. Although borrowing money through short-term loans can be expensive and should only be used as a last resort.

Are you struggling financially?

If you're struggling financially and would like to speak to someone for free financial advice, information and assistance you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007 (open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). If you are suffering financial problems related to the coronavirus pandemic you may be eligible for additional support. Find out more here:

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

How much do car repairs cost?

Car repair expenses vary greatly based on the make and model of the vehicle, what goes wrong, and where you choose to get it fixed. Even though automotive technology has come a long way in the past few decades, when cars break down, they can be very expensive to repair.

Common issues you may need to get repaired include:

  • Smash repairs. Unless you’re covered by comprehensive car insurance, the cost of repairing anything from relatively minor dings through to major body damage can be surprisingly high. To give you an idea of the potential costs, back in 2012 the Insurance Australia Group (IAG) Research Centre compared repair costs for popular small cars involved in a simulated 10km/h collision. The Toyota Yaris was the most expensive to repair, with the combined cost of repairing the front and rear damage coming in at $13,440, or more than 70% of its original purchase price. Even the cheapest car on the list, the Holden Barina, still cost $2,574 to repair.
  • Cylinder problems. A broken cylinder is a common mechanical issue for older cars that perhaps haven’t received the love and attention they need in recent years. Regular servicing is the best way to prevent this occurring, but if it happens to you the repair bill could be $8,000 or more.
  • Engine. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that a mechanically sound engine is crucial to your car running smoothly. Repair costs vary greatly depending on the engine issues plaguing your vehicle, but if you suffer a blown engine and it needs to be replaced, the bill could be up to $4,000.
  • Transmission. The transmission is crucial to the effective operation of your car, so it can lead to significant mechanical problems if something goes wrong with your vehicle’s transmission. It can also hurt your wallet, with repairs generally costing between $1,000 and $2,000 and a full replacement as much as $5,000.
  • Head gasket. The head gasket is another critical part of the inner workings of your car, sealing off the cylinder head from the engine block and preventing oil and coolant leaks. A blown head gasket can cause a whole lot of damage to your car – potentially $2,000 worth of damage, in fact.

These are just a few mechanical and body issues that could affect your car. The older your vehicle is, the greater the chance of something going wrong. Add in extra costs like roadside assistance, towing expenses and the cost of ordering spare parts from interstate or overseas, and you could be looking at a sizable car repair bill you simply cannot afford.


Sunshine Short Term Loans

This is a short-term loan offer with a fast and easy online application for good or bad credit borrowers. You can apply today to get approved for up to $2,000. Get your loan funded in 30 minutes - conditions apply.
  • Loan Amount: $2,000
  • Loan Term: 9-14 weeks
  • Turnaround Time: 30 minutes - conditions apply
  • Fees: 20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
  • Bad credit borrowers OK
  • Quick & easy Approval
Sunshine Short Term Loans
  • Bad credit applicants considered
  • Fast approval service
  • Borrow up to $2,000
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Short term loans you can use for car repair

Name Product Maximum loan amount Term of Loan Turnaround time Arrears Fee Costs Fortnightly Repayment (for $1500 Loan)
Sunshine Short Term Loans
9-14 weeks
30 minutes - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A small loan up to $2,000 that you repay over 9-14 weeks. Loans approved and funded in as little as 30 minutes.
Nimble Short Term Loan
62 days to 9 months
1 hour - conditions apply
20% of loan amount + 4% of loan amount each month
A loan up to $2,000 with terms up to 62 days to 9 months. Centrelink cannot be your primary source of income.
Swoosh Finance
60 days -12 months
Next business day
$416 + 47% p.a. of borrowed amount
A secured loan up to $4,584 you can apply for in 10 minutes. Have up to 1 years to repay what you borrow.
Ferratum Cash Loans
3 to 12 months
Same day - conditions apply
20% of borrowed amount + 4% of borrowed amount each month
Borrow what you need with loans starting from $500 and approval in minutes.
Nimble Medium Loan
up to 22 months
1 hour - conditions apply*
Application fee of $400 + 47.62% p.a.
Apply for up to $5,000 and have up to 22 months to repay.
Jacaranda Finance Personal Loan
9-24 months
Under 1 hour - conditions apply
$0 - $1,000 depending on credit
Borrow up to $10,000 and get access to your funds in as little as 1 hour.

Compare up to 4 providers

Car repair loan options

Are you facing an expensive car repair bill to get your car back on the road? If so, there are several finance options available to provide the funds you need to cover your costs. Check out the car repair loan options in the table below:

Loan typeFeaturesProsCons
Secured personal loanLine of credit loan guaranteed with an asset, for example your car. Loans of up to $100,000 and terms of up to 7 years available
  • Lower interest rates
  • Loan can be secured by a range of assets
  • Fixed and variable rates available
  • Wide range of lenders and loans to choose from
  • Use the funds however you like
  • Need to make sure you can afford principal and interest repayments
  • Fees and interest apply to your loan
  • Penalties for missed payments
Unsecured personal loanBorrow the money you need to pay for car repairs without having to offer any asset as collateral. Loan amounts of up to $50,000 and terms of up to 7 years available.
  • No security required
  • Lower interest rates than payday loans
  • Use the funds however you like
  • Wide range of lenders and loans to choose from
  • Easy to apply
  • Higher interest rates than a secured personal loan
  • Higher fees (than a secured loan) also apply
  • Penalties for missed payments
Short-term loanSometimes referred to as a payday loan. Provides instant access to money to see you through until your next payday. Loans of up to $5,000 are available with short loan terms ranging from 16 days up to 2 years.
  • Fast access to money when you need it
  • Easy application and approval process
  • Minimal credit checks
  • Use the funds however you like
  • Fixed repayment schedule so you can budget ahead
  • High interest rates
  • High fees
  • Need to watch out for unscrupulous lenders who prey on desperate borrowers
  • Essential to assess whether you can afford this type of loan before you apply
Credit cardCan be worth considering if the card issuer offers an introductory interest-free period and you can realistically afford to pay off the repair bill within that promotional timeframe. Amount available varies depending on your card limit.
  • Simple and convenient
  • 0% interest if you pay off your debt before the promotional period ends
  • Plenty of options to choose from
  • High interest rate applies if you don’t pay off your debt within the promotional period
  • Penalties for missed payments
  • Paying for repairs with a credit card may attract a surcharge
  • You may not have enough remaining balance on your credit card to use it for other purchases

How to compare car repair loans

Make sure you consider the following features when weighing up your car repair loan options:

  • Interest rate. Compare interest rates across a variety of loans to work out how much you’ll be paying in interest charges. Remember also that car repair loans are available with fixed or variable interest rates, so make sure to compare apples with apples.
  • Fees. From application and establishment fees to ongoing fees and missed payment fees, make sure you’re aware of all the additional charges that may apply. Consider fees alongside the interest rate to calculate the total cost of car repair loans.
  • Repayment schedule. How much will your regular repayment amount be and how often will you have to make those repayments? Is this figure something you can regularly afford to pay?
  • Repayment flexibility. Can you make additional payments to pay off your debt ahead of schedule? This feature could save you plenty in interest charges if you come into some extra can afford to repay the loan sooner than expected.

Repairing vs replacing

If you’re stuck with a hefty car repair bill totalling several thousands of dollars, it might be time to look at alternative options. In some cases, you may find you’re better off simply upgrading to a new vehicle rather than forking out a whole lot of cash to repair your current set of wheels.

If buying a new or used vehicle could be a better solution for you and you need finance, start comparing car loans at today.
Picture: Shutterstock

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