How to get a car loan

Want to know how to get on the road? Use the quick guide below to find finance for your car.

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A car is an expensive purchase, and if you don't have the money to pay for your vehicle you'll consider getting a car loan. Whether you're buying a new or used vehicle through a private sale or from a dealership, there are a variety of car loans you can consider. Read through the steps below to find out what it takes to secure financing for your new car.

Step 1: Choose your vehicle or find pre-approval

Finding your vehicle is an important first step. Whether you're purchasing from a private sale or a dealership, have a look online so you get an understanding of what different vehicles cost and how much you'll need to borrow. This will make it easier comparing lenders and selecting your loan terms when you apply.

If you want to go shopping for your car after you've secured your finance, you have the option of a pre-approved car loan. This is offered by various lenders (detailed in the article linked below). If time is of the essence, select a lender that offers a quick approval.

Find out how long it will take your car loan to be approved

Step 2: Compare your loan options

Once you know what type of car you want to buy and how much you need to borrow, it's time to find a lender that can help you finance it. For example, if you're want to purchase a used car you can compare lenders here, or if you want to purchase a new vehicle you could perform a comparison here. You also have the option of using a car broker to find a lender for you based on your needs and financial situation.

When comparing it's important to look for a lender that will let you apply for your loan amount (check for set minimum and maximum amounts); that there are no restrictions that make your car ineligible for the loan; that the interest rate is competitive; and that you are aware of all the fees and features of the loan. Reading the review on finder.com.au and the lender's website before applying is very important.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
Loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
From 4.67% (fixed)
5.22%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.67% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment. Settle the loan before 30 November 2021 and enter the draw to win a $1,000 fuel gift voucher. T&Cs apply.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 4.99% (fixed)
5.69%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 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.
IMB New Car Loan
4.99% (fixed)
5.34%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$275.12 ($250 Application fee + $25.12 PPS registration fee)
$0
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 that's up to two years old.
Wisr Secured Car Loan
From 5.19% (fixed)
5.46%
$5,000
3 to 7 years
$195 (Includes PPSR registration and private sale fee, if applicable)
$0
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 17.69% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

Plenti Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
5.44%
$2,000
3 to 7 years
from $249 to $799
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a Plenti Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 3.99% (fixed)
5.08%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$350
$8.50
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.99% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.08% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.05% (fixed)
5.63%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$700
$8.25
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.05% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
NAB Personal Loan Unsecured Fixed
From 9.99% (fixed)
10.88%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$150
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 9.99% p.a. and 18.99% p.a. ( 10.88% p.a. to 19.83% p.a. comparison rate) based on your risk profile
An unsecured loan up to $55,000 you can use for a range of purposes and pay off over up to 7 years. Note: Majority of customers will get the headline rate of 12.69% (13.56% comparison rate) or less. See Comparison rate warning in (i) above.
SocietyOne Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
6.99%
$5,000
2 to 5 years
from 0% to 5% of the total loan amount
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate between 6.99% p.a. and 20.49% p.a. based on your risk profile
A loan from $5,000 to use for a range of purposes. Benefit from no ongoing fees and no early repayment fee.
Driva Car Loan
From 3.95% (fixed)
5.1%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.95% p.a.
Borrow up to $250,000 with loan terms from 1 to 7 years. Get access to a range of lenders.
Symple Loans Personal Loan
From 5.75% (variable)
6.47%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
from 0% to 5% of the loan amount
$10
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.75% p.a. to 25.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
Borrow up to $50,000 to pay for what you need.
Macquarie Car Loan (For < 36 months)
From 7.17% (variable)
8.47%
$10,000
1 year to 35 months
$520 + $6 PPSR
$8.25
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.17% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Get funding for a new or used car and access to Macquarie’s car-buying service. Click the information symbol for important disclaimers.
Macquarie Car Loan (For > 60 months)
7.42% (variable)
8.72%
$10,000
5 to 7 years
$520 + $6 PPSR
$8.25
You'll receive a fixed rate from 7.42% p.a. based on your risk profile.
Get funding for a new or used car and access to Macquarie’s car-buying service. Click the information symbol for important disclaimers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Step 3: Calculate your loan repayments

Is your loan competitive? More simply, is the loan affordable on your budget? You can work this out by using a car loan repayment calculator. Input your loan term, loan amount and interest rate and some other details and you will see your ongoing repayments. You can adjust key details, such as the loan term, to see if you can make your loan terms more affordable. Other useful calculators for car loans can be found on this page.

Step 4: Submit your application

Applying for a car loan doesn't take long, but it can seem like a daunting process. An important aspect to remember is not to submit too many applications at once; every application you make will be listed on your credit file and making too many can damage your credit score.

Before you click "Go to Site" or start filling out any applications, make sure you meet all the minimum eligibility criteria set by the lender. This is listed on every finder.com.au review page and usually at the start of every online application. If you are uncertain about any of the criteria, it's best to contact the lender directly.

Once you have confirmed you meet the criteria, gather the information and documents and start the application. You'll generally need your personal, financial and employment details as well as details of the car you're purchasing. If you don't have all these details on hand you can generally save your application to complete it later.

Step 5: Receive your funds

You normally find out if you've been approved quite quickly, normally within a few minutes for conditional approval. Once you are fully approved you can receive your funds the next business day with some lenders. These funds are transferred differently depending on the lender, but generally it will be a direct transfer to your bank account. It may also be through a cheque or by paying a third-party directly. Check with the lender if you need the funds paid a certain way.

Picture: Shutterstock

More guides on Finder

Car Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for IMB New Car Loan
IMB New Car Loan

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.

Logo for Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan "Special Offer"

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.

Logo for RACV New Car Loans
RACV New Car Loans

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.

Logo for NRMA New Car Loan
NRMA New Car Loan

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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