Best Car Loan

Whatever type of car you plan on purchasing it’s a major investment and one that requires careful consideration as does the selection of the best car loan which will ensure you’ll enjoy your new ride that little bit more, in the knowledge that you have financed the purchase with the best car loan rate. Our comparison table below features a selection of the best car loans with low rates, low fees and flexible features designed to help you minimise your interest payments. The repayment calculator enables you to calculate the monthly payment for each loan in the comparison table, based on how much you are looking to borrow over your preferred term.

  • Borrow between $10,000 and $100,000 - for a new or used car, which is used as security for the loan (conditions apply)
  • Low fixed interest rate - at 8.49% p.a. protecting you against changing interest rates with fixed minimum payments that won't change for the life of the loan
  • Choose the frequency of your repayments to suit when you get paid - weekly, fortnightly or monthly 
  • Terms of between 1 and 7 years
  • Extra repayments - You may extra repayments on this car loan 

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Types of Car Loan

Just as there are many different types of cars from the prestige to the classic there are also a range of car loan types that are designed to meet the requirements of the different types of car purchase.

 

New Car Loan

The key fact about New Car Loans is that they tend to feature the lowest interest rates available to car buyers. These low rates are available as new car loans are usually secured loans which means you use your new car acts as security for the loan. The loan providers are prepared to offer these lower rates and fees for new cars because they consider this new car purchase to be a relatively low risk. This assessment is based on the fact that the car is fresh off the showroom floor, with a new car warranty intact and unlikely to have the underlying problems a used car that has had multiple owners, may have. If you should default on the new car loan the loan provider believes they will have little trouble selling a nearly new car to clear any debts, which would not be the case with a used car.

 

Used Car Loan

Making the decision to go for a used car means you will avoid the high up front depreciation associated with buying a new car so you should get better value for your money. When it comes to financing the purchase of your used car you’ll find that the interest rates and fees offered by the lenders are higher than those advertised for new car purchases, as they consider used car loans to be a higher risk. In a similar vein to new car loans used car loans are available which use the car as security for the loan which helps bring the interest rate down. These secured used car loans tend only to be available on younger used cars up to around 5 years old. For cars older than 5 years you will need to consider the unsecured loan option that as no security is involved will generally feature higher interest rates and fees.

 

Compare the Best* Car Loan Rates

Compare the best* 5 personal loan rates

Car Loan

Minimum Current Rate

Comparison Rate

   Westpac Car Loan 8.49% p.a. 9.54% p.a.
   St George Car Loan - Fixed Rate 8.49% p.a. 9.39% p.a.
   MoneyPlace Unsecured Loan - Excellent Credit History 8.90% p.a. 8.90% p.a.
   Latitude Motor Loan (Secured) 8.99% p.a. 10.09% p.a.
   NAB Car Loan - Variable Rate 13.69% p.a. 14.59% p.a.

 

Selecting the Best Car Loan

The car loan type is one of the first things to decide on which will be significantly influenced by the age of the car you plan on purchasing. In conjunction with working out which Car Loan type best fits your requirements you’ll need to work through a bunch of other related decisions:  

 

Set a budget for your car purchase

When looking at cars it is very easy to stray up the scale to cars that are really outside our budgets, though well within our wish lists. To ensure you enjoy your car it’s important to be clear up front how much you can realistically afford to spend on your car, set this budget and then stick to it, remembering to factor in the ongoing costs of insurance, road tax and services. Our car loan repayment calculator below is designed to help you establish what you can afford and calculate waht your monthly repayments will be.

Compare the deals to find the best car loan

The market for car loans is highly competitive and the car loan providers are keen to secure their share of the market by offering frequent deals on their car loan rates. Our comparison tables are designed to make it easy to assess the merits of each loan and then compare the loan rates and features of them side by side. Our Car Loan Comparison table also allow you to calculate the monthly payment for each of the car loans, simply enter your loan amount and preferred loan term and we’ll calculate the estimated monthly repayment for ease of comparison. Once you find the car loan that best meets your criteria, you can apply online, with a decision generally emailed to you from the lender within 20 minutes of submitting your application.

 

 When comparing car loans there are a number of features that should be included:

1. Fixed interest rate - This is good option when you believe interest rates are destined to rise during the term of your loan, as under the fixed deal your interest rate will remain at the same rate for the duration of the loan regardless of what is happening in the broader market. With this fixed rate car loan option you will know what your monthly repayment is going to be for the full term of the loan, a constant which makes budgeting for the repayments that little easier.

2. Variable interest rate - Variable rate car loans interest rates move with the market and can be increased or indeed decreased as many times as the provider wishes during the loan term. The rates of variable rate car loans do tend to be lower than the fixed rate loans and offer greater flexibility with the inclusion of redraw facilities, extra payments and no early repayment fees. 

3. Comparison rate - The comparison rate seeks to provide an interest rate for the loan that includes all the fees associated with taking out the loan, such as the application fee and any ongoing service fees.

4. Application fees - This is an upfront fee charged by the personal loan provider to cover their costs associated with assessing your application, conducting a credit check and administering the money transfer to your nominated account. The fee is usually around $200.

5. Ongoing Monthly fees - These fees tend to be below $10 per month that does not sound much until you consider the total cost of this monthly fee across a 5 year loan term which could be as high as $600 assuming a $10 monthly fee.

6. Early Repayment fees - The personal loan providers really don’t want you to pay of your loan before the full term of the loan has run as any earlier conclusion of the loan essentially reduces the interest charges they attain and in effect the profit they are making on the personal loan. To deter early repayment loan providers often apply an early repayment fee which can be $100-$200.

7. Document Release fee - When your car loan term comes to an end and you pay off the balance, you may be charged a document release fee to cover administration costs and the release of the security they hold over your loan (if you have a secured loan).

8. Extra repayments - The ability to make extra repayments against your car loan is benefit you should look out for as if you do have spare cash across your loan term making extra payments will significantly reduce the total cost of your loan by reducing your total interest charges.

9. Redraw facility - This facility enables you to access any extra repayments you make toward your loan, so it provides real flexibility on using your cash.

10. Flexible repayment schedule - Management of your Car loan repayments is a whole lot easier if your repayment schedule is in synch with your income stream so if you get paid weekly, look to structure your car loan so you can make weekly repayments as your wages hit your bank account. A benefit of repaying your loan weekly or fortnightly is that you will pay off an extra month by the end of the year. For instance if your fortnightly repayments are $250 (or weekly repayments are $125) at the end of the year you will have paid off $6,500. Whereas, with the $500 monthly option you will have only paid off $6,000 over a year.

 

How to get accepted for a Car Loan

If you have any blemishes on your credit report you should seek to clear these up prior to making any car loan applications. Making applications when your credit report includes issues will only make it harder to get accepted as declined applications are registered on your credit report and may further negatively impact your credit score.

Making a car loan application

To make a car loan application you will need to provide some details about yourself and some documentation to validate your identity and financial position:

Validating your ID

This is standard process when you apply for any type of credit from a lender be it a credit card, personal loan or in this case a car loan. Documents that will be required include:

  • Australian Drivers License
  • Australian Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Medicare Card

Address and contact details

You will need to confirm your residential address and contact phone numbers. Your residential address is likely to be used to conduct a credit assessment where the lender contacts a Credit Bureau to attain details of your credit history.

Credit Report Check

All lenders will conduct a credit report check that is used by the lenders to assess the probability that you may default on the car loan. Your credit report contains details of your credit history in terms of any previous and current loans in terms of how you are managing these, specifically in terms of making payments on time.

Proof of income

All car loan applications include a request for details of your income and expenses, lenders may request documents to validate the income levels stated in your application, this will normally be wage or salary slips for the last 3 months.

Details of the car you wish to purchase

If you are using the car as collateral in a secured car loan you will need to provide details of the car including registration and engine number. If you are purchasing your car from a dealer you may need to provide their details so the lender can organize payment direct to the dealer.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get pre-approval for a car loan if I haven’t yet decided which car I want to buy?

Yes many lenders will provide pre-approval for your car loan, subject to lending criteria. By getting pre-approval you can look for your next car with a firm understanding of your budget, and confidence that you can make the purchase relatively quickly once you have found the right car.

I am still under probation with my new employer, will this effect my Car Loan Application?

Lenders generally request wage slips for your last 3 months of employment as proof of income, though they are flexible on this to accomodate situations like serving a probabtionary period. 

Can I use a car loan to buy a motor bike?

Absolutely, car loans are probably better referred to as vehicle loans, so can be used for motorbikes as well as cars.