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Car loans – everything you need to know!
Anyone wanting to buy a car in Australia is likely going to end up comparing car loans. Cars can be expensive, and chances are you re going to need some kind of financing to help you purchase your dream vehicle. A simple way to start the process is by using a car loan calculator.
From turbo engine four-wheel drives that pack a heap of grunt, to the quietest, most fuel-efficient machines that give you a sense of sustainability, everyone has a different taste. To make your car dream a reality, you ll need an affordable car loan that matches your goals and circumstances.
What kind of car should I buy?
Before you take out a loan to finance your car purchase, you need to figure out what vehicle you actually want to purchase. While there might seem to be thousands of makes and models on offer, often the choice comes down to whether you want it new or used.
There are certainly benefits to buying a new car.
Brand new, pristine cars are less likely to have mechanical issues or run into problems than used cars
Many new cars come with a warranty giving you greater peace of mind
New cars often have the latest technology attached to them, including greater fuel efficiency
You can have more certainty buying it from a dealer, who is regulated, than from a private seller
Pre-owned cars tend to be significantly more affordable
They tend to depreciate slower than new cars
A well-serviced and looked-after used vehicle can last just as long as a new car
You have more room for negotiation
Ultimately, the type of car you buy will depend on your budget – a car loan calculator can help you decide – and what you re looking for in a vehicle.
What types of car loans are there?
When trying to afford a car, you have to know that not every car loan is created equal. You ll have to become well-versed in comparing car loans before you commit to a product.
First of all, there are fixed and variable rate loans:
As the names suggest, you can take out a fixed loan where the rate is set for a specific period, or a variable option that ebbs and flows according to interest rate movements
Sometimes you can be slapped with an early termination fee if you make extra repayments and pay your entire loan before its term is up
Then, there is a secured car loan:
In this case, your vehicle is used as security over the loan. That means if you default on the loan, your new car could be repossessed to cover the money lost by the lender
The bright side of this is, with this level of security, your lender may well offer a lower rate on your loan
You will still owe money if your car sells for less than it s worth
By contrast, an unsecured loan is the virtual opposite of this – the lender won t repossess your vehicle, but they may charge a higher interest rate, too.
If you’re still undecided, considering using a car loan calculator to find out how much you should pay for a car loan.
There s also the option of a chattel mortgage:
This is a great way to finance a car for either a business or someone who s self-employed
Like a hire purchase loan, the buyer will make a number of monthly payments before a final balloon payment
The benefit of this is that you can use it to reduce your taxable income
There are a number of other potentially affordable car loan options, including paying for a car lease. You should have a think about the level of flexibility you want, as well as what you can afford, before you sign on.
For one, watch out for the extras. Many lenders will attach additions like insurance that you may not necessarily need. Don t unnecessarily accept the lender s extra insurance options when buying a car, such as an extended warranty or shortfall cover. You may not need them, and they make take away from an otherwise affordable car loan.
Just like a home loan, the loan term and rate are important factors when it comes to buying a car in Australia. Our car loan calculator shows the significant impact that adjusting the loan term can have to the amount you’ll ultimately pay. For instance, paying off a car over three years, versus five, could increase the monthly repayments by a few hundred dollars. But doing so can also help to you to avoid thousands of dollars in additional interest charged if you were to take the longer term. So it’s worth doing the maths before you sign up so you can make sure to pick one that fits with what you can afford.
Watch out for fees. You might be able to afford a car, but that will mean little if you get hit by a series of pricey fees. Establishment fees are used by numerous lenders, charging for the creation of your loan documentation. Along with this, broker fees and early repayment fees can add up to make your loan significantly more expensive in the long run. Be sure you know what the true cost of your loan is.
Pore over these details carefully before entering any deal. They may well be the difference between being able to buy a car in Australia or not.