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What is a green car loan?

A green car loan is a type of car financing specifically for eco-friendly vehicles. Lenders may define green car loans differently, but it’s generally accepted that eco-friendly vehicles are cars that produce less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional fuel-powered cars. Lower carbon emissions typically reduce a car’s impact on the environment.

Green car loans are relatively new to the Australian personal lending market, and indicate a growing interest in sustainability. However, because it’s a newer concept, not every lender provides dedicated green car loans. This may change as Australia moves towards an electric future. 

For example, Bank Australia intends to cease funding car loans for petrol cars from 2025, and the ACT state government banning the sale of new petrol cars from 2035. Meanwhile, New South Wales has been trialling converting existing power poles into EV chargers in sites located across Sydney, as well as regional areas like Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Singleton.


When comparing green car loan options, ensure you ask the lender for information about how it determines a vehicle to be ‘green’ or ‘eco’ and how it contributes to emissions reduction and environmental responsibility. 

How do green car loans work?

Green car loans work similarly to standard car loans:

  1. First, you'll need to compare your lending options and choose a suitable loan provider that will lend you the money to purchase your green vehicle.
  2. Then, you'll repay the borrowed amount, plus interest, in regular instalments over a predetermined period of time known as the loan term.

How can a green car loan save you money?

Not only might investing in a low-emissions vehicle allow you to reduce your carbon footprint and minimise your contribution to climate change, it could also save you money on finance.

That's because green car loan interest rates tend to be more competitive than standard car loan interest rates, as lenders incentivise borrowers to make sustainable choices. In addition to lower rates, the lender may waive certain fees on the car loan. 

But keep in mind, the interest rate discount and the fees waived will vary depending on the lender, so it's important to compare your options.

To find out how much you could save by going for a green car loan, check out RateCity’s Car Loan Calculator.

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Calculate what your repayments could be on your car loan.


What type of car can you buy with a green car loan?

Green cars aren’t limited to only hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs). They can also be new cars that have lower CO2 emissions than comparable makes and models. Some of the types of green cars that may be eligible for a green car loan include:

  • Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) - Commonly referred to as simply 'electric vehicles' or EVs, BEVs are exclusively powered by electricity. They must be plugged into an energy source to be recharged.
  • Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) - HEVs are a type of hybrid car that are powered by a combination of petrol and electricity. They don't need to be plugged in to be charged, as the battery pack is charged by the engine during driving.
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) - The other type of hybrid vehicles, PHEVs, are also powered by a combination of petrol and electricity. However, they can also be plugged into an energy source to be recharged.
  • Low-emission vehicles – Certain makes and models of newer cars may be classified as low-emission vehicles, despite being powered exclusively by petrol.

Check your preferred green car loan provider's lending criteria to see if the car you're interested in is eligible for a green car loan, or consider taking a look at the Australian Government's Green Vehicle Guide.

What other costs do you need to consider when buying a green car?

Not all green cars will come with added costs. But if you're buying an EV, you'll likely want to install a home charging station. You may be able to charge your EV using a normal power point and the car’s supplied charging cable, but this may not be the fastest or most efficient way to charge the vehicle. The most efficient way for you to charge your BEV or PHEV is at home while you sleep, as it's unlikely you'll need to disrupt the charge to use your car during this time. 

According to the NRMA, purchasing a dedicated wall charger for your home could cost anywhere from $1250 and $2200, plus labour – get quotes from electricians to compare prices. You may be able to take out a green personal loan to help with the cost if you come up short.

What are the features of a green car loan?

  • Secured vs unsecured loan - Car loans, particularly those taken out to purchase newer vehicles, are most commonly secured by the car itself, which can help lower the interest rate. You may also be able to purchase a green car with an unsecured personal loan so you don’t risk losing your car as collateral, though the interest rate may be higher.
  • Fixed or variable interest rates -Fixed interest rates will stay the same throughout the life of the loan, while variable rates can fluctuate with the market.
  • Fees – These may include upfront fees, early repayment fees, exit fees, monthly fees and/or other ongoing fees.
  • Comparison rates – To quickly get an idea of a loan’s overall cost, take note of its comparison rate, which factors in the interest rate and standard fees.
  • Extra features - Some lenders may offer the option to make extra repayments, and the ability to redraw those extra repayments.
  • Loan term -  Car loans tend to have loan terms of three to five years, but longer or shorter terms are available. The longer the loan term, the cheaper the repayments, but the more you'll likely pay in interest charges.


  • Green car loans often have lower interest rates than regular car loans.
  • Some lenders may waive certain fees on green car loans.
  • Your car buying budget could potentially be expanded by taking out a green car loan.


  • Green car loans are typically only available for new cars.
  • Green car loans aren’t as widely available as standard car loans.
  • The purchase cost of an eligible green car may be higher than a regular car.
  • The lending criteria for green car loans can be stricter.

How do you compare green car loans?

  1. Check out the green car loan comparison table: Use filters to narrow down your search to only the loans that best suit your preferences.
  2. Use a car loan calculator: Simply enter the loan amount, your preferred interest rate, and loan term to calculate what your weekly, fortnightly, or monthly repayments could cost you.
  3. Find the best-rated green car loans: The top-rated green car loans on RateCity's leaderboard are determined by RateCity's Real Time Ratings™ system, which reviews car loans based on loan costs and flexibility.

Before submitting a loan application for a new car loan, be sure to check the lender's eligibility criteria and product disclaimers, and consider reaching out to the lender directly with any questions you may have about your personal financial situation.

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Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.