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Motorbikes let you enjoy the freedom of wide-open spaces, of which Australia has no shortage. To get the bike you want, you may need to spend thousands of dollars, with some top of the range bikes costing over $30,000. If you can't afford to pay these prices up front, motorbike finance could be the solution. 

How does motorbike finance work?

Motorbike finance is a type of personal loan, where you borrow money to buy a high-value item, such as a motorcycle, car or caravan. As well as paying back the money you borrow, you’ll need to pay interest. For motor vehicle loans such as motorcycle loans, the interest rate is often fixed so your repayments stay the same.  

You can choose how long you want to take to pay off your motorbike. The maximum loan term is often 60 months, but you can get shorter loans. The faster you choose to repay your loan, the less total interest you’lll pay compared to repaying the loan over a longer term. 

Why do people use motorbike finance?

Even motorbikes at the cheaper end of the market can cost several thousand dollars, so you may need extra help to buy one. By securing finance to pay for your motorcycle, you can own your bike sooner than if you’d saved up for it. If you already have a bike, you may be able to trade it in to reduce the amount you need to borrow. You can also put your savings towards a deposit - the less you need to borrow, the less interest you may need to pay. 

What are the main features of motorbike finance? 

Motorbike finance shares similar features to other personal and car loans. When you’re comparing motorbike loans, look at:

  • Advertised rate: The extra you’ll need to pay back on top of what you’ve borrowed. This may be a fixed rate that keeps your repayments the same, or a variable rate that may rise or fall over the life of the loan. 
  • Comparison rate: An estimate of the loan’s overall extra cost, including interest and standard fees, expressed as an overall interest rate. 
  • Fees: Some common fees for motorbike loans include upfront fees, early exit fees and redraw fees. 
  • Extra repayments: Paying more money onto your motorbike loan could help you pay off your bike sooner and pay less total interest.  
  • Redraw facility: If you get ahead on your motorbike loan, you can use a redraw facility to take your extra repayments back out from your loan if necessary.  
What are the pros and cons of motorbike finance?
  • You can own your motorbike straight away – no need to save up to buy it.
  • Flexible payment options may be available – extra repayments and a redraw facility could be useful for managing cash flow and your household budget.
  • Make steady progress – regular repayments mean you can make steady progress towards paying off your debt and owning your motorcycle outright.
  • Missing repayments could mean losing your bike – If you choose secured motorbike finance, and you default on your loan repayments, you could lose your motorbike to cover the loan’s costs.
  • Fees – Using some motorbike loan features may require you to pay extra fees.
  • Limited vehicle choice – Some loans may limit your choice of motorbikes to newer, more expensive models that can secure the loan.

Frequently asked questions

Can you get a chattel mortgage with bad credit?

Getting approval for a chattel mortgage with bad credit may be possible, given ‘chattel’ (usually a piece of equipment or car) is put up as security for the loan. That means if you fail to repay the loan, the creditor can recover the loaned amount by repossessing and selling the car or piece of equipment. This differs from unsecured car loans, where the asset is not tied to the loan and cannot be taken if you don’t meet the repayments. 

What is proof of income?

Before giving you a car loan, lenders will ask for proof of income – documentary evidence that you earn as much as you claim you earn. Lenders will typically want some combination of tax returns, pay slips and bank statements. The reason lenders want proof of income is because they want to be sure you have the means to repay the car loan.

How to get a chattel mortgage?

Both businesses and individuals may use a chattel mortgage, provided that the car is being used predominantly for business purposes. 

To apply for a chattel mortgage, you need to first consider your options and choose a suitable lender that meets your requirements. Once you have selected a lender, you can apply for the loan online by filling out a form. If the lender doesn’t offer an online application process, you can either call them or visit their nearest branch. 

After you’ve applied, the lender will ask you to supply documents that confirm your identification, income, job profile, etc. If everything is in order, most lenders will arrange the loan’s settlement, so all you need to do is pick up your car!

How to find a great car loan

Historically, finding a great car loan would require excess research ranging from visiting an excess of websites or making phone calls, but technology has moved on. Using RateCity, Australia’s leading financial comparison service, you can check out great deals from a range of lenders on the one site.

To start, select the amount you want to borrow and the length of the loan, narrowing your search to show just fixed or variable interest rate results.

Once you’ve indicated your search criteria, you’ll see an immediate list of lenders, ranked by interest rate or application fees. You’ll also be able to view the monthly repayment amount for each result, helping you to know what you can afford.

Up to six products can be compared side-by-side, complete with more information about each car loan, giving you more information about your options.

When comparing your car loan options, it’s ideal to keep in mind some points find a great car loan for your needs. Consider the following:

  • Choosing a low interest car loan can reduce costs
  • Selecting an option with low fees and charges is ideal, because these can really add up
  • Be aware of penalties, such as early exit penalties if you pay off the loan sooner than expected
  • Consider the features that best suit your situation

There are many ways to ensure that you get a great car loan. Ultimately, you’ll end up with the best deal by doing your research and selecting the most suitable product for you.

What is a dealership?

A dealership is a car yard or a place where cars are sold.

What is CTP insurance?

CTP insurance, also known as compulsory third-party insurance or a green slip, is compulsory if you want to register a vehicle in Australia. If you’re responsible for a car accident, your CTP insurance will be used to pay any compensation due to anyone who might be injured or killed. However, CTP insurance doesn’t cover you for vehicle damage or theft.

What is a balloon payment?

Some lenders will offer borrowers reduced monthly repayments in return for a one-off lump sum – or balloon payment – that the borrower has to pay at the end of the loan. Generally, the total repayments on a loan with a balloon structure will be higher than a loan without.

What is a car loan calculator?

A car loan calculator is an online tool that helps consumers understand how much they would have to repay under different scenarios. Consumers can create these different scenarios by entering different borrowing amounts, interest rates, loan terms and repayment schedules into the car loan calculator.

What is a refinance?

A refinance is when you swap one car loan with another. For example, you might take out a car loan with Lender X because it is the best on the market at the time – but two years later, you might switch to Lender Y because you discover that it now has the best loan. Conditions and fees often apply when you refinance.

What is credit history?

Your credit history is a record of the dealings you’ve had with credit providers such as banks, credit card companies, mobile phone companies and internet companies. Your credit history records how successfully you’ve managed your repayments. It also records how many credit applications you’ve made and how many of those were rejected.

Credit providers refer to your credit history when deciding whether or not to extend you credit. Missing repayments is a bad sign; making too many applications or having applications rejected can also be a bad sign.

Credit infringements can remain on your credit history for five years – or seven years for serious infringements.

Who can go guarantor for me on a car loan?

Anyone who knows your circumstances and trusts you to meet your repayments is someone who could potentially go guarantor for you on a car loan, providing that they have an excellent credit history and/or are a home owner.

Parents are the most likely to be accepted by lenders as guarantors, but immediate family such as grandparents, adult children, siblings and de facto partners are also accepted. If you want a friend of colleague to go guarantor for you it is possible but may require a specialist lender and may incur a premium fee.

What is residual value?

The residual value of a car is how much it will be worth at the end of a lease period. Finance companies need to calculate a car’s residual value before they can know how much to charge during the lease period. For example, if a financier calculates that a $30,000 car will have a residual value of $16,000 at the end of a five-year lease, the financier will know that it must charge $14,000 to break even on the lease – and more to make a profit.

What is collateral?

Collateral, or security, is an asset you agree to surrender to a lender if you fail to repay a loan. Generally, the collateral for a car loan is the car itself. So if you fail to repay the loan, the lender might seize your car, sell it and then use the proceeds to recover their debt.

What is trade-in value?

The trade-in value is the price you could realistically charge if you were to sell your car to a dealer while buying a replacement vehicle. Generally, a car’s trade-in value is less than its market value. That’s because the dealer has no interest in buying your car unless it can make a profit – which can only be done if the dealer has room to increase the price.

What is a redraw facility?

A redraw facility allows you to re-borrow any funds you may have repaid ahead of schedule – although conditions and fees often apply. Not all car loans come with a redraw facility.