Compare new car loans
Compare new car loans and find options that will let you hit the road in style.
There’s nothing quite like a brand-new car. The look, the feel, the unmistakable new car smell… even if buying a new car costs a little more, it’s often money well spent.
To help you impress your friends by showing off your brand-new car, RateCity compares a variety of car loans on feature and fees, which can help you choose a new car loan that perfectly suits your finances.
Find and compare new car loans
$5k to $100k
Drive away with a new set of wheels, without forking out ongoing fees.
Winner of Best new car loans, RateCity Gold Awards 2021
$3k to $70k
$10k to $150k
Enjoy the freedom of choosing a new or used car, as well as the certainty of a fixed-rate car loan.
$10k to $250k
Put the pedal to the metal with this competitive car loan, suitable for new and used cars.
$5k to $50k
$5k to $63k
$2k to $75k
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What counts as a ‘new’ or ‘used’ car?
Different lenders use different definitions of ‘new’ and ‘used’ cars. For example, a lender may count any car less than two years old as “new”, whether it’s come straight from the factory, or if it’s had previous owners.
Lenders consider new cars to be less financially risky than used cars, because they’re less likely to break down and be written off. This means many lenders will offer lower interest rates and more flexible features on new car loans than on used car loans.
Are there drawbacks to new car loans?
New cars are generally more expensive than used cars, so you may need to borrow more money to buy one. A bigger car loan may take longer to pay back, and cost you more in interest. However, new car loans tend to have lower interest rates than loans for used cars.
Fees and other charges will vary between new car loans. To get a better idea of a car loan’s overall cost, including the interest rate and fees, look at its ‘comparison’ rate, which combines the advertised rate and the main fees, including upfront and ongoing fees.
Fixed rate vs variable rate car loans
Fixed rate car loans lock the borrower into the same interest rate and repayments over the life of the loan term. Fixed rate loans can help you avoid any financial stress should interest rates rise. As you’re locked into a set rate, the lender can’t make any unexpected changes to your repayments.
While the benefit of a fixed rate car loan lies in unchanging repayments, this is also a disadvantage. If your lender cuts interest rates, this will not be passed on if your loan is fixed, only to borrowers on variable loans. Fixed rate loan may also have more restrictive conditions than variable loans. For example, repaying your loan early may attract financial penalties, to ensure the lender recoups the loss of interest that an early exit brings.
A variable car loan has an interest rate that may rise or fall over the life of the loan. If it falls, your interest cost will drop and you may be able to save some money or get ahead on your repayments. But if interest rates rise, your costs will go up. However, variable rate loans are more likely to offer flexible features and benefits such as the ability to repay your loan early without penalty.
What to look for when comparing new car loans
Extra repayments and redraw facilities
If you can afford to pay extra money on your car loan, you will pay off your loan more quickly and pay less in interest costs. However, not all lenders let you make extra repayments or exit a car loan early. Some will charge you fees for the privilege. Some car loans also include a redraw facility, which lets you withdraw any extra repayments from your car loan.
Encumbrance/PPSR Check Fee
Unless you’re buying a new car straight off the showroom floor, it could have money owing on it from a previous owner, also known as a financial encumbrance. To avoid surprises when buying a used car, even if it’s relatively new, get a report from the Personal Property Security Register (PPSR), which used to be called a REVS check. You can handle this yourself, or your lender may handle it for you, though they may charge a fee.
100% car loans
Because new cars can cost more than used cars, saving up a deposit for a new car loan may be harder. Some lenders offer high Loan to Value Ratio (LVR) car loans, where you make a smaller deposit and borrow a greater percentage of the car’s value. There are also 100% loans available, where you pay no deposit and borrow your new car’s full value. Because no-deposit car loans are riskier to lenders, these loans tend to charge higher interest rates than other new car loans.
Senior Financial Writer
Mark Bristow is a senior financial writer for RateCity and an experienced analyst, researcher, and producer. Working for over ten years, Mark previously wrote and researched commercial real estate at CoreLogic, and has seen articles published at Lifehacker and Business Insider, among others. Most recently, Mark has joined RateCity working across finance as a whole. Whatever the topic, Mark’s goal is always to provide simple solutions to complex problems.
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Frequently asked questions
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 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 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 the principal?
The principal is the value of the loan that is still outstanding. So if a borrower takes out a $20,000 loan, the principal is $20,000. If the borrower repays $5,000 in the first year, the principal is now $15,000.
What is resale value?
The resale value is the price you could realistically charge if you were to sell your car. Almost every car loses value each year, although at different rates. As a guide, cars depreciate on average by 14 per cent per year in the first three years and then eight per cent per year after that.
What is proof of residence?
Before giving you a car loan, lenders will ask for proof of residence – documentary evidence that you live where you claim you live. Lenders will typically want some combination of utility bills, bank statements, mortgage documents or driver’s licence. The reason lenders want proof of residence is to verify your identity and credit history.
What is a finance broker?
Finance brokers help borrowers organise car loans with lenders – that is, they act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders. While lenders will only recommend their own products, finance brokers recommend products from a range of lenders. Finance brokers need to be accredited with a lender to do business with that lender; a typical broker will be accredited with between 10 and 30 lenders. Finance brokers generally don’t charge consumers; instead, they receive commission payments from lenders.
Where can I get a student car loan?
Student car loans are not a necessarily a product in and of themselves, but what you may be looking for is a guarantor car loan.
A guarantor car loan has a third-party act as a form of guarantee for your loan application, telling the bank or lender that if you default on your loan, someone will pay the loan repayments.
Going guarantor on a car loan is no new thing, and before internet-based credit scores, guarantor car loan applicants would apply for loans with a guarantor or property owner who could vouch for the person borrowing the loan.
To get a guarantor car loan, you’ll need someone willing to act as a guarantor for your car loan.
What is a car loan?
A car loan, also known as vehicle finance, is money that a consumer borrows with the express purpose of buying a vehicle, such as a car, motorbike, van, truck or campervan. Car loans can be used for both new and used vehicles.
Where can I find lenders who offer no credit check car loans?
One thing to bear in mind is that lenders who offer no credit check car loans are likely to charge higher interest rates and higher fees than on car loans that include a credit check. Also, lenders who no credit check car loans might expect you to pay a higher deposit. You might also be expected to provide security.
Lenders regard no credit check car loans as riskier than other car loans, which is why it’s a niche product that often features special conditions.
Can I get a no credit check car loan?
You may be able to get a no credit check car loan in certain circumstances, although it’s important to weigh up your options before doing so.
Most lenders refuse to provide no credit check car loans, because they don’t want to give loans to borrowers without first confirming that they have a track record of repaying debts. So any lenders that do provide no credit check car loans would take measures to protect themselves against the risk of default.
That’s why no credit check car loans have higher interest rates than other car loans. Also, borrowers often have to provide security and put down a larger deposit.
What is a secured car loan?
A secured car loan is a loan that is connected to a form of security, or collateral. Generally, the security for a car loan is the car itself. If you fail to repay the loan, the lender might seize your car, sell it and then use the proceeds to recover their debt.
Where can I find lenders who offer no credit check car loans?
You might be better off finding a specialist lender who will look at your credit history and income, who will decide whether or not you are able to responsibility pay back the loan. Alternatively, you could contact a car finance broker.
What is a guarantor on a car loan?
A guarantor on a car loan is a third party, usually a relative or friend, who guarantees to meet the repayments of a loan for the purchase of a car, if the borrower/owner of the car defaults on the loan.
Guarantor car loans can be useful for people who would otherwise struggle in being accepted for credit to purchase a vehicle. These may include people with bad credit, students and young people who may have no credit history, as well as some pensioners.
Many lenders offer guarantor car loans, guarantor personal loans and guarantor home loans, because of the significantly reduced risk to the lender.
Can I get a discounted student car loan?
Being a student is tough enough, and while you might find the odd student discount on movies and technology, the same can’t be said about car loans, as you can’t really get a discounted student car loan.
Lenders make money on the interest and fees that they charge with loans, and the lowest interest and fees are given to the most reliable credit holders: people with excellent credit history.
As a student, you are unlikely to have enough on your credit report to warrant an excellent history. There are however, ways of getting a lower interest car loan if you can’t get an interest-free loan from the bank of mum and dad. One way of doing this may be through getting a guarantor car loan, which can get you a secured car loan by setting your parents up as guarantors.
What are the pros and cons of guarantor car loans?
Like all things, there are positives and negatives to guarantor car loans, though one may outweigh the other depending on your needs.
Guarantor car loan pros may include that you’re more likely to be approved for a long if you have no credit or a history with bad credit, that you’re more likely to secure a car loan with a lower interest rate, and that because your guarantor car loan is based on a relationship, you will be more inclined to meet your repayment schedule.
However, there are negatives, as well. Guarantor car loan cons may include leaving a detrimental mark on a personal relationship with added strain if you don’t meet your repayments, and you may take out a loan that you can’t actually afford.
Weighing these pros and cons will give you a greater understanding of whether a guarantor loan is ideal for your circumstances.
How do you get a car loan?
There are four different ways you can get a car loan. You can go straight to a lender. You can get a finance broker to organise a car loan for you. You can get ‘dealer finance’ – which is when the car dealer organises a car loan for you. Or you can organise your own car loan through a comparison website, like RateCity.
Whichever method you choose, you will need to provide proof of identification, proof of income and proof of savings. So you may be asked for any combination of passport, driver’s licence, bank statements, payslips, tax returns and utility bills. You might also be asked to provide proof of insurance.
How much is your car worth?
If you already own a car, you could potentially bring down the cost by selling your car in the process. Before that happens, though, you’ll need to find out how much your car is worth.
One of the first places to find this value is to research the value of your current car, giving you an idea of roughly how much it’s worth in its peak condition.
There are plenty of websites that offer a free online valuation, allowing you to enter your car’s make, model, year, badge and description, with results listing a price guide based on both selling your car privately and through a dealership.
Of course, dealerships will try to profit on your trade-in by buying it for less than they can sell it, making it highly unlikely that you’ll get the same price selling a car to a dealer as you would selling a car privately.
However, private car sales can be costly and can take months to sell, making car trading more convenient with a guaranteed return, even if you may not be able to realise the total value of your car’s worth.
Remember that everything is negotiable. If the dealership is offering you less for your trade than you wanted, try to negotiate elsewhere to gain that money back. Start by negotiating on the price of the trade and then ask them if they can give you a further discount on your new car.
Can I buy a car as a student?
Buying a car is a huge financial decision, and shy of marriage and purchasing a house (or perhaps around the world travels), it may be the biggest financial decision you make. But if you’re looking at your empty pockets, don’t despair! Your dream of owning your own car could become a reality, if you look for and compare the right car loans for your circumstances.