How much could you save by refinancing your car loan?
Search car loan refinancing options to find a more competitive product. Compare car loan interest rates, fees, features and benefits to find options that may better suit your needs.
Car Loan (New and dealer used)
A low fixed rate and fast approval. Get your motor running with our super-low interest rate car loans.
Gold Award Winner 2021
Drive away with a new set of wheels, without forking out ongoing fees.
$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
$5k to $63k
Tech-savvy car buyers can apply for this digital lender online, and pay no ongoing fees or early repayment fees.
$10k to $100k
Lock in a competitive interest rate and no ongoing fees with this secured car loan available for new and demo vehicles.
$10k to $250k
Put the pedal to the metal with this competitive car loan, suitable for new and used cars.
$5k to $100k
Winner of Best green car loans, RateCity Gold Awards 2021
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Why do people refinance car loans?
- To save money: A car loan with lower interest rates or fees could help you enjoy cheaper car loan repayments.
- To manage a balloon payment: Sometimes dealer finance lets you enjoy lower monthly car loan repayments by adding a large balloon payment to the end of your loan term. Rather than paying it back all at once, refinancing your balloon may let you spread your payments over a longer term.
- To join a better lender: Switching your car loan to a new lender could let you enjoy discounts on other offers, better customer service or other add-ons.
What are the main features to look for when refinancing a car loan?
Interest rate: The cost of having the money that you'll pay back to your lender each year. This may be set at a fixed rate that keeps your repayments the same, or a variable rate that could rise or fall.
Comparison rate: An estimate of your car loan's overall cost, including interest charges and standard fees.
Fees: Car loan fees can include upfront fees and ongoing fees. You may also need to pay fees to use certain features, such as a redraw facility or exiting the loan early.
Security: Secured car loans use the car's value to guarantee the loan, which can mean lower interest rates. Unsecured car loans may be more flexible, though their interest rates may be higher.
Extra repayments: Some lenders let you pay extra onto your loan when you can afford it. This can reduce the interest you're charged, and bring you closer to exiting the loan early.
Redraw facility: Car loans that let you make extra repayments may also let you redraw money from your car loan when you're ahead on your repayments and find yourself in need of cash.
- Lower repayments: Switching to a car loan with a lower interest rate can make your monthly repayments more affordable.
- Better loan features: The right features could make your new car loan much more flexible.
- Better service: Lenders offering better customer service or more convenient options could make your life easier.
- Pay more interest over longer term: If you refinance to a car loan with a longer loan term, your repayments may be lower. However, your loan will take longer to clear, so you may pay more in total interest charges than on a shorter-term loan.
- Switching costs (exit and upfront fees): The cost of break fees for leaving your old car loan and/or upfront fees for starting your new car loan could make refinancing less cost-effective.
- Car age/model may limit available loan types: Some secured car loans may be limited to newer cars whose value can cover the loan. Refinancing to an unsecured loan for an older car could mean paying a higher interest rate.
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
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 a loan-to-value ratio?
The loan-to-value ratio, or LVR, is a percentage that expresses the amount of money owed on the car compared to the value of the car. For example, if you take out a $15,000 loan to buy a $20,000 car, you have a loan-to-value ratio of 75 per cent. Loan-to-value ratios change over time as you pay off your loan and your car depreciates in value. For example, two years later you might now owe $10,000 on your car, which might now be worth $15,000. In that case, although there would still be a $5,000 difference between the size of the outstanding loan and the value of the car, the loan-to-value ratio would now be 67 per cent.
What is a car lease?
A car lease, also known as an asset lease or finance lease, is an arrangement by which a finance company buys a car on your behalf. You get to borrow the car in return for making regular payments to the financier. At the end of the lease, you can either buy the car or hand it back.
What is depreciation?
Depreciation is the reduction in the value of 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
What is a guarantor car loan?
A guarantor car loan is a type of loan that features a guarantor on the agreement. The guarantor is a third-party individual, often a friend or relative, who guarantees the loan will be repaid if the borrower defaults on the car loan.
Guarantor car loans are often geared at people who might otherwise struggle being accepted for a secured car loan when purchasing a vehicle. Some of the reasons might include a lack of credit history such as with a student or young person, if there’s bad credit, or age as a factor such as with pensioners.
What are loan repayments?
Loan repayments are the regular payments you make to pay off your car loan. Loan repayments generally occur on a monthly basis, although many lenders will also give you the option of making fortnightly or weekly loan repayments.
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 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.
What is a loan term?
The loan term is the amount of time the lender gives you to repay the car loan. For example, if you take out a $20,000 car loan with a five-year loan term, you would be expected to pay off the entire $20,000 (plus interest) within five years.
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.