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How to use a personal loan to buy a car

How to use a personal loan to buy a car

Looking to purchase a new set of wheels? We explain how a personal loan can be a smart way to buy a car.

There are a number of ways you can pay for a car, and if you don’t have the funds up front, a personal loan could be a good option.

A personal loan can be used to buy a new or second-hand car from a dealer, or private seller. Here are some steps to help you get the funds you need to get on the road sooner.

Set your budget

You can use our how much can I borrow calculator to help you figure out how much you can afford to borrow and what the repayments will be. It’s also good to know what other costs are involved when buying a new car. If you decide on a variable rate personal loan, remember to leave room to move so you can still make repayments comfortably if interest rates change.

Choose your loan

While it might be easy to go with finance from a car dealer, check the extra fees and charges as they sometimes include commission for the dealer and may require you to make a large balloon payment at the end of the loan term.

With CommBank you can choose from the following loans:

  • Secured Car Loan: Has a lower interest rate than an unsecured loan because the car you’re buying is used as security. We’ll check the car is suitable as security before you pay your deposit to the seller - note that CommBank Secured Car Loans are only available for brand new cars or those less than five years old.
  • Fixed Rate Personal Loan: Provides the security of a fixed interest rate. You'll know exactly what your repayments will be for the life of the loan, even if interest rates rise. 
  • Variable Rate Personal Loan: Allows you to make additional repayments to pay down your loan faster, which can save you interest. You can also redraw these funds if you need the extra cash.

Get conditional approval

You can receive a response for a CommBank personal loan online in 60 seconds. You can do this through NetBank if you’re an existing customer, or our online application.

Having conditional approval before you buy means you can shop with confidence as you know exactly what you have to spend. You can also negotiate with car dealerships to get the best price, without running over your budget.

Start shopping

The most exciting part! You might choose to buy your car through either a dealer or private sale.

One benefit of buying through a dealer is that they are obliged by law to offer you a warranty, and may give a cooling-off period too.

Private sales aren’t protected by the same laws, but can sometimes offer some great bargains. If you’re looking at a second-hand car it’s a good idea to get a mechanic to check the car thoroughly before you pay up.

Closing the deal

When you’ve found your car you can start your application online or at your closest branch. We’ll let you know what documents you’ll need to supply to finalise your application.

Once the funds have been approved, the money will either be transferred directly to the car dealer (secured car loans only) or deposited straight into your chosen account. You might even receive the funds on the same day.*

*Apply before noon Monday to Friday, and if you’re approved, we’ll give you access to your loan that day. Unavailable for secured loans, or if an application is incomplete or needs to be referred for a more detailed review by a lending specialist, or if required documentation isn’t provided and subject to system availability. Applications are subject to credit approval. Full terms and conditions will be included in our loan offer. Fees and charges are payable. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. Australian credit licence 234945. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.