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Choosing the right personal loan when buying 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. We’ve put together six steps to help you through the process.

It only takes a few moments to set a budget with our how much can I borrow calculator. It will help you see how much you can afford and what the repayments will be for the different types of personal loans. 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.

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. Use our personal loan selector tool to see the different loan options:

  • 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.
  • Fixed rate personal loan: Enjoy 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: Enjoy the flexibility of making additional repayments to pay down your loan faster which will save you interest. You can also redraw these funds if it should turn out you need the extra cash.

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

When you have a conditional approval before you buy, you can shop with confidence knowing exactly what you have to spend. You can also negotiate with car dealerships to get the best price, without overrunning your budget.

The most exciting part! Your personal loan can be used to find the right car whether it's new or second-hand; from a dealer or private seller.

One benefit of buying through a dealer is that they are obliged by law to offer you a warranty, and perhaps a cooling off period too. They may also let you trade in your old car against your new one.

Private sales aren’t protected by the same laws, although they can sometimes offer some great bargains. It can be a good idea to get a mechanic to check the car thoroughly before you pay up.

When you’ve found your car you just need to complete your application. Whether you do this online or in a branch we will let you know what documents you need to get from the dealer/private seller.

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

Now that you have bought your car you can keep an eye on your loan with NetBank and the CommBank app. As well as tracking your loan balance, you can set up automatic transfers to pay off your loan, change or make additional repayments, view your loan statements or redraw funds (if you made extra repayments to a variable rate loan).

Choosing the right personal loan when buying a car

 When buying a car it's important to consider the running costs.

 Not sure which loan to choose? try our personal loan selector.

 Cover your car for those unexpected moments on the road with car insurance.

Apply online for a personal loan

You’ll get a response in 60 seconds.


Already a customer banking online with us?

Save time by using your NetBank details.

Apply in NetBank

New customer or don't bank online with us?

Apply online


Important information

*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, if an application is incomplete or needs to be referred for a more detailed review by a lending specialist, 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.

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