Coronavirus and car buying: what to consider if you purchase a car now

Ceyda Erem

17 Apr 2020

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak many Aussies have had to say goodbye to public transport and instead look to purchasing second hand cars to get around.

"One of the serious implications for many people will be the impact on their ability to get around, as confidence in public transport diminishes due to strengthening of the Government’s social distancing measures and concerns about contagion," said Popcar director, Anthony Welsh. 

If it’s your first time purchasing a used car, it won’t be long until you realise there’s a lot more to do than just scrolling through car sales websites. 

You’ll also need to think about how you intend to pay for it during this challenging time. If you are in a financially stable position and your job is secure, a used car loan could be worth considering. 

Similar to a personal loan, a used car loan allows you to borrow money for the purpose of purchasing a second hand vehicle. 

In these financially tough times, it’s worth comparing used car loans based on their interest rates and fees. These features will impact your ability to pay off the loan faster and save a few bucks down the track. 

Another area you’ll need to look into is the history of the car, like whether the car has ever been stolen, repossessed or has money still owed on it. 

One way to do this is to consult the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), an online registry that allows Aussies to find information about second hand goods. Just keep in mind that you will need to pay a minor $2 fee to use the service. 

What if I can’t afford my current car loan repayments?

If you are in a situation where your income has been affected by COVID-19 and you can no longer afford to pay back your car loan, don’t panic, there are few things you can do. 

First and foremost, get in touch with your lender to inform them of your circumstances. From there, they’ll work with you to establish an appropriate outcome.

Some examples may include freezing your interest, deferring repayments or placing you onto a specialised payment plan to help you make your repayments. 

For instance, NAB is allowing customers to reduce minimum repayments on their personal loans for up to six months. 

If you’d like more information about what your bank is doing to help during the COVID-19 pandemic, have a read of our comprehensive COVID-19 banking relief packages guide

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