Used car loans
Who doesn't love pre-loved? When it comes to cars, opting for a used vehicle often means you're likely looking at a lower price with the added bonus of a little bit of character.
A range of lenders offer used car loans as a way to fund your vehicle purchase. In fact, whether you prefer traditional forms of banking, credit unions or even online options, there is likely a product out there to suit you.
Comparing used car loans – what features to look for
Whether you decide to buy from a private dealer, an auction or a dealership, a loan for a used car is much the same across the board. There are however a bundle of features you need to consider before deciding on which car loan is best for you. Here’s what you need to compare:
Using Mozo’s car loan comparison calculator is a great way to help you understand how much you can afford to borrow and repay.
Length of term?
Typically 5 years, but some people opt to pay it off faster with a 3 year loan period or extend it up to 10 years.
Rates: fixed or variable?
Fixed allows you to budget better as the amount won’t change over the course of the term. However, a variable rate may lessen over the loan if the lender decides to cut its rate.
Secure or unsecured?
Often, the car you purchase will be used as security on the loan, so if you default on payments, the lender has the power to sell your car to recoup any debt owed. An unsecured personal loan option generally comes with a higher interest rate, however you do no need to put up your car as collateral.
Monthly repayment, can you manage it?
Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Use Mozo’s repayment calculator to compare rates and see if the monthly repayments is realistic for your day to day budget.
Most dealers and auction houses will charge a fee to shuffle papers on your behalf, and you’ll be thankful. If you’ve ever purchased a used car privately, you’ll already know how time consuming getting rego and insurance sorted can be.
Can you use your loan amount for other things like consolidating debt or a home reno? It’s not commonplace to have the freedom to use the money you borrow for a used car for anything other than the used car. But if you want flexibility, do the legwork and see who will. Bear in mind, you may pay a premium rate for that freedom!
How to manage repayments
Budgeting for repayments of a car loan is no easy task, even if it’s for a used car. Chances are, if you're opting for a used car and not buying a new one because your budget is already tight.
In any case, budgeting your day-to-day expenses is as important as budgeting for your used car loan, so make it a priority. Here are some suggestions on managing your car loan repayments:
1. Extra payments- Do you have the flexibility to make extra repayments, and without penalty? Putting your tax return or work bonus amount toward you car loan can help you pay off your loan faster, which means saving $$ in the long run.
2. Pay on time - Set up a direct deposit to pay your loan off so that you never miss the due date. It’s ideal to pay 3-5 business days before the due date in case there are any delays between bank communications. That way you’ll always avoid late fees.
3. Conscious spending - Don’t need a fifth pair of sneakers? Then don’t buy them. conscious spending is all about being mindful of where your money goes after it reaches your bank account. Ever wonder how quickly your pay seems to disappear? Any extra money left over could go into a term deposit to help you save or toward extra car loan repayments that could help you pay off your car sooner.
Try Mozo’s car loan repayments calculator to see how much your repayments will be.
Traps to watch when buying a used car
Buying a second-hand car is not as straightforward as you think. There’s a whole lot of things you need to be weary of so that you don’t end up with a very expensive lemon. So here is a list of thought-starters for you, think of them as protocol before buying a used car:
- Is the vehicle roadworthy?
- Is the dealership trustworthy?
- Do you have the freedom to hire an independent mechanic to inspect car?
- If buying privately, does the name and address of the owner listed on the rego papers match their driver’s license?
- Is the pink slip valid at least 28 days?
- Is money still owed on the car? You need a PPSR (formerly REVS check).
- The shell of the car might be in good nick, but how many kilometers has it done compared to the age of the car?
- Has the odometer been tampered with?
- Are there noticeable bubbles in the paint or rust that you can see?
- Dents, scratches, other damage?
- Will it be inexpensive to fix or cost thousands on top of the buying price?
- Is the price of the car negotiable?
Remember: follow your gut instinct. If it's too good to be true, then it probably is. Also, if you’re feeling uneasy about the purchase, then you need to step up and say that ‘you’ll think about it’. Don’t ever feel bullied, obliged or pity for the person selling their car whether you’re buying from a dealer or private seller. It’s not your position to purchase with emotions but rather with sense and logic. Try to always have someone with you to keep a balance on the buying process.
Applying for a used car loan – what you need
Some lenders want a little more information than what you would normally give for a regular car loan. For a used car, your lender may ask what the VIN number is in order to verify whether or not it is a stolen vehicle or if there is money still owed on it.
Other items your lender may ask for may include the:
- registration plate
- motor number
- make, year, model
But this is just the start. The nitty gritty is in proving your identity, residence and income. Why? You need to verify you are who you say you are and prove that you're a suitable candidate for borrowing money. It’s a trust thing!
So be prepared to take ID items like:
- utility bills
- proof of age card
- driver’s license
- one to two year’s tax returns
- bank statements etc.
If you’re not sure of what to bring, as the lender you’re making an enquiry with as each lender’s requirements will differ slightly.
Used car loan Tip 101
Research is key. You really need to compare brands, price, age, kilometres used, size and more. Start with an internet search of various dealerships online compared to private sales through portals like gumtree or carsales.
Apart from the above important elements to think about, you need to work out if you will buy privately or through a dealership. The main difference is that a used car purchase done privately is not protected by Australian consumer law, so it is literally based on trust with a stranger. If you’re not all that car savvy, then Mozo recommends that you hire a professional mechanic to give it a once over. A little cash spent to save you buying a dud is money well-spent.
On the contrary, a used car purchased at a second-hand dealership will likely give you up to 3 months warranty on parts should a mechanical problem arise. The car may cost a little more, but at least you have a little bit of cover!
Want to start comparing car loans today? Check out the killer options below or head to our car loan comparison page for more.
Car Loan Comparison Table - last updated November 28, 2020
New Car Loan
- Heritage BankHeritage Bank
New Car Loan
Secured Car Loan
^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Car Loans Awards
Mozo provides general product information. We don't consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and we aren't recommending any specific product to you. You should make your own decision after reading the PDS or offer documentation, or seeking independent advice.
While we pride ourselves on covering a wide range of products, we don't cover every product in the market. If you decide to apply for a product through our website, you will be dealing directly with the provider of that product and not with Mozo.