Faster, smarter, easier car loans from Savvy
Find a better car loan with Savvy
Buying a new car? Or buying a car that’s new to you? There are dozens of different car loan options out there, but which one is right for you? Savvy can help. Since 2010, we’ve helped hundreds of Australians drive a better car loan deal. We’re partnered with over 40 of Australia’s most trusted lenders, offering hundreds of different car loan options. When it comes to comparing and saving on car loans, Savvy makes it simple.
Finance your car, your way
At Savvy, we make it easy to finance your next car purchase. Brand new, certified used, or used through a private seller – we can help you find an affordable and competitive car loan and get your behind the wheel faster.
We offer a secure, streamlined application process, which means you could be driving away with your chosen car in under 24 hours. Our expert consultants work hard to scour the market to save you as much on your car loan as possible, even if you have bad credit. Ask us about our car sourcing service, delivering a car of your choice from our extensive dealer network direct to your driveway!
Why choose Savvy for your car loan?
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Our range of car loan options
A standard secured car loan for private usage. These come with fixed interest rates and allow you to borrow as much as 100% of your car’s value (plus on-road costs such as stamp duty and registration in some cases) and take between one and seven years to repay your loan.
A loan designed for the purchase of commercial vehicles. These are also available from $5,000 up to the vehicle’s maximum value, but they offer a range of tax benefits, such as claimable GST, interest and depreciation, as well as residual payments.
This is an arrangement between you, your employer and a novated lease company whereby payments for your lease come out of your pre-tax income. This means you’ll pay less income tax and your employer can also claim GST and depreciation for the vehicle.
Leasing is another commercial vehicle finance option. This allows you to access your vehicle without committing to its purchase and update your models more regularly. You can choose between fully-maintained and non-maintained leases, each of which comes with tax benefits.
You can refinance your car loan with us if you’re looking to cut down on the cost of your repayments. This essentially involves taking out a new loan to pay off and replace your current one, which you may also use to get a lower rate or fees or shorten or lengthen your term.
There are also options available to those who’ve struggled with their credit in the past or receive Centrelink benefits. We’re partnered with lenders specialising in second-chance vehicle finance, so we can help you get approved when you’re looking to buy your next car.
Our car loans at a glance
Your car loan interest rate will depend on several factors related to your profile, including your credit score, the type of vehicle you're purchasing and the type of car loan you choose.
Our car loan interest rates start from as little as 5.89% p.a. depending on your credit profile. However, your consultant can provide you with an indicative rate after we assess your application.
The amount you can borrow on your car loan will depend on factors such as your income, savings, asset backing, credit score and the value of the vehicle you want to purchase. Our car loans start from $5,000 but can reach far beyond $100,000.
The time to repay a car loan is reflected in the car loan term, which we provide to you as part of the approval process. This depends on what your lender offers and your borrowing power. We can help you find car loan terms ranging from 12 months to seven years, with repayments made weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Note that weekly and fortnightly repayments will mean more repayments more often, and reduce the car loan term by approximately one month per year remaining on the term (e.g. 52 weekly/26 fortnightly repayments = 13 monthly repayments).
Car loan pre-approval, also known as conditional approval, is a process in which a lender processes your application and gives you a dollar figure of how much they are prepared to lend before you purchase a vehicle. (You can use this as a “price ceiling” in negotiations with dealers or sellers.) You typically have from one to three months to find a vehicle before this pre-approval expires. Talk to one of our friendly consultants to start the pre-approval process today.
Yes – Savvy helps Australians finance all types of vehicles, from brand new, certified used, used cars from private sellers, and classic or vintage vehicles. Some cars may be subject to eligibility due to age and condition (20+ years.) If you’re unsure, ask your friendly consultant.
When applying with Savvy, you can be formally approved for your car loan as soon as one business day after submitting your application. However, this will also depend on factors such as the time of day and week you apply and the complexity of your profile.
Yes, if you're self-employed and wanting to buy a car for 50% or more business usage, we offer a variety of business car finance solutions. Chattel mortgages, business hire purchase arrangements, and vehicle leases are examples of this. Personal vehicle loans have different restrictions than business finance, as it is not regulated under various financial legislation to the same degree.
Yes – you can apply for a car loan without a deposit, known as 100% finance. However, you will need to demonstrate creditworthiness and an ability to comfortably pay back the loan on time and in full. However, if you have a significant deposit (more than 10%) could help you save on interest as you don’t need to borrow as much.
The documents you’ll need as part of your car loan application include:
- Driver’s licence
- Last two payslips
- Savvy application, consent form and credit guide (supplied by your consultant)
However, additional information can help us make a more detailed profile of your finances, which can often influence the final interest rate lenders are able to offer you. In some cases, your consultant may request further documentation such as 90 days of bank statements, tax returns or Notices of Assessment if you’re self-employed and information about your car such as its make, model, age and repair or service history.
The eligibility criteria around applying for a car loan will be slightly different depending on the lender you ultimately select. However, Savvy’s own initial eligibility criteria is as follows:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (some lenders can work with eligible visa holders)
- You must be earning a minimum income (typically at least $26,000) from stable sources such as regular employment
- You must have an average credit score or higher (although we may be able to help applicants who have bad credit)
How to apply for your car loan with Savvy
Complete your application
First and foremost, complete our simple online application form. This involves telling us about the loan you’re after, such as its size, term length, residency and employment status, borrowing and credit history and more. This should only take you a few minutes to complete.
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What are car loans and how do they work?
A car loan is a type of personal finance that gives you funds to purchase a vehicle and pay it off over time. During that time, you may drive the vehicle and use it as your own. However, you commit to a financial obligation to pay back your lender with interest to cover the costs of lending you a lump sum upfront, and they must be used to purchase a motor vehicle. Following the purchase of their vehicle, the borrower makes monthly payments to the lender, including interest and other costs associated with the loan, until their debt is completely paid off.
This type of finance makes car purchases affordable and manageable for everyday Australians. By the time most Australians of working age have saved up enough cash to buy a car – especially a new model – outright, it’s likely the amount saved may not cover the entire price due to inflation and may wipe out one’s entire savings in one go.
Instead, a borrower can spread out this cost over one to seven years (typically five) depending on their preferences and financial status. Since July 2012, over $1.1 billion has been invested each month in new, fixed-term loan commitments for the purchase of road vehicles, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Before committing to a car loan, you need to compare and contrast the many different options available to a would-be car buyer looking for car finance. By making a savvy decision, you could find more attractive and affordable options suited to your situation and needs.
What types of car loans are available in Australia?
There are numerous sorts of car loans available in Australia to assist consumers in purchasing a vehicle immediately rather than later. The sort of loan you select will be determined by your circumstances, such as why you require a car and the type of vehicle you wish to acquire.
All loans, apart from leases, share three aspects in common:
- A principal (the amount borrowed)
- Interest and fees (the amount lenders ask for in return for supplying a lump sum up front)
- And a loan term (how long you choose to pay back the loan, ranging from one to seven years.)
In Australia, the most common forms of car loans are (but are not strictly limited to):
Secured car loan: A secured car loan requires the borrower to put up collateral (typically the vehicle itself) to secure the loan, which the lender can reclaim if the borrower defaults (fails to pay back the loan). In general, secured loans have lower interest rates than unsecured loans as a “reward” for the borrower taking on more risk.
Unsecured car loan: Unsecured car loans are the opposite to secured car loans, insofar that the borrower is not compelled to make their car the collateral for the loan. Therefore, the value of the loan is not tied to the asset purchased. This may also be known as an unsecured personal loan. These will have higher interest rates compared with secured car loans, due lenders taking on more risk.
Fixed rate car loan: A fixed rate car loan sets a consistent interest rate that is “fixed” for the entirety of the loan term. In this case, repayments are consistent amounts which allows greater certainty in budgeting.
Variable rate car loan: Variable rate car loans have interest rates tied to the financial markets, notably the RBA cash rate. If rates go up, so do your repayments. If they fall, one may take advantage of lower repayments. This provides greater flexibility at the expense of less certain repayment amounts each month. Variable rate car loans also typically allow for additional repayments without significant or no penalty.
Chattel mortgage: A chattel mortgage is a sort of secured car loan designed for businesses that allows them to deduct interest and GST paid on the vehicle purchase, as well as depreciation and any available instant write-offs for asset purchases. The company buys the car, and the lender takes out a mortgage on it as collateral for the loan. Note that these are not regulated to the same degree as consumer car loans. Ask your consultant if chattel mortgages are right for your business situation.
The following car finance options are not loans but leases – a finance package where a lessor (person taking out the lease) gains access to the use of a car for a set period. Common car lease options include:
Car lease: A car lease is a kind of financing in which the borrower leases the vehicle for a defined length of time and pays monthly payments to the lender. At the end of the lease period, the borrower has the option of returning the vehicle or purchasing it entirely (depending on the type of lease they take out). Using Savvy’s simple calculator, you can calculate the cost of your car lease.
Novated lease: A novated lease is a three-way agreement between an employer, employee, and novated leasing company (usually a lender or a bank) where the borrower’s employer leases the car on behalf of the borrower, with the payments being made to the leasing company from the borrower’s pre-tax income. The benefit to the employee being their taxable income is reduced; the benefit to the employer is they can provide an incentive to staff without paying additional Fringe Benefits Tax. At the end of the leas’, the employee may purchase the car, sell it to pay a residual value payment, or hand the car back to the finance company.
Commercial hire purchase: Similar to a chattel mortgage in operation, A hire purchase arrangement is a sort of automotive finance in which the borrower rents the vehicle from the lender, who then buys it. The lender transfers ownership of the vehicle to the business at the conclusion of the hire period, following receipt of the last payment. This may be suitable for certain types of “off-book” accounting methods.
How do I get the best car loan for my needs?
When selecting which car loan is ideal for your circumstances, there are several factors to consider. Your Savvy consultant will assist you in comparing a broad range of car loan choices to determine which is best for your circumstances, but keep the following in mind:
- What is the reason for buying a car?
Though it may seem obvious, it’s important to explore why you are buying and what type of car you intend to buy. Are you looking to upgrade a “clunker” with something brand new and more efficient? Are you transitioning to an EV? Maybe you are buying used to modify or repair it. Each situation may have a different ideal car finance agreement depending on your use case, so it’s crucial to think about what that may be for you.
- Consider your budget
It is critical to examine your budget while applying for a car loan. Determine how much you can easily pay each month depending on your income, spending, and liabilities. Your lender will also consider other factors such as the stability of your work, your credit history, and the value of your car when determining your borrowing capacity.
When evaluating how much you may spend and borrow, remember to account for other fees like as insurance, registration, and maintenance as these are ongoing costs which can affect what you can ultimately afford.
- Check your credit score
It is critical to monitor your credit score. Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness that is used by lenders to determine whether or not to accept your loan application. Credit scores range from 0-1000 or 0-1200. A strong credit score (<800) will help you achieve a reduced interest rate, but a bad credit score (>600) could result in higher interest rates or possibly loan refusal. You can check your credit score every three months for free at a credit reporting bureau.
- Understand the terms and conditions
Before agreeing to anything, you need to understand the terms and conditions of your loan, as well as your obligations – as well as a lender’s obligations to you. Make sure you understand the interest rate, repayment schedule and any fees associated with the loan. It may also be worth checking what your lender’s hardship measures are if you want to cover your bases in case you end up struggling with repayments at any point. If you do not understand the terms and conditions, a lender is legally obligated to refuse credit as part of responsible lending practices. If you do not understand anything in a loan contract, ask your consultant for assistance or translation help.
- Shop around for the best deal
When looking for a car loan, it is critical to compare offers from several lenders. Interest rates and loan conditions can vary greatly, and comparing offers might save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the loan. When you apply with Savvy, you’ll be able to explore offers from lenders all throughout Australia, with your experienced consultant assisting you in determining which is the most reasonable and fit for your circumstances.
How do I compare car loans?
For those new to car loans, striking the right balance between affordability and features can seem daunting. When you are in the market for a new car, you are also in the market for a car loan for the most part. Just like how comparing different car models is important, so is comparing different car loan products. Our committed and experienced consultants perform the heavy lifting for you, comparing lenders from our panel to connect you with the one that best meets your demands as a borrower. However, if you want to gain a sense of the market before applying, consider the following factors:
- Interest rates and comparison rates
The “headline” of any car loan comparison is looking at the interest rate. This is what you pay on top of the principal (amount borrowed) in return for gaining access to a lump sum of funds to purchase a car with. The most major expense levied on your car loan is interest, which may cost you thousands of dollars, if not more than $10,000 in total, depending on its size and term length. Even a seemingly minor change in rates can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. For example, a $50,000 automobile loan repaid over five years at 6% p.a. would cost you just under $8,000 in interest, while a loan at 5% p.a. would save you about $1,400.
Comparison rates allow you to make “like-for-like” evaluations between car loans, as most fees and charges are included in the per annum rate, expressed as a percentage.
- Available repayment terms
In most circumstances, regardless of who you’re trying to apply with, the prospective range of conditions supplied by your lender will be relatively constant. As previously said, this normally runs from one to seven years, however this is not always the case with all lenders. Some may impose lengthier minimum or shorter maximum durations, so keep this in mind when comparing finance packages if you’re searching for a very short or lengthy loan term. Remember, shorter loan terms mean higher repayments compared with longer loan terms, but may reduce the overall interest paid (assuming the same principal amount borrowed and interest rate.)
- Minimum loan amounts
While vehicle loans normally do not have maximum loan limits (since the car itself serves as security for the loan), they do have a minimum necessary amount. This might range from as low as $2,000 with certain specialised lenders to $10,000 or more with others. Of course, this is only really crucial to be aware of if you’re planning to purchase a used car or put down a large deposit on a new car, but you should still check to make sure the lender can accommodate the loan amount, depending on if you are eligible or not.
- Fees and charges
With very rare exceptions, fees and charges are part and parcel of any type of car loan. This may be applied to your loan for a variety of reasons such as time incurred by your lender for processing certain requests or as disincentives to pay your loan back early (as early exits means less interest goes back toward the lender.)
Sign-up or application costs, additional repayment expenses, and continuing or monthly repayment fees are all examples of these. These can mount up throughout the term of the loan, therefore they must be considered when comparing loans. These fees may also be expressed as part of a comparison rate (see above.)
Other fees may be conditional such as late fees, early exit or break fees, which are only payable if and when they occur and are not ongoing. These fees are not included in comparison rates.
- Vehicle eligibility requirements
If you want to buy a used car, you'll also need to make sure it fulfils your lender's secured loan standards. Because your lender will buy it in order to reclaim lost cash if you are unable to repay your loan, they must verify that it can be resold to cover the majority of their losses. The most important condition is the age of the vehicle, which may be up to 20 years old with our lender panel (or beyond 25 with unsecured finance).
Your vehicle may also be needed to have been constructed in Australia or imported here by its manufacturer, as well as not having been previously stolen or written off, both of which may vary amongst lenders. If you’re ever unsure, ask your friendly consultant.
Helpful guides on car loans
Interest Rate from 5.89%, comparison rate of 6.44 p.a. based on a 5 year secured consumer fixed rate loan of $40,000. **WARNING: The comparison rate, monthly repayment and total cost applies only to the example given and may not include all fees and charges. Costs such as broker fees, redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts may result in a different comparison rate. Establishment fees and monthly fees apply only to consumer loans. Commercial use loans may attract different fees.