Car Loans Canberra

Finding an amazing deal on your next car finance in Canberra couldn’t be easier when you choose Savvy.

Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
Our authors
, updated on May 22nd, 2024       

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Happy women driving in sunny car

Shopping for car finance in the country’s capital? Whether you’re on the hunt for a zippy hatchback or a people mover for your growing family, you can compare a range of car loans in Canberra with Savvy today. We’re partnered with over 40 lenders nationwide to give you more choice when it comes to making your car purchase goals a reality. You can get a free, no-obligation quote with us today and speak with one of our experienced finance consultants about your options before you know it!

How can I get a car loan in Canberra?

When it comes to locking in your car loan deal, the process is quick and easy through Savvy. The steps you’ll need to take are as follows:

  1. Fill out a quick quote: tell us about yourself, the car you’re looking to buy and the loan you’re after. This includes things like your employment situation, income, expenses and more. You can supply some of your documents if you decide to go ahead and apply formally.
  2. Supply any additional documentation: in the formal application process, we may need further documents to verify factors like your income and employment. We’ll reach out to you should we require anything else.
  3. Speak with your Savvy consultant: if you’ve just taken out a quote, you can discuss your situation with one of our friendly consultants to see if it’s right for you. If you applied formally, we’ll get to work comparing options from our lender panel and will get in touch to inform you which option is best for your situation.
  4. Have your application prepared and submitted: once we have all the information we need, we’ll get to work preparing your application with the lender we match you with. Your consultant will submit it and be in touch with you when they find out the formal outcome.
  5. Sign off and drive away: if your application is approved, all you’ll need to do is sign the final loan documents and return them. We’ll handle the settlement of the agreement, after which the funds can be sent to your seller and you’ll be the proud new owner of your car!

How should I compare car loan options in Canberra?

There are many ways you should look to compare different car loan options. These include:

Interest rate

Interest is one of the most important factors to consider when comparing car loans, as the higher your rate, the more you’ll pay overall. This can clearly be seen in the table below:

Loan size 7.00% p.a. 8.00% p.a. 9.00% p.a. 10.00% p.a.

Source: How Does a Car Loan Work? – Savvy. Calculations based on a car loan repaid monthly over five years.


It isn’t just interest rates you’ll need to keep an eye on, though, but fees as well. There are two main fees that can be charged as part of your car loan agreement:

  • Establishment fee: one-off fee included in your loan repayments. May cost up to $600 or more with certain lenders, but others may set this between $150 and $250.
  • Monthly fee: ongoing charge added to your loan repayments. Can range from as little as $5 to as much as $15 to $20 with certain lenders.

However, it’s important to note that one or both of these may be waived. By looking at your comparison rate, you’ll get a more accurate indication of the cost of your loan, inclusive of these fees. Other charges, such as early and late repayment fees, may also be included in your agreement, but because they’re conditional, they won’t show up in a comparison rate.

Loan terms

A crucial part of finding the right loan is determining which term is most suitable for your needs. These can range from one to seven years, but lenders may have differing minimum or maximum terms, which is why it’s important to compare.

Borrowing ranges

Similarly, it’s essential to work out whether your lender actually offers the loan amount you want. This is especially the case for particularly small or large loans; for instance, some lenders may cap their loans at a $10,000 minimum or $100,000 maximum, ruling out those looking to borrow outside that range. We’ll only pair you with lenders who offer what you’re looking for.

Repayment flexibility

As mentioned, some lenders will charge fees for additional repayments or early settlement of your loan. Paying off your loan early can potentially save you hundreds of dollars, if not more, so it’s worth checking if your lender will charge fees that cancel out the benefit of doing so.

Eligibility criteria

Of course, you’ll have to make sure you qualify for the loan before you apply. Although the specifics may vary slightly, the general points you’ll have to meet are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (some lenders may be able to approve applications for eligible temporary residents)
  • You must be receiving a stable income which meets your lender’s minimum requirements, which may be as little as $20,000 to $26,000 per year (though some may set this at a higher mark)
  • You must have a good credit history to qualify with most lenders, with no record of defaults, bankruptcies or debt agreements (though options exist for those with bad credit)

We’ll be sure to only consider lenders whose criteria you meet when comparing your options.

What other on-road costs are there when buying a car in Canberra?

There are several other costs to be aware of when buying your car in Canberra aside from the vehicle purchase itself and car loan interest and fees. The main charges are:

  • Motor vehicle duty: known as stamp duty in other states, you’ll have to pay this when purchasing your vehicle. The ACT’s duty is based on both on purchase price and the categorisation of the vehicle under the Vehicle Emission Reduction Scheme. You can calculate the duty payable on your car purchase using the ACT’s motor vehicle duty calculator.
  • Vehicle registration: in the ACT, registration is calculated based on factors such as the type of vehicle you’re buying, its weight, price/market value and its CO2 Access Canberra provides a registration fee calculator to help you estimate what you may have to pay.
  • Compulsory Third Pary (CTP) insurance: CTP insurance is mandatory in Canberra and the ACT. It’s designed to protect you or another driver in your car for liability in the event an at-fault accident occurs causing injury or death. As of May 2024, you must purchase this insurance when registering your vehicle each year with either AAMI, Apia, GIO or NRMA.
  • Comprehensive car insurance: although comprehensive car insurance in itself isn’t mandatory by law in the ACT, lenders will require you to take out a policy as part of your loan agreement. They may suggest a particular insurer or policy, but you can ultimately choose which one to take out (provided it meets your lender’s requirements).
  • Maintenance: all cars require maintenance and, if your car is in an accident or cops a ding, repairs. Make sure you leave room in your budget for ongoing costs like these.
  • Fuel: if you’re buying a petrol car, you’ll need to leave a certain amount in your weekly budget for refuelling. You can find out live petrol and diesel prices in Canberra by using FuelCheck, a NSW Government initiative which has been expanded to parts of the nation’s capital. Budgeting for fuel is a lesser issue when buying an electric or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) car, but it’s still worth considering how much it might cost each month.

Why choose Savvy for your car loan?

Calculate car loan repayments

Your estimated repayments


Total interest paid: $1233.43
Total amount to pay: $5,143.99

Disclaimer:  The results provided is an estimate only. Please read our Calculator Assumptions and Disclaimer for more information

The factors that impact the cost of your car loan

Some frequently asked car loan questions in Canberra

What do I need to apply for a car loan in Canberra?

You’ll need to be an Australian citizen or resident, and some working visas are eligible too. If you’re over 18 and have a regular income, you’ll get asked to supply ID and proof of address, plus a few months' worth of payslips. If you have a less than ideal credit history or you’re a new borrower, your loan provider may ask for some bank statements. Your Savvy consultant will let you know which documents may be required for your application.

Can I get a car loan in Canberra if I have a bad credit score?

Yes – there are still options available to potential borrowers who’ve struggled with their credit in the past. We’re partnered with a range of flexible lenders who specialise in helping borrowers with imperfect histories access the funds they need to buy their car. Speak with one of our friendly consultants about your situation if you’re looking for a bad credit car loan.

I’ve had vehicle finance before – will it be cheaper to stick with that lender?

Being an experienced credit user is no guarantee that you’ll discover the best available deals at any one time. When it comes to spending money on anything, it pays to look in the right places – and that’s where Savvy can help. Just like when you’re looking for car or home insurance, when it comes to vehicle finance, switching your provider can see you reap huge rewards.

A car is a major purchase, so it makes perfect sense to check all your options out before you commit. Savvy enjoys long-term partnerships with over 40 lenders around the country, which is why so many Aussies turn to Savvy when it comes to buying new wheels.

How does my credit score affect interest rates?

Your credit score can have a major impact on the rate you're offered. Those with higher scores are more likely to be offered lower rates and vice versa. However, it's just one of the things lenders refer to when they’re assessing your application. Factors such as your income, job and living stability, repayment history, homeownership and more will all play a role in determining the rate you're offered. Each lender will also have its own processes for determining what rate to offer you, which is why it's important to take the time to shop around before you apply.

How long will it take to get car finance in Canberra?

When you apply with Savvy, you can have your application formally approved, funded and settled as soon as 48 hours after you apply, regardless of whether you're living in Canberra, the ACT or anywhere else in Australia. However, there are several factors that may impact the speed at which you’re approved, including:

  • The time of day and week you apply (applications can only be assessed within business hours)
  • Your lender’s internal processes
  • The complexity of your borrowing profile
  • The speed at which you’re able to supply the documents requested by your lender
Are there any government incentives for buying an electric car in the ACT?

Yes – there are several incentives available to Canberra residents. Eligible new and used zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs), PHEVs and hybrids all qualify for a motor vehicle duty exemption. This can amount to a saving of thousands of dollars, so it’s worth learning more about whether the vehicle you’re looking to buy qualifies for an exemption.

The ACT Government also offered free registration for two years on eligible ZEVs, though this is ending before the 2024-25 financial year and being replaced with discounted registration, and no-interest loans of up to $15,000 to help eligible households purchase a ZEV. These are on top of existing Australian Government tax incentives related to FBT and LCT.

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