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LenderCar LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Interest Type Vehicle Type Maximum Vehicle Age Ongoing Fee Upfront Fee Total Repayment Early Repayment Instant Approval Online Application TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.49% p.a.
7.61% p.a.
$587
Fixed
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,211
Featured Approval within 24 hours
  • Save the planet. Save thousands on your car loan.
  • Get a discounted rate if you buy electric
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
6.57% p.a.
7.19% p.a.
$588
Fixed
New
No Max
$0
$250
$35,278
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • Available for any new motorised vehicle
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
6.19% p.a.
6.56% p.a.
$583
Variable
New
1 year
$0
$250
$34,958
6.24% p.a.
7.36% p.a.
$583
Variable
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,000
Featured
  • Available for purchasing new and demo vehicles
  • $5,000 to $150,000 loan amount
  • Redraw facility available up to $5000/day
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
6.49% p.a.
7.69% p.a.
$587
Fixed
New, Used
7 years
$12
$250
$35,211
6.49% p.a.
6.76% p.a.
$587
Fixed
New, Used
3 years
$0
$195
$35,211
6.57% p.a.
7.19% p.a.
$588
Fixed
Used
No Max
$0
$250
$35,278
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k
  • No ongoing or early exit fees
  • 1-7 years loan terms. Pay monthly, fortnightly, or weekly
  • Get quick decision. Funds in 24 hrs if approved
6.99% p.a.
8.11% p.a.
$594
Fixed
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,634
Approval within 24 hoursEarly payout available
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
7.09% p.a.
8.21% p.a.
$595
Fixed
New
1 year
$8
$400
$35,719
7.29% p.a.
8.00% p.a.
$598
Fixed
New
2 years
$0
$499
$35,889
More car loans
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here.

The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans for the relevant amounts and terms are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. The comparison rates for unsecured personal loans are applicable for unsecured loans only. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as 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. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products.

Monthly repayment figures are estimates only, exclude fees and are based on the advertised rate for the term and for the loan amount entered. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

What is a pre-approved car loan?

A pre-approved car loan is an indication from a lender that you are eligible to apply for a car loan of a specified amount, having assessed your credit rating, liabilities and assets. Entering a car dealership with car loan pre-approval can help speed up the car buying process, as both parties are aware of what you have to spend.

Pre-approval isn’t a guarantee of the loan itself, so you’ll still have to contact the lender again (whether that’s online, over the phone or in a branch), for settlement. But it can be a good way to get ahead of the game and fast-track your way to a funky new set of wheels.

Car loan pre-approval can give you a better idea of what cars you can afford, so finding a car loan that offers online pre-approval can make the process of buying a car much easier.

What are the benefits of car loan pre-approval?

A pre-approved car loan can be beneficial in granting you the power of knowing what you can afford before you go out to purchase a car. For example, if you’ve been pre-approved for a $20,000 loan, you’ll limit yourself to cars within that price range. Dealers won’t try to tempt you with a more expensive car, as they’ll also know you have a set budget.

Having this knowledge and confidence in yourself and your ability to secure a new set of wheels can also provide an edge in negotiating the sale price of the vehicle. Without pre-approval, you may be at the mercy of persuasive car dealers who pride themselves on squeezing as much money out of you as possible. Even if you’re strong-willed, that intoxicating new car smell can sometimes override your better judgement!

Also, car dealers often push their own dealer finance options, so if you have a pre-approved car loan the dealer may offer you finance at an even lower rate. Just make sure you take into account all other costs too (like car loan fees) before you agree to either dealer finance or a loan. 

Pros of a car loan pre-approval

  • A fixed budget to shop with

  • Faster buying process

  • Less chance of getting a dodgy deal

  • Greater negotiating power (on car and interest rate)

Bear in mind too that you aren’t locked into any one lender after they’ve pre-approved you. If you aren’t happy with the limit you’ve been set, then you can try talking to another.

What are the drawbacks of car loan pre-approval?

Pre-approval isn’t available to everyone. After looking at your history and credit score, some lenders may deem you ineligible for pre-approval, which can be demoralising.

Let’s say you do qualify for pre-approval – what could be bad about knowing that you’ve been approved for a certain amount? Well, for one thing, that amount might not be enough for the car you had your heart set on, and can lock you into a certain subset of vehicles (unless you decide to get a loan from a different provider, which you’re entitled to do).

It’s important to note, pre-approval doesn’t last forever. The industry standard length is between one and three months, with three being the most common. There are plenty of lenders who only offer pre-approval for one month, although in some cases you’ll be able to renew it for a further 30 days.

Cons of a car loan pre-approval

  • Not available from every lender.

  • Not available for every car – some cars over a certain age won’t qualify.

  • You’ll have a limited time to choose a car. Some people like to take their time before committing to such a big financial decision.

  • You could be disappointed with the amount of money you’re able to borrow.

Should you get pre-approved for a car loan?

You don’t need to get pre-approved for a car loan, but it can be beneficial when searching for a new set of wheels. Pre-approval can simplify the car buying process if you aren’t buying the car outright, as it provides two purposes:

  • It can give you an idea of how much a lender is willing to lend you before you start buying a car; and

  • It can shorten the car loan application process, as a lender will already know if you’re trustworthy as a borrower.

If a lender pre-approves you for a car loan of $30,000, you then know you can have an upper limit of $30,000 when searching for your new set of wheels. Of course, this might limit you from getting your dream car, but it can stop you from wasting your time applying for a loan only to be rejected at the eleventh hour.

Car loan pre-approval can simply give you a clearer picture as to what you can and can't afford to borrow.

How to get pre-approved for a car loan online

Getting approved for a car loan online sounds tricky, but it can actually be a streamlined process as most lenders will take advantage of technology to offer real-time loan approval. It does however take a bit of preparation on your behalf, and to increase your chances of receiving pre-approval quickly you should come prepared.

Make sure you do the following before applying for online car loan pre-approval:

  • Check your credit score: Your credit score is a number used by lenders to assess your trustworthiness as a borrower, and you should know if it’s high enough to be successfully pre-approved before you apply, as a rejection could show up on your credit history. Learn more about how to check your credit score.

  • Get all your supporting documents together: In addition to knowing your credit score, you’ll also need to provide a slew of financial documents to the lender. These documents include things like 100 points of ID (Driver’s license, passport etc.), recent pay slips, a copy of your bank statements, your current employment status, list of any other assets and liabilities you might have (like shares, other loans or credit card debts) and more.

  • Have a shortlist of cars at the ready: You only have between one and three months to purchase your car before the loan pre-approval runs out, so it might work in your favour to have a shortlist of cars you want to buy already to show the lender. Even if they don’t require one, this will still help you complete your purchase and therefore your loan application before your pre-approval expires.

  • Compare a wide range of lenders: Before jumping into applying, you should definitely compare a range of different lenders on their interest ratesfees and other loan features, such as whether they offer balloon payments or repayment flexibility. You should also do some research on the pre-approval process they offer, like whether it can be done quickly online or over the phone.

  • Contact the lender: Once you’ve done all this, contact your lender or jump onto their online pre-approval tool to get started. If you’ve done the prior four steps, then successfully obtaining pre-approval should only take a matter of minutes.

Conditional approval

The pre-approval process requires you to apply with a lender, submit your documents, and wait for processing. Instead of the funds coming through straight away, you’ll be offered conditional pre-approval. This will shift to unconditional once you have found a new set of wheels and informed your car loan lender.

Unconditional pre-approval

As mentioned above, when you contact the lender to say you have found a car you intend on purchasing, your conditional approval will then move to unconditional approval (pending all conditions being met) and the funds will be released, typically to the dealership.

Bad credit

If you have a bad credit history, never fear as you may still be able to achieve your new car dreams with a car loan. It will however require more documentation to be provided on your behalf. This will typically include more in depth information about spending habits, including income and expenses.

Alongside additional documentation, if you are deemed to have a bad credit rating, you will also face higher interest rates as a result of the lender taking on a greater deal of risk.

What happens after a pre-approval?

Once you’ve been pre-approved, you now need to go out and actually purchase the car. You can buy a car either through a dealership, auction or a private seller - the lender will just need to know this information because once the purchase of the car has been approved, your lender will then contact the seller to get an invoice for the vehicle.

They will then do a final assessment of the purchase, and give you final approval, at which point you will need to sign and return a copy of the loan contract. Once this is done, the lender will pay the funds to the dealership or seller directly. But be aware: this only works if the purchase is within the pre-approved limit set by the lender.

If you buy a car that’s outside the pre-approved limit, you may need to complete an entirely new application.

How long does pre-approval take?

Obtaining car loan pre-approval online now doesn’t take much time at all. Although it can differ based on the lender, a fast turnaround time for pre-approval is one that’s completed on the same day, sometimes giving you an answer within minutes of completing the application. A more standard time for car loan pre-approval is to get final approval within one or two days, but if you find a lender with a more up-to-date online approval system, it’ll often be much less than this.

The usual car loan application time from start to finish can often take several days, so by getting pre-approved car finance, you can shave a significant amount of time off the overall process.

How long do pre-approvals last?

In the majority of cases, pre-approvals don’t last forever. Although this can differ between lenders, they’re usually valid for a limited period of time. The industry-standard length for a car loan pre-approval is between one and three months. Three is more common, but there are plenty of lenders out there who will only offer pre-approval for one-month.

Once the pre-approval expires, you’ll have to speak to the lender about being re-approved again, which will often give you another 30 days to complete your purchase. But if you’re serious about buying a car, one to three months should be plenty of time to find the right model.

What if your loan is declined after a pre-approval?

A pre-approval isn’t a guarantee of being given a loan by a lender, as there are a number of reasons why they might reject you after the fact. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • The car you’re buying is outside the pre-approved range

  • There’s a change in your personal circumstances, such as a reduced wage, a lost job, large expenditure on certain things (like gambling), multiple other credit applications in the meantime and more.

  • Interest rates have changed during the pre-approval period, meaning your ability to repay the loan could have changed.

  • The lender might have since modified its lending policy, meaning you will have to be re-assessed under the new terms.

The important thing to know is you shouldn’t immediately re-apply for a loan without first speaking to the lender to ask why you were rejected. This is because a rejected loan application can negatively impact your credit history, so you don’t want to apply again only to be rejected again.

Make sure you contact the lender to find out why your loan was rejected. If it’s for a minor reason like a change of loan terms, then you might be able to reapply. But if it’s for a different reason, like a change in your income or higher interest rates, then you might need to consider applying for a loan with a different lender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-approval with a one lender doesn’t typically impact your credit score. However multiple pre-approvals with different lenders at the same time won’t be a good look.

Avoid seeking pre-approval from multiple lenders and you won’t have to worry.

Different lenders will have different requirements for pre-approval. Read our guide to checking your credit score for more info on this.

There are different scores depending on who you get your credit check through, but here are the most common thresholds:

 

Illion

Experian

Equifax

 

Illion

Experian

Equifax

Excellent

800 - 1,000

800 - 1,000

833 - 1,200

Very good

700 -799

700 - 799

726 - 832

Good

500 - 699

625 - 699

622 - 725

Fair

300 - 499

550 - 624

510 - 621

Weak

1 - 299

0 - 549

0 - 509

As a general rule, lenders will expect a credit score in the “good to excellent” range.

A car loan pre-approval is only a conditional approval. This means it gives a potential lender more reason to approve your loan, but does not guarantee it. The lender will still look at your credit history and make some final considerations before granting you formal approval.

A lender may not accept your pre-approval if your asset was valued incorrectly, or if your circumstances have changed since your pre-approval.