The need to self isolate and the urge to avoid public transport has led to an increased demand for personal vehicles, particularly used ones, as cars comprise more than a quarter of all items purchased in the second-hand market in Australia. 

However, most second-hand car buyers fail to confirm the legitimacy of their investment through the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR), according to the 2019 Gumtree Second Hand Economy Report.

Looking to buy a used car? These used car loans have some of the lowest fixed interest rates on the market

Lender

FixedNew99 yearsMore details
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
Loan amounts from $2k to $75k

New Car Loan

  • 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
FixedUsed5 yearsMore details
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.

Used Car Loan (up to 5 years) (Fixed)

  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
FixedUsed12 yearsMore details
  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.

Used Car Loan (Fixed) (8+ years)

  • Required: Good credit history, stable employment history. Aus citizenship or PR.
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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 June 15, 2024. View disclaimer.

The PPSR is used to check if a car is still encumbered (i.e it still has finance owing on it). It can also check if the car has been written off and can confirm the details of the car, such as the make, model and year it was made. 

In Australia, it's the responsibility of the buyer to check if the asset is free of other interests such as existing finance, per the Personal Property Securities Act 2009, and failing to do so can result in buying a car that can be repossessed if the original owner can't (or won't) repay the loan. 

GlobalX CEO Peter Maloney has urged buyers to secure their purchase by factoring in the small cost of a PPSR report, which can cost as little as $2 per ppsr.gov.au.

“Sellers are often happy to provide condition reports, roadworthiness certificates or proof of registration, but it’s unlikely they would disclose whether the vehicle had a dubious history,” Mr Maloney said.

“Purchasers can conduct the necessary checks through a PPSR report to ensure the asset they are about to purchase will not cause unnecessary strife in years to come.

“Nobody wants to receive a call from a finance company saying that their car will be repossessed because the previous owner fell through on their loan repayments.”

One second-hand buyer Mark MacDonald was duped by such a situation, and urged fellow car shoppers to double check purchases from a private seller. 

“I was told that the car was a top-model Nissan Navara and the vehicle’s luxury details, like a leather interior and security system, lead me to believe that was true,” Mr MacDonald said.

“I was excited at the prospect of purchasing a well-maintained vehicle below the recommended retail price. It wasn’t until the car was stolen some time later and we were at the police station that we realised the car was actually a low-end model.

"If I had investigated the purchase history of the vehicle before the sale, it would have been clear that the deal wasn’t as good as it seemed.”

Read: How to sell or buy a car with finance owing on it

Car sharing service to waive fees, rates during COVID-19 

With more people looking to cars as a way of safely isolating while travelling, car-sharing service Popcar has, as of yesterday, announced a number of changes to make it easier for people to rent a car. 

These changes include:

  • Waiving all membership fees for new and existing customers, including business customers
  • Cutting hourly and daily rates by 50%
  • Charging just $1 for signups 

According to Popcar this means a hatchback vehicle can be rented for just $7 if someone wants to make an essential trip to the shops, which is much cheaper than the likes of Uber. 

"The measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are affecting everybody in unprecedented ways," Director Anthony Welsh said. 

"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.”

According to Mr Walsh, these discounts are being put in place to help support Australians who want to minimise physical contact while conducting essential travel. 

“We recognise we have a role to play in supporting locals and businesses in our community, by providing an affordable and safe transport option to those who do not have access to their own car, or otherwise typically rely on public transport, taxi services or ride sharing," he said. 

"We have hundreds of cars available for private usage for both individuals and businesses and can offer a solution for our communities but wanted to ensure the uncertain financial outlook for many people at this time was also taken into account.” 

Popcar also said it has also increased the cleaning frequency and the standard of cleaning of its cars. 

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