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Things to consider before buying a new car

Buying a new car is an exciting experience, whether it’s your first car or an upgrade it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement. Here, we share our tips for what to consider when purchasing a new car.


Should I get a Car Loan?

Before heading to a car dealer in your city, it’s a good idea to think about how much you can realistically afford to spend on a new car, and whether a car loan would be appropriate for your circumstances.

A car loan is an option that you could consider to get you into your car and on the road sooner. Depending on your personal circumstances, you can choose to finance 100% of the cost of the car, or a portion of it if you have existing savings that you would like to use. At Westpac, we offer car loans between $10,000 and $100,000 for a new or used car which is used for security for the loan (credit criteria, fees, charges terms and conditions apply).

Westpac has a competitive interest rate for a car loan that uses the car as security for the loan. You should make your own enquiries to see if a personal loan is right for you.

Try out our borrowing power calculator to help you see how much you can comfortably afford.

Brand new or second hand?

Quite often this question comes down to budget, but there are other considerations when it comes to purchasing a new or second –hand vehicle.

For example, a brand new or demo car will generally come with a warranty and vehicle servicing support, so if a fault were to arise with the car, as long as it falls within warranty, you might not be too out of pocket. Purchasing a new car also means that you have the option to include the extras that are important to you, such as window tinting or leather seats. The downside of a brand new car is that the value of the vehicle depreciates the minute you drive out of the showroom.

Purchasing a second-hand car may save you money, however it is difficult to truly know the history of the vehicle and how reliable it will be in the long run. One way to limit unforeseen expenses is to get a mechanic to inspect the car beforehand and obtain a safety inspection.

What sort of car suits my needs?

Take a minute to think about exactly what you need from your car. For example, if you’re a tradie with a lot of tools then a convertible may not be the best solution for you. Similarly, if you’re a family of 6 then a minivan or SUV will be a better option than a small hatchback.  List out the key features you need your car to have, this will make it much easier to make a decision.

Consider things like:

  • The body type- sedan, hatch, convertible, ute, SUV
  • The transmission- manual or auto
  • Extras- Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, sound system etc.
  • Diesel, gas or petrol

How much will the upkeep cost?

Every make and model of car will have a different set of expenses associated with the upkeep. When choosing your car, consider the cost of maintenance such as servicing and tyre replacement. For example, a luxury European import car generally costs more to service and replace parts, than a locally made or imported car .

Do I need car insurance?

If you are taking out a car loan that uses your car as security for the loan, you will need to provide details of Comprehensive car insurance (as well as Compulsory Third Party) before the loan is made available. Comprehensive insurance helps cover loss or damage to the car if it’s written off in an accident or it’s stolen. Did you know that Westpac can arrange a comprehensive insurance policy.  Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply, see the Westpac Motor Insurance PDS (PDF 375KB) to see if this insurance is right for you.

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Do I need a safety inspection?

If you are buying a private second hand car then it may be a good idea to organise an independent safety inspection, just to be sure that the car is roadworthy. A safety inspection can be done by the government road authority in your State or Territory, or you can arrange for a mechanic to inspect the car.

Other expenses to think about

Lastly, keep in mind that there may be other expenses applicable to your new car. For example, these could include:

  • Stamp duty
  • GST
  • Vehicle registration
  • Transfer of ownership
  • Dealer delivery
  • Luxury car tax
  • Roadside assistance membership (different in each state)
  • Roadworthy certificate

Are you ready to take a step closer to getting a new car? Learn more about a Westpac Car Loan.


Things you should know

Westpac Car Loan - eligibility

Normal lending criteria apply to credit applications and car security guidelines need to be met for loan approval.

Westpac Car Insurance

Westpac Motor Insurance is issued by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850. Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 arranges the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Read the Product Disclosure Statement, to see if this insurance is right for you. Call 1800 502 077 or visit the Car insurance page for more information.

A target market determination has been made for this product. Please visit for the target market determination.