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Car loan checklist

Whether you’re in the market for a compact or a convertible, a sedan or an SUV, you may have noticed that most car loans on offer are secured personal loans. So what does this mean and what should you think about before you sign up?

Check you’re eligible

As the borrower, you will need to meet some requirements to be eligible for a car loan. While these can be different depending on the bank, they generally include things like:

  • Being 18 or over
  • Having regular income
  • Being a permanent resident or having a suitable visa.

The car you’ve got in mind will also need to meet eligibility criteria. For example, it may need to be:

  • For personal use only
  • New or less than 7 years old
  • Made in Australia or imported by the manufacturer.

Note the interest rate

While personal loans can be fixed or variable, most secured car loans have a fixed rate that can be lower than that charged on unsecured loans because they use the car being purchased as security. For example, the Westpac Car Loan gives you a fixed interest rate that’s lower than the Unsecured Personal Loan and stays the same for the life of the loan.

Work out how you’ll pay it off

Find a repayment calculator that you can use to estimate how much your monthly repayments could be. And don’t forget to add on additional fees such as establishment fees and service fees. Once you know what you’re up for each month, you might want to think about how it will fit within your budget for the length of the loan.

Understand break costs and early repayment fees

If you have a fixed rate car loan and you make extra repayments or pay off your loan in full before it ends, you may be charged an early repayment fee as well as a break cost. Check the product features and disclosure documents carefully for this detail before you apply.

Find out how to get started

Starting a car loan application with Westpac is quick and easy, especially if you’re an existing customer. While you can apply over the phone or in branch, the simplest way is to go online – it often only takes around 10-15 minutes. Simply answer the questions about yourself, your income and your expenses, then attach any relevant documents and you’re all set. You’ll normally know if you’re conditionally approved within 2 business days or sometimes even quicker if you’re already a customer. Then it’s time to go car shopping!

Want to learn more? Find out how to get a car loan with Westpac. If you’d like to read more about rates, fees and features, visit the Westpac Car Loan page.

Things you should know

Personal Loan Contract Terms and Conditions (PDF 394KB) - for customers approved before 18 March 2024.
Personal Loan Contract Terms and Conditions (PDF 210KB) - ​for customers who apply, or are approved, on or after 18 March 2024.​

Credit criteria, fees, charges, terms and conditions apply.

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