girl driving car

A quick Guide to buying your first car

Buying your first car is both an exciting and scary experience. For many, that first set of wheels is more than likely to be the biggest purchase that you will have made in your life so far. And, it’s also expected that you will be seeking your first loan to assist you in this purchase.

An excellent way to take the uncertainty of the unknown out of the car-buying process is to talk to the lending specialists at Regional Australia Bank. Our personal loans team will explain the car loan process, and after reviewing your details, provide you with a loan option that suits you and your budget.

Get your loan pre-approved and shop as a cash buyer

Getting your car loan pre-approved before you go car shopping enables you to search as a cash buyer, knowing your budget. An approach like this saves you money and allows you to drive a better deal.

Salespeople want to know that when you have selected the car that meets your budget and requirements that you will have the cash available to complete the sale. It is often the case that a salesperson will negotiate the price down once they know you are a cash buyer. This is good for the salesperson, and good for you.

Another advantage is the salesperson cannot talk you into the dealer or manufacturers financing plan. These plans often lead to buyers signing up for finance at higher interest rates and less favourable terms and conditions than a Regional Australia Bank loan.

How to Get Pre-approved

Before the loan application, you should determine how much you can afford to borrow and how long it will take to pay off the loan. This is a core component of the Regional Australia Bank budgeting focus. Our Borrowing Power Calculator will tell you at a glance much you can afford to borrow, subject to the completion of a detailed budget. Our Car Loan Repayment Calculator will show you how long it will take to pay off a loan for that amount.

You can view the current interest rates and fees by checking our personal loans compare page.

Do Your Research

Once you are pre-approved, we encourage you to spend time researching the vehicle before making a purchase. An excellent place to start is the 'Redbook' or 'Car Sales' websites which can show you how much the vehicle you want will cost. We also recommend once you have chosen the car you want to buy, you book it in for an inspection and make sure the vehicle has no hidden issues, and you're not paying for a lemon! Another tip is to check the cars service history and double-check that it does not have finance still owing on it.

A great source of information you should take advantage of is friends and family. Older relatives who have been buying vehicles for years are often full of great advice that has been built up through experience. There are also many alternatives to dealers out there, including auctions and private sales. It is sometimes possible to get a better deal through these outlets, but it will take more time and effort.

Finally, third-party insurance is compulsory on all vehicles in Australia. Regional Australia Bank can help you get the necessary coverage at a competitive rate.

To get the wheels moving, simply drop into a Regional Australia Bank branch, call 132 067 or contact us online with your car loan enquiry.

This article provides general information only and should not be relied upon as financial product advice.