Loan amount


Loan term

credit score icon

Credit score

Don't know your score? Find it out here.

Sort by


All filters

Loan amount
Loan term
Credit score

Don't know your score? Find it out here.

Loan type
Security type

Type of lender

Include all products?


We provide links to some financial institutions. If you click through to a financial institution, you can get more product information, apply for or purchase the product and RateCity may earn a fee for referring you. This is one of the ways RateCity makes money and how we can offer our comparison service to you for free. See how we make money for more.


Australian Credit Licence 466327Fees & charges apply


up to 8.23%



  • $5k to $80k
  • 3 to 7 years
  • Fixed Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 466327Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 466327Fees & charges apply


up to 8.77%



  • $5k to $80k
  • 3 to 7 years
  • Fixed Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 466327Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 488228Fees & charges apply




  • $2k to $75k
  • 1 to 7 years
  • Fixed Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 488228Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 488228Fees & charges apply




  • $2k to $75k
  • 1 to 7 years
  • Fixed Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 488228Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 364340Fees & charges apply


up to 18%



  • Via broker
  • $10k to $250k
  • 1 to 7 years
  • Fixed Rate
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 364340Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 395219Fees & charges apply




  • $5k to $150k
  • 3 to 7 years
  • Variable Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 395219Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 395219Fees & charges apply




  • $5k to $150k
  • 3 to 5 years
  • Fixed Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 395219Fees & charges apply

Australian Credit Licence 391488Fees & charges apply


up to 13.59%



  • From $5k
  • 1 to 7 years
  • Fixed Rate
  • Secured
More detailsmore-details

Australian Credit Licence 391488Fees & charges apply

Lock in a low rate car loan

Learn more about how car loan brokers work and compare car loans available through brokers.

What’s new in car loans in March 2023?

Australia could be developing a love affair with electric and hybrid vehicles, as the Tesla Model 3 reaches third place for highest selling vehicles, according to data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

This is the first time a pure battery electric model vehicle has ranked this high. Additionally, the MG ZS (which includes battery electric variants) and the Mitsubishi Outlander (which includes plug-in hybrid variants) also made it to the top 10. 

The upfront cost of an electric vehicle - especially a Tesla - can be expensive. However, there are a range of more affordable options in the market, if you’re willing to shop around. 

If you are considering a car loan to help finance your purchase, lenders often provide lower interest rates on loans for green cars. To help you easily compare car loan options, RateCity has ranked the top-rated car loans on our Leaderboards page, using our comprehensive, Real Time Ratings™ system

Top rated green car loans:

    1. NRMA Electric Vehicle Loan (Fixed) - 5.09(comparison rate 5.78%)
    2. Electric and Hybrid Car Loan - 5.99% (comparison rate 6.54%)
    3. Horizon Bank New Green Car Loan - 4.99% (comparison rate 5.20%)
    4. Queensland Country Bank New Car Loan - 4.79% (comparison rate 5.07%)
    5. RACV Green Car Loan - 5.09% (comparison rate 6.94%)

Updated by Alex Ritchie on March 01, 2023

What is a car loan?

Having a car is an essential part of life for millions of Australians. Whether you’re a first-time driver looking for a used car, a tradie searching for a work vehicle, or a growing household looking to upgrade, purchasing a car is a significant financial commitment. But not everyone has the ability to pay cash up front to cover the cost.

A car loan is a specific type of personal loan that you can use to buy a new or used vehicle when your savings won’t cover the total cost upfront. When you take out a car loan, you will need to make regular repayments over a fixed term towards the lump sum you borrowed (the principal), as well as interest accrued. The interest rate will apply on the loan amount from the time you take out the loan.

It’s generally a good idea to spend some time comparing your options when it comes to choosing a loan, rather than settling for what a car dealer might offer you. But keep in mind, simply looking for the products with lower interest rates isn’t the only thing you should consider.

What types of car loans are available?

There are several different types of car loans on the market, each of which meet specific financing requirements, including:

  • Unsecured Car Loans: Car finance where you don’t provide collateral
  • Secured Car Loans: Car finance where you do provide collateral
  • Balloon payment: Car loan repayments are divided up so that they begin smaller, with the borrower paying a larger portion of the loan (say 25%) at the end. 
  • Chattel Mortgage: A specialist car finance option for business use
  • Operating Lease: More like a long-term car rental arrangement, involving a company leasing a car for an extended period
  • Commercial Hire Purchase: Closer to a rent-to-buy arrangement, generally involving a finance company buying a car on your behalf and letting you use it in return for regular rental payments. After several payments, you may own the car
  • Car Lease: Like a commercial hire purchase, but with more options. You rent the vehicle for a set period and at the end of the lease, you either return the car or buy it
  • Novated Lease: Like a car lease, but with a more complicated ownership structure, as you acquire the car from a second party (usually an employer) which in turn leases it from a third party (a finance company)
  • New Car Loans: For buying a car that’s under a certain age (often less than two years old)
  • Used Car Loans: For buying a car that’s over a certain age (often more than two years old)
  • Green Car Loans: For buying an electric, hybrid, or fuel-efficient car

How do car loans work?

A car loan is a formal vehicle finance arrangement between three parties: the buyer (you), the vendor (someone selling the car, typically a car dealership), and the lender (the organisation providing the money).

Obtaining and using a car loan works as follows:

  1. Search and compare car loans to find one that best suits your needs
  2. Submit an application for the loan with your ideal lender
  3. If your application is approved, the lender will agree to lend you a certain amount to buy a vehicle
  4. Sign a purchase agreement with the vendor
  5. The lender pays the vendor on your behalf
  6. You repay the lender, usually over a period of several years

Car loan amounts typically range from $5,000 to $100,000 and often have loan terms from 1 to 10 years. Interest rates generally vary between 2.99% and 10% for secured car loans, and up to 15% for unsecured loans. 

Car loans often come with fixed rates so that your repayments remain the same for the life of the loan. Variable rates are also available, with features like extra repayments or redraw facilities often reserved for these loans. The interest rate on a car loan may often be lower than on an unsecured personal loan as the loan is typically secured by the car you are purchasing.

Finding the right car loan for your needs is a crucial part of the process. Everyone's financial situation is unique, so there's no one "best car loan" to cover every possible need. To help you find your best car funding option, you’ll want to compare your options and do your research.

So, where do you start? Once you know what sort of car you would like to buy, you’ll need to consider how much you can borrow before you start comparing loans.

Is a car loan just a personal loan for cars?

A car loan is a type of personal loan, specifically designed for the purchase of a vehicle. Where a personal loan can be used for a variety of purposes (holidays, renovations, weddings etc.), a car loan is used strictly for vehicle purchases.

A personal loan may be secured against a nominated asset, such as jewellery or art, or unsecured. A car loan is generally always secured against the vehicle itself as collateral for the loan. Most unsecured personal loans typically come with higher interest rates on average, as there may be more risk posed to the lender that the borrower may default if no collateral is provided.

Also, some lenders may not provide finance for vehicles of a certain age, with “used cars” typically referring to those between 1-5 years old. This means that if you wanted a long car loan term for a vehicle that was already 5 years old, the lender may reject your purchase.

If you’re tossing up between taking out a car loan or a personal loan, take into consideration whether you can afford the potentially higher rates associated with personal loans, the age of the car you want to buy and if you’re comfortable securing it as collateral.

Car loan benefits and disadvantages

As is the case with any significant financial decision, it’s worth weighing up the benefits and detractors of taking out a car loan.

What are the benefits of a car loan?

  • You don't have to repay a car loan immediately and can take as long as ten years to repay the loan.
  • The car loan’s interest rate may be much lower than that of other finance options, such as an unsecured personal loan.
  • Car financing offers you access to vehicles that you might not have been otherwise able to afford.

What are the disadvantages of a car loan?

  • Car loans are typically secured against the vehicle, so if you default on the loan the lender has the right to seize this asset.
  • The amount you can borrow may be limited by your borrowing capacity and creditworthiness, as opposed to saving up over time.
  • Your lender may have restrictions on the type of car you can buy, such as if it is new or used, or a sports car etc.

How much can I borrow with a car loan?

A lender doesn't have an olbigation to to approve you for any loan amount that you want. The total you can borrow for a car loan is determined by your personal financial situation, including your income, expenses, and credit history.

Lenders must assess your financial situation to ensure that you afford loan repayments with your budget and that you’re not at risk of defaulting on the loan due to past adverse credit events. This is why they request a copy of your bank statements and/or proof of income when you apply for a loan - they need proof that you can adequately service the costs.

Curious as to how much you may be able to borrow? RateCity’s Borrowing Power Calculator allows you to obtain an estimate. Simply enter how much you want to repay, the repayment frequency (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) and the loan interest rate. The calculator will then show you a projection of how much you may be able to afford to borrow.

Before you apply for any financial product it’s worth checking your credit score. Car loan lenders' eligibility criteria for loans typically dictates that those with good to excellent scores are preferred applicants.

Errors can occur and so can negative credit events, so if you believe your credit score has fallen, or if you’re working on boosting it, you’ll want to check what your score is before applying. After all, if your car loan application is rejected, this may further hurt your credit score.

Are there any other costs to consider?

When calculating how much you can afford to borrow, it could be a good idea to factor in the other costs involved with buying and owning a car to ensure you are budgeting correctly.

Keep in mind that even if you’ve previously owned a car, every car typically has different running and maintenance costs. These can include:

  • Stamp duty
  • Registration
  • Car insurance
  • Petrol costs
  • Regular services, maintenance, and repairs
  • Road tolls

Car loan repayment calculator

Compare and save using our Car loan calculator

Calculate what your repayments could be on your car loan.


How to apply for a car loan

  1. Check your credit score: Checking your credit score should only take a few minutes to do through an online provider, usually free of charge. You’ll just need some identification such as your passport and driver’s license. Once you know your credit score, you’ll have a better understanding of which loans and interest rates might be available to you.
  2. Search and compare car loans: RateCity allows you to easily compare a wide range of car loan options, including low interest rate car loans, so you can find one that best suits your individual needs.
  3. Assess your budget: Use a car loan calculator to get an estimate of the total cost of the loan and what your weekly, fortnightly or monthly car loan repayments could be. This could put you in a better position to make an informed decision.
  4. Check the eligibility criteria: Once you have compiled a shortlist of potential car loans, check to see whether you meet all the eligibility requirements. Keep in mind that these can differ from loan to loan. Consider reaching out to the lender, or check the FAQs on their website, if you are unsure about anything.
  5. Prepare your application: If you're already comparing car loans on RateCity, you can click directly through to the lender's website where you can apply online for your chosen car loan. It might be a good idea to have all your required documentation ready before you get started.
  6. Submit your application and await a decision: Once you submit the information required, you may receive an immediate response from the lender with an update of your application status, or this may take a little longer. Car loan approvals can happen in as little as a few hours to as much as a few days.

What are the requirements to get a car loan?

While each lender may have its own eligibility criteria, they generally all have the same requirements:

  • Proof of age, identity and residence: You must be over 18 and an Australian citizen or permanent resident to qualify. You will need to provide your driver’s license and/or similar identification.
  • Proof of income and expenses: Payslips, bank statements or similar documents to show that you can afford the car loan repayments with money earned from your job, while managing your other household costs.
  • Details of assets and liabilities: Information on what else you own (e.g. your home, shares, other cars) and what you owe (e.g. credit cards, personal loans, mortgage).
  • Proof of savings: Some lenders may request bank statements to view your spending habits and see if you can responsibly save money.
  • Good to excellent credit score: Some car loans are only available to borrowers with a minimum credit score or higher.
  • Information about the car and insurance: If you’re applying for a secured car loan, you’ll need to provide details of the vehicle to be used as collateral

How do you compare car loans?

To help you compare car loan options and choose the right one for your financial needs and situation, you’ll want to understand the factors that go into a car loan.

Car loan factorAbout
Interest rateThere are two parts to a loan’s interest rate: the advertised rate and the comparison rate. The advertised rate is just the interest rate you pay on the loan, while the comparison rate combines the advertised rate and the main fees, including any upfront and ongoing fees, based on a 5-year $30,000 loan. Assess both options in your comparison journey to better understand the total cost of the car loan.
Rate typeThere are two interest rate types: fixed rates or variable rates. With a fixed rate loan, your repayments will be the same throughout the life of the loan, which could make budgeting more manageable. If you choose a variable rate, however, the rate can fluctuate based on the market during the loan’s term, meaning your repayments could potentially increase or decrease.
Loan typeChoose between a secured car loan, in which the vehicle is used as collateral on the loan, and an unsecured car loan. Lenders will typically charge higher interest rates for unsecured car loans because they regard them as riskier than secured car loans.
Loan termA shorter loan term (1-3 years) may mean higher ongoing repayments but less interest charged overall, while a longer loan term (4-7 years) will mean lower ongoing repayments but greater interest charged overall.
FeesFees typically include the following:
  • Application fees, also known as upfront fees
  • Establishment fees
  • Account-keeping fees, such as monthly fees or ongoing fees
  • Early repayment fees
  • Early exit fees
  • Redraw fees
FeaturesSome car loan lenders offer helpful features including:

Ability to make extra repayments - Make additional repayments on top of your regular repayments so you may save money on interest and paying your loan off faster.

Redraw facility - Having a loan with a redraw facility means you may draw down on any additional payments you have made, which can come in handy if you need to access some extra cash down the track.

Who offers the best car loan?

The best car loan is the car loan that best suits your financial situation and car goals. There are dozens of car loan providers in Australia, and you shouldn't assume your current bank will offer you the lowest interest rate or the most suitable loan for you.

Shopping around and making car loan comparisons is a key part of the process, and RateCity allows you to compare car loans by costs and features with its helpful tools, which considerably reduces the time it takes for you to do your research.

Comparison tables

Comparison tables can be a great place to start when comparing car loan options. Comparison tables help you to compare apples with apples. Simply enter the amount you want to borrow and the loan term and then filter down your loan options based on the features in the above table. Then you can compare your options side by side to see how they stack up on several factors, including interest rate, monthly repayments, and Real Time RatingsTM score.

Repayment Calculator

Once you have a short list of car loan options, you may want to see how they stack up against your budget. One way to do so is to use RateCity’s Repayment Calculator, which allows you to enter in a car loan’s details and repayment frequency to see how much loan repayments potentially may be.

Real Time RatingsTM

Real Time RatingsTM is RateCity’s world-first rating system that ranks personal loans based on your individual requirements. Unlike other comparison pages which rank their products once or twice a year, Real Time RatingsTM results are calculated live, so they are up to date as possible. Each car loan is given a score out of five, based on loan costs and flexibility. Real Time RatingsTM may help you to narrow down your shortlist of car loan options.

Car loans from Australia's biggest banks & lenders

Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Georgia Brown before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a car loan?

A car loan, also known as vehicle finance, is money that a consumer borrows with the express purpose of buying a vehicle, such as a car, motorbike, van, truck or campervan. Car loans can be used for both new and used vehicles.

How do you get a car loan?

There are four different ways you can get a car loan. You can go straight to a lender. You can get a finance broker to organise a car loan for you. You can get ‘dealer finance’ – which is when the car dealer organises a car loan for you. Or you can organise your own car loan through a comparison website, like RateCity.

Whichever method you choose, you will need to provide proof of identification, proof of income and proof of savings. So you may be asked for any combination of passport, driver’s licence, bank statements, payslips, tax returns and utility bills. You might also be asked to provide proof of insurance.

What are repayments?

Repayments are the regular payments you make to pay off your car loan. Repayments generally occur on a monthly basis, although many lenders will also give you the option of making fortnightly or weekly loan repayments.

How much can I borrow with a car loan?

There’s no set number. That’s because borrowing capacity differs from person to person, as well as lender to lender.

Lenders don’t give out car loans unless they’re confident they’ll be repaid. Each person is different, so the amount of money one person can successfully borrow will differ from another person’s number. Also, each lender uses its own formulas to calculate borrowing capacity – so Mr & Mrs Smith might find that while Lender X will give them a car loan for $20,000, Lender Y will offer only $18,000.

How to find a great car loan

Historically, finding a great car loan would require excess research ranging from visiting an excess of websites or making phone calls, but technology has moved on. Using RateCity, Australia’s leading financial comparison service, you can check out great deals from a range of lenders on the one site.

To start, select the amount you want to borrow and the length of the loan, narrowing your search to show just fixed or variable interest rate results.

Once you’ve indicated your search criteria, you’ll see an immediate list of lenders, ranked by interest rate or application fees. You’ll also be able to view the monthly repayment amount for each result, helping you to know what you can afford.

Up to six products can be compared side-by-side, complete with more information about each car loan, giving you more information about your options.

When comparing your car loan options, it’s ideal to keep in mind some points find a great car loan for your needs. Consider the following:

  • Choosing a low interest car loan can reduce costs
  • Selecting an option with low fees and charges is ideal, because these can really add up
  • Be aware of penalties, such as early exit penalties if you pay off the loan sooner than expected
  • Consider the features that best suit your situation

There are many ways to ensure that you get a great car loan. Ultimately, you’ll end up with the best deal by doing your research and selecting the most suitable product for you.

Testing: CL Promoted Product

Did you find this page helpful?

^Words such as "top", "best", "cheapest" or "lowest" are not a recommendation or rating of products. This page compares a range of products from selected providers and not all products or providers are included in the comparison. There is no such thing as a 'one- size-fits-all' financial product. The best loan, credit card, superannuation account or bank account for you might not be the best choice for someone else. Before selecting any financial product you should read the fine print carefully, including the product disclosure statement, target market determination fact sheet or terms and conditions document and obtain professional financial advice on whether a product is right for you and your finances.