All you need to know about a car loan

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Another loan option available is a car loan. Here, we answer the most frequently asked questions about this type of loan to give you a better understanding and to make an informed decision as to whether it is the right loan choice for you.

What is a car loan?

A car loan is a type of personal loan that is taken out to finance the purchase of a car or another type of vehicle. Sometimes the loan is secured against the vehicle being purchased (if it’s new), and sometimes it’s unsecured (especially if the vehicle is second hand).

Car loans can also have fixed or variable interest rates and are also offered by some peer-to-peer lenders.

Car loan information

What will I need to provide with my application?

You will usually need to provide the following if you want to apply for a car loan:

  • A South African driver’s license
  • Details of your ability to repay the loan, including your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities
  • Information about the make and model of the car, including how old it is and whether it’s been imported

What is the application process?

Car loans can be applied for online, over the phone, or at a dealership. This usually involves giving the lender details of the car, such as its make, model, how old it is, and how much it costs. The lender will often ask for a range of information and documentation that proves the borrower will be able to repay the car loan, including any associated interest expenses.

Once the application has been approved, many borrowers can have their funds on the same business day.

Can I include insurance in my car loan amount?

Some lenders allow the borrower to also purchase car insurance and add the cost of this to the principal amount. This means the cost of the insurance will also accrue interest expenses.

Can I get pre-approval on my car loan?

Many lenders provide pre-approval on car loans, meaning you can shop for your car with a good understanding of which cars you will be able to afford.

Are there types of cars I can't buy using a car loan?

Some lenders only offer car loans for new vehicles or a vehicle that is less than 2 years old. However, many lenders will finance second-hand vehicles too, so it pays to shop around. You may also find that some lenders are hesitant to finance imported vehicles, so this is also worth asking about.

Can I buy a car privately, or do I need to purchase through a dealer to qualify for a car loan?

You can take out a car loan for a vehicle purchased through a dealer or in a private transaction. However, sometimes lenders will require different types of documentation for these different transactions.

Will a credit check be run if I apply for a car loan?

Most lenders will run a credit check before issuing you with a car loan, to ensure you are suitable for the loan. Lenders who don’t run a credit check may instead only assess your ability to repay the loan, based on your current financial situation. These lenders can sometimes charge a higher interest rate to account for the higher risk associated with your potential lower creditworthiness.

You can use our loan application to search for lenders that offer car loans in South Africa. It is free to use, and your details are completely secure.

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