At CarLoans.com.au you're not a number. You're a client. That's why, unlike others, we treat you like a real person. It's also why you'll deal with a real person. Every Car Loans customer like you deals with a personal consultant. You're not calling a call centre, where you'll talk impersonally to the next available operator. You'll talk to your own specialised car finance consultant who will manage your application and delivery - every step of the way. After all, you're a real person - so we'll give you a real person to deal with.
When you make the decision to purchase a vehicle, the last thing you want, the last thing you need, is to get bogged down in red tape. At CarLoans.com.au we know how to arrange car loans fast. We're professional, we're efficient - we're quick. We know exactly what reputable lenders need to process and approve your application in the shortest possible time. We work hard to make car finance easy for you.
We have access to a wide range of reputable Australian lenders, so we can present you with a competitive range of finance options - all in plain English. You can see the alternatives, and make relevant, clear-cut comparisons, quickly. We help you decide which car loan product, from which reputable Australian lender, suits you best. We prepare the options; you decide.
At CarLoans.com.au, all we do is car finance. We are not general financiers; we specialise in automotive finance. It's all we do. So if you're confused about the relative merits of personal loans versus chattel mortgages versus novated leases, let your Car Loans automotive finance consultant explain the key differences and help you decide which one best suits your personal situation. We can ensure you get the right finance product at the right rate to maximise both your buying power and the tax-effectiveness of your next automotive acquisition.
A personal loan is a simple financial product for individuals in which the finance company lend the money directly to you, the consumer. Personal loans are available over a range of terms. The interest rate payable might depend on a range of factors, including credit history and whether or not the loan is secured by a physical asset.
A car loan is similar to a personal loan but might achieve a lower interest rate because the loan is secured by a financial interest in the vehicle being purchased.
A chattel mortgage is a business use loan product, available over a range of terms, and with a range of different 'balloon' payment options at the end of the term. The business owns the vehicle (the 'chattel') from day one, and the financier uses it as security (the 'mortgage') over the loan. The interest is generally deductible, depending on the proportion of business use, and if the business is registered for GST, the full GST component of the purchase is claimable as an input tax credit in the first BAS following the acquisition.
Commercial hire purchase agreements have fallen dramatically in popularity because of changes made to the GST treatment relating to them. They are therefore less attractive to companies and employees with a car allowance. Most people and businesses in this position prefer the greater financial benefits of a chattel mortgage (see above).
A novated lease is one of the most cost-effective and tax-effective ways for ordinary Australian employees to achieve car ownership. Basically, a novated lease is a three-way agreement between you, your employer and a finance company. The employee allows the employer to make deductions from their pre-tax salary to make the payments. The employer makes the deductions, and the finance company sets up the novated lease and manages it. Because the payments are made from the employee's pre-tax salary, some of the money that would normally be paid in tax is used to pay for the vehicle. So a novated lease increases the employee's buying power. It's also a great way to purchase a new car GST-free, even if you're not registered for GST.
Start here. Decide rationally exactly what kind of car you want. The size, the body type, the style of vehicle, and the 'must have' equipment items - do you require a proximity smart key, integrated GPS navigation system, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, electric seat adjustment, etc? Do you want a German luxury car, an affordable SUV, a people mover, a conventional sedan, a compact hatch, a ute or an all-terrain wagon? Write it all down, then go online and compare similar vehicles from competing manufacturers. There are almost 300 different vehicles on sale in Australia today - your challenge is to knock that down to a short list of no more than six highly similar vehicles. The huge advantage? The Internet makes comparative shopping a breeze - from your desk, in your lounge-room, or even on the bus. Make sure you read independent car reviews - but beware any reviews that lack critical comments because they might be thinly disguised marketing material.
Powertrains are important. In general, the bigger the engine, the thirstier it will be, and the more performance it will deliver. In general, the more speeds offered by an automatic transmission, the smoother it will be. Four-speed automatics are old hat. Five or six will be smoother. Many automatics offer a semi-manual mode (sometimes called 'tiptronic'). This is useful when two people own one car, and one prefers auto, while the other want a manual - tiptronic means best of both worlds and is a good compromise. Diesel engines are generally more expensive than petrol ones, and also offer about 30 percent better fuel efficiency. That means greater cruising range on each tank of fuel in the diesel (a real plus for long-distance drivers) - and the extra price you pay for a diesel engine is often reflected in the resale price of the vehicle at trade-in time.
Safety is a significant concern for most modern car buyers. Crashworthiness is a complex and highly technical issue, but thankfully the independent safety ratings agency called ANCAP makes the issue simple. ANCAP - the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme has distilled this complex matter down to a simple star rating system. Five stars is the best; zero is the worst. Thankfully most new vehicle types in Australia today offer plenty of solid four- and five-star alternatives. So much so that you'd really have to think twice about purchasing a vehicle with fewer than four stars - you don't even pay more for five stars these days, happily enough. Visit www.ancap.com.au for more.
It's not just you who has to fit in the vehicle; it's your lifestyle as well. It's very frustrating to learn, after purchasing the vehicle, that your golf clubs, kayak, bicycle, etc., will not easily fit in or on it. Once you have a vehicle seriously short-listed, take it home and see how easily (or not) that bike or those golf clubs can be inserted. This simple tip could save you years of ongoing frustration. If you have a young family with kids in the 9 to 12 year age bracket, you'll need to consider that if you keep the car for five years, they will be 14 to 17 by then. They could be taller than you - so the vehicle will need the requisite extra legroom in the second seating row. Find out if the prospective vehicle will accommodate both you and your lifestyle before you buy.
Australia's increasingly urbanised population places ever tighter constraints on living space. Off-road parking spaces, garages and even car ports are getting smaller. You'll need to know how easily your proposed new purchase fits in your driveway and into your available parking space. Take it home, and try it on for size.
Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi all offer five-year warranties. Lexus offers four, and the balance of car companies in Australia today generally offer three-year warranties. If you're planning on owning the car for a significant period, those extra warranty years could be a significant factor in your decision. Do your own online research as well regarding the car(s) you're considering. Find out whether the car(s) appear to have ongoing problems and how pro-actively and capably the car company addresses any concerns. The car company's Facebook page is a valuable resource here, as are Google searches for [Year and Model Name] and the word 'problem'. Lastly check Product Safety Recalls Australia (www.recalls.gov.au) for a health check on brands and mode.
One of the easiest ways to lose money owning a car is to purchase one that depreciates excessively. Resale values are merely an expression of supply and demand in the used-car market - so cars that fall out of favour fast do not hold their values as well as popular ones. Use a free research tool like the one at www.redbook.com.au to track the current popularity of the model you're thinking about buying. As a rule of thumb, average resale performers lose a third of their new value after three years, and half after five.
By law, car makers are required to express the fuel economy of every variation of model they sell in a standardised way. An official label on the windscreen should detail the following three numbers: the Urban Cycle (read: city driving), the Extra-urban Cycle (read: highway driving) and the Combined Cycle (overall result). These are expressed in litres per 100km. Unfortunately, the highly controlled tests used to determine the figures are not really representative of real driving, so all three figures tend to be wildly optimistic. In practice, in the real world, cars never do as well as the figures claim. Many owners who use the official figures to determine likely running costs become very frustrated and some presume their car is defective because it is not delivering the predicted economy. In reality it is the tests that are out of step. Those official numbers, however, are very useful in comparing cars. So if you want to know if the Toyota Corolla is more efficient than a Mazda3, the official test results are ideal.
Before you sign a purchase contract, always find out how much the insurance will be. Often, if you're young and the car is turbocharged or offers high performance potential, the insurance premium can be savage. Take a good look at all the component parts that make up the drive-away price, too. Some are statutory and non-negotiable (like registration and stamp duty) but some, like the dealer delivery fee, are absolutely negotiable.
Most people think about the test drive first. In fact, you should do it towards the end of the assessment process. Make sure the car is right in other respects first. Use the test drive to assess comfort by driving for at least half an hour on roads you know. Above all, don't compare the new car you're test driving against the old car you're getting rid of. New cars always feel better than old cars, obviously. What you need to do is compare a range of new cars, so that you drive away in the best one for you. So make sure you test drive between three and six new cars on your short list against each other, in very similar conditions - and forget about how they compare against the car you own. If they're not all better than the 10 year old car you're replacing, then the car industry really hasn't done such a hot job over the past decade, has it?
Many deals sound too good to be true - generally because they are. Most zero percent car finance offers certainly fall into that category. They are definitely a good marketing strategy - because they increase inquiry rates at dealerships - but they are seldom a good deal for customers.
Zero percent finance is actually a form of 'sub-vented finance' - where the interest is actually paid indirectly to the financier. In practise, how this works is the dealer pays the interest to the financier from the profit out of the sale of the new car. This is why, when a purchase is completed using a zero percent offer, there is little room, if any, to negotiate on the price of the vehicle.
When choosing finance it is essential to look at the overall deal rather than do what the marketers want - which is to see you focus exclusively on the zero.
Generally, it is almost always cheaper to negotiate a significant discount on the price of a new car, and arrange the most affordable independent finance available.