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Buying a car

Getting your finances in gear

For most of us, a car is a necessity. Whether that’s to get us to work on time, help us take care of errands, spend some quality family time during a weekend road trip, or all of the above, a reliable car that suits our needs is a must-have.

But buying one isn’t as easy as strolling into a dealership and picking your favourite colour. Once you’ve found just the right car for you and your family, which can mean weeks or months of research, you have to make sure that you can afford it. Then there are associated costs, like insurance and registration, to consider. And what if you don’t even have a favourite colour?!

Leasing or a loan

Some drivers will elect to lease a car, rather than buy one outright. This can be helpful if you’re using a car for business purposes, as you can claim the leasing costs at tax time and the lower monthly costs (compared to paying off a loan for a car you’ve bought) free up cash flow for your business. While leasing would mean that you don’t own the car, it offers flexibility, low overhead costs and, potentially, the ability to upgrade at the end of the lease period, although that may lead to increased costs.

However, like most Australians, you probably want to buy and own your own car, whether that means buying a brand new one or hunting around for a second-hand bargain. The monthly payments - if you’ve borrowed to purchase your car – might be higher than lease payments, but sooner or later the loan will be paid off, the car will be yours, and those payments will cease.

However, unless you have enough in your savings account to buy your new car outright, you’ll probably have to consider a loan.

Choosing the right loan for you

Suncorp Bank can offer you a loan that’ll help you get into your new car quickly and easily. You can choose a Fixed Rate Personal Loan or Variable Rate Personal Loan, or – depending on the car you’re looking at – a Secured Car Loan.

So, what’s the difference?

Fixed Rate Personal Loan

A Fixed Rate Personal Loan locks in an interest rate, meaning that your rate and repayment amounts will remain consistent throughout the life of the loan. This is great for your budgeting, as you’ll know exactly how much you’re going to pay from month to month. Your repayment amounts will also be immune from any interest rate rises.

Variable Rate Personal Loan

A Variable Rate Personal Loan doesn’t lock in an interest rate. So, if the rate goes up during the course of your loan, you’ll pay more – but if it goes down, you’ll pay less. You can also pay the loan off at any time without any extra cost, whereas paying off a Fixed Rate Personal Loan within the first year will incur an early pay-out fee.

Both Fixed Rate Personal Loans and Variable Rate Personal Loans, when taken out with Suncorp Bank, require a minimum loan amount of $5,000, and there are a few eligibility requirements to be aware of. Fees, such as an establishment fee and a monthly loan service fee, may apply; further detail is available in our Lending Fees & Charges brochure.

Secured Car Loan

If you’re buying a car that’s less than seven years old, you can potentially get a better deal by applying for a Secured Car Loan with Suncorp Bank. With this type of fixed rate loan, the car acts as security, meaning that we can offer you a lower interest rate when compared to the other types of personal loan.

With a secured loan, you enjoy all the other features of our personal loans, including the option of weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments, and the ability to make extra repayments at no extra charge. Suncorp Bank Personal Loans and Secured Car Loans have an establishment fee, a monthly loan service fee and a minimum amount you can borrow. Once you’ve decided what kind of loan will suit you, you can estimate what your regular repayments will be with our Personal Loan Repayment Calculator.

Other costs

While you’re figuring out your budget and the type of loan you need, don’t forget about the other costs that come with owning a car. There’s registration, ongoing fuel and maintenance costs, and car insurance.

You’ll need to choose between Comprehensive Car Insurance and Third Party Car Insurance, each of which is provided by Suncorp Insurance and has a couple of different levels available. Comprehensive Insurance protects both your car and other people’s property in the event of an accident, while Third Party Insurance covers loss or damage that your car causes to other people’s property. If you’ve bought a car with a Secured Car Loan it’s compulsory to have Comprehensive Car Insurance.

Getting a quote online is a quick and easy way of estimating how much you’ll spend on insurance. You can choose to pay your insurance premium annually or monthly. If you haven’t yet bought your car, but you have a particular one in mind, you can subtract this figure from your budget, and that’ll help you figure out how much you can afford to borrow. Which will, of course, impact whether you buy that car. Making sure you’ve calculated your living expenses and allowed a bit extra for emergencies will help you know that you can really afford the car you want.

So, there can be a little bit of number crunching involved, but we like to think we make it pretty simple. It’s important to avoid over-committing and spending way too much on a car, especially if you’re on a tight budget, so take the time to ensure that you make the right financing choice.

Apply for a Secured Car Loan, Fixed Rate Personal Loan or Variable Rate Personal Loan online now, or call Suncorp Bank on 13 11 55 to discuss car financing options. You can also read more about how Suncorp Insurance can help.


Various products and services are provided by different entities of the Suncorp Group. The different entities of the Suncorp Group are not responsible for, or liable in respect of, products or services provided by other entities of the Suncorp Group.

Loans are provided by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 Australian Credit Licence 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”) to approved applicants only. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply and are available upon request.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance.

Any advice contained in this document has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs.  For that reason, before acting on the advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. Where the advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product, you should consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision regarding the product.  Contact us for a copy.

The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

Related Links and Products

Finance my car

Car Loan Repayments Calculator

Free Suncorp Roadside Assist for a year + $50 off when you buy online

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Simply take out a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy before 10 July 2020. Not available in conjunction with other offers. T&C's apply.

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