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Author: Gary Luck

Buying a car - your options explained

Once upon a time, cars were advertised according to the fantastic features of the vehicle. Automatic this, power that – safety, power and economy were king.

Nowadays, most cars are advertised alongside some sort of fantastic finance option. Interest rates and interest free periods make up so much of some ads you forget the make of the car.

“Did I just watch a Holden ad, or Ford? Or was it Toyota?”

Luckily, when you break it down, buying your car is simple, and there’s three main options you should consider before ordering your new set of custom licence plates and fuzzy dice.

Your Savings

Obviously, growing your savings to the point that you can pay for your car in cash will take some time, but it will be a satisfying process, and will usually end up being cheaper, as you avoid having to pay interest.

Make sure you save the smart way, not the hard way though. Get the right advice on How to set up a budget, use a Budget Calculator, and plot your savings journey using a Savings Goal Calculator. Most importantly, open a High Interest Savings Account that rewards your good savings habits with interest top-ups.


A personal loan is great if you don’t want to wait or are looking to snap up a deal quick-smart. You can buy the car straight away and pay back the balance over a term of your choice.

You can even speak to your financial institution and get what is known as a Conditional Loan Approval (CLA) meaning you can start shopping for the right car, and pull the trigger quickly when it’s time to do a deal. Greater Personal Loans can be approved in as little as 24 hours.

Make sure you’re shopping within your means – use a Personal Loans Repayment calculator to make sure you can afford the repayments.

Auto-Dealer Finance

Whether you buy new or used from dealers these days, chances are you’ll be offered some form of dealer finance. This essentially means you take out a loan through the dealer or their finance provider.

Often, dealer finance can make big promises with special offers designed to get you in through the door, but be sure to do your homework before signing on the dotted line.

Compare the dealer finance interest rate with that of a Personal Loan to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Look for things like balloon-payments at the end of the loan term, or early repayment fees.

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