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What is a secured car loan?

Written by

Shaun McGowan

A secured car loan is a fixed-term, fixed-rate, secured personal loan used to purchase a vehicle.

  • Fixed-term: The length of time you make repayments won’t change.
  • Fixed-rate: The interest rate on your loan won’t change.
  • Secured: The car your purchase is used as security.

Security on a car loan should mean lower interest rates than a typical loan..

Secured car loans can be arranged through a bank, car dealership, car finance broker or online.

How do they work?

A car loan is essentially a secured personal loan.

You borrow an amount of money to finance the purchase of a vehicle

You repay the loan amount - plus interest - over a fixed term to the lender.

Repayments can often be negotiated to be either weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

Secured car loans are loans where your purchase is used as security


Why are they better?

If you’re buying a car, you’ll either get a secured car loan or an unsecured personal loan.

Secured car loans are generally considered better because:

  • They have lower interest rates so you’ll pay less in total
  • They have fixed rates so you’ll know how much you pay
  • They have a fixed term so you’ll know how to budget
  • They usually include fewer fees so you won’t overpay
  • They’re easier to get approved for so you won’t risk damaging your credit score.
What kind of car will get you the best loan with Money Matchmaker

What cars can I get with a secured car loan?

Generally, you can finance new and used cars up to 7 years old with a secured car loan. Some lenders will work with older cars, but you may be asked to pay substantially higher rates.

Here are three common restrictions on secured car loans:

  • In general, a vehicle must be no more than 12 years old at the end of the loan term
  • Most financiers will not lend on “grey imports” – Nissan Skylines are often the most common example of this. A grey import indicates a vehicle has been imported as a used vehicle, and was not originally sold by the manufacturer in Australia.
  • Vehicles with negative reports on the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) will not be considered for finance. This may include the vehicle being reported stolen, written off, or incorrect odometer readings.

Do I qualify for a secured car loan?

Qualifying depends on a few things:

  • The amount of money you wish to borrow
  • The age and type of vehicle you wish to purchase
  • Who you are

If you want to get the best deal, lenders consider the ‘ideal’ person to:

  • Have a clean credit history
  • Have been in regular, stable employment for two years
  • Be able to provide address history for two years
  • Be looking to finance a brand-new or fairly new vehicle
  • Be obtaining the car through a dealership or car franchise
  • Be able to provide a deposit (though this is not necessary)

Other factors like the interest rate and fees applied to your car loan will vary, depending on the lender, the age of the vehicle, and your personal credit profile. (For instance, if you have bad credit, you'll most likely pay a higher interest rate than someone who doesn't.)

How to qualify for a loan in Australia

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Meet Money Matchmaker®

"Hey I’m Money Matchmaker®, I have a team of wizards making me super smart. When you take my quiz, I use your answers to check against all our lenders at once. I’m harmless, I don’t impact your credit score and I'll use the information to help my team of loan experts find you all the loans you're eligible for."

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About the Author

Shaun McGowan from



Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded and Lend.

*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $30,000 over 5 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.


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Money Pty Ltd (trading as provides information about credit products and is authorised to do so as the holder of Australian Credit Licence 528698. does not compare every Lender in Australia. We are not a broker or credit provider and when we provide information via this website, we are not providing you with a recommendation or suggestion about a particular credit product. When you apply for a credit product via the website, you are not applying with us, you are applying directly with a Lender Partner. Before entering into any credit product from one of our Lender Partners, you should confirm the rates and product information with the Lender. All information on this website is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this advice is right for you and we encourage you to seek independent financial advice.