Secured car loans for South Africans
Buying a new car is an exciting move, but sometimes the costs involved can be a problem. In South Africa, there are several secured car loans you can choose from to make the process more affordable. But how do you know which secured car loan is right for you? Besides using our secured car loan calculator, the best thing is to find out all you can about secured car loans.
What are secured car loans?
A car loan is money that is borrowed for the specific reason of buying a car. When the car loan is secured, it simply means that you use the car as security against the loan. Car loans with the car as security are easily approved, and they make buying a car more affordable. This is because you buy the car over time by paying monthly instalments. You don’t have to pay the full price of the car all at once.
How do secured car loans work?
Money from the secured car loan is used to pay the full cost of the car you want. After that, you start paying back the loan in monthly instalments. You also have to pay other fees like admin fee or initiation fee, as well as interest.
The total cost of the car loan depends on which lender you use. However, the most important thing you should know about secured car loans is that you can lose the car if you don’t pay back the loan according to what you agreed.
Secured car loans vs. unsecured car loans
When buying a car, you can either choose a secured or an unsecured loan. With secured loans, you use the car as security. If you don’t pay back the loan, the lender will take it away from you.
With unsecured car loans, there is no collateral involved. As a result, unsecured car loans often have very high-interest rates. Furthermore, and in most cases, only people with good credit may qualify for an unsecured car loan. If you fail to pay back the unsecured loan, you can still keep your car, but you may face expensive penalty fees and other legal charges.
How much money can you get when you apply for a secured car loan?
- Minimum amount: Generally, the lowest amount you can get is R10 000.
- Maximum amount: Vehicle finance loans can offer as much as R300 000.
What are the interest terms for secured car loans?
The maximum interest rate for car loans in South Africa is 27.5%. When you get a car loan from a bank or other financial institution, you also have to pay interest on the car loan you borrow. Interest payments enable lenders to make a profit from giving out loans. There are two types of interests rates involved with secured car loans:
Here, the interest rate you’re charged with may go up and down as you continue paying back the loan. In this case, the change in interest rate is caused by the activity of the South African Reserve Bank, which has direct control over the prime market rate. Variable interest rates can offer you very low-interest rates, but there is no guarantee since the rate can become high at any time.
With fixed interest rates, your interest payments remain the same until you finish paying off the loan. It is not affected by the prime market rate, and you always know how much you’re supposed to pay. However, if the interest goes down because of the prime market rate, you’ll not be able to benefit from it.
How to choose the best secured car loan in South Africa
With so many secured car loans to choose from, it may be confusing trying to decide which one is right for you. To make it easy, you should consider the following factors before applying for the loan:
- Interest rates – Paying back your loan is more affordable with lower interest rates.
- Other fees – Many fees come with loans. For example, there can be a service fee and an initiation fee. Find out which fees come with every loan because hidden fees can end up costing you.
- The loan amount – Pick a loan that allows you to borrow as much as you need. At the same time, choose a loan amount that you can afford to repay. This is especially important since you can lose your car if you fail to pay back the loan.
- The loan term – How much time do you have to pay the car loan back? Usually, lenders give you up to 7 years. If you choose a longer loan term, your monthly repayments will be smaller, but the interest you pay will be bigger. Alternatively, a short loan term has higher monthly instalments but you pay less in interest.
- Requirements and other benefits – Some loans offer extra bonuses and have better lending policies. It is also easier to apply for a loan that doesn’t have strict requirements or difficult application procedures.
How to apply for secured vehicle financing
The basic requirements when applying for vehicle finance in South Africa include:
- a South African ID;
- proof of income (bank statements or payslips) that is not older than 3 months;
- proof of address;
- copy your driver’s license showing the front and the back;
- a minimum monthly income/salary. This varies between lenders, but typically you have to be earning at least R5000; and
- you must be at least 18 years.
If you qualify for a car loan, you can make the application online or visit the offices of your lender to submit your application. Also, most lenders have websites that contain more information on how to apply for their secured car loans.
Advantages of secured car loans
- They have lower interest rates. This is because the lender is protected from loss since they can take the car from you if you fail to pay as agreed.
- You can use the car loan to buy either a used or brand-new vehicle. This allows you to choose a car that you can afford.
Disadvantages of secured car loans
- Car loans with the car as security mean that you can lose the car if you fail to pay back the loan.
- Unlike personal loans which allow you to use the money for anything, car loans are strictly for buying vehicles.
- The car you want to buy needs to be in good condition.
Frequently asked questions
Can I still get a car loan if I have a bad credit score?
Yes. However, the interest rate may be higher, and you might be required to pay a small deposit. Read our tips to improve your credit score in this article.
Do I also have to pay for car insurance when applying for a secured car loan?
In South Africa, car owners are required to take out car insurance that covers car theft or accidents.
Can I get vehicle financing if I’m self-employed?
It is still possible to get motor vehicle finance when you are self-employed. You’ll likely be asked for additional documentation to verify further your income and your ability to repay the loan.
Use our secured car loan calculator to compare options
Begin your car-buying journey using our advanced secured car loan calculator on this page. It lets you compare the loans being offered by our partners. Just choose the loan amount and the loan term you want, and click on “calculate repayment”. The results will inform you how much the monthly repayments will be with each loan.
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