driving a car

Learning about loans may be a daunting task, especially when their features are identical and somewhat confusing. Because of this, you may find yourself perplexed in the choice between a personal loan over an automobile loan or vice versa. After all, one may be more suitable for your financial situation than the other. 

Fortunately, now you can discover the fundamental distinctions and be guided by which option is best for you. Here’s what you should know about choosing between a personal loan and a car loan:

A Car Loan vs. A Personal Loan 

A personal loan is a loan issued by a lender to a borrower to finance a big purchase, such as renovations or a vacation. Meanwhile, a car loan is a personal loan that is used to fund the purchase of a vehicle.

Secured or Unsecured Debts

Unsecured personal loans do not require collateral, such as a deposit or an asset. A secured personal loan is secured with collateral, such as a car. As a result, a car loan is often referred to as a secured personal loan. So, why take out a personal loan to buy a car when a car loan is readily available? That is a great question. 

Car loans have stringent requirements and limits, and the majority of lenders will need you to use the vehicle as collateral, which means they can confiscate it if you default. Lenders frequently forbid you from purchasing older or used vehicles, and the approval process is time-consuming.

Certain personal loans do not necessitate the use of collateral. You'll pay a higher interest rate for this luxury since lenders take a larger risk with unsecured loans. You can borrow more than the car's purchase price and use the extra funds to make another buy because no specific purchase is required.

While most car loans have fixed interest rates, personal loans often contain a combination of fixed and variable interest rates. Fixed-rate loans have fixed monthly payments for the duration of the loan, making budgeting easier, whereas variable-rate loans have changeable monthly payments.

Making the Choice

Answer the following questions to pre-qualify for a car loan or a personal loan:

  • Do I Recognise the Special Details and Features of My Vehicle?

Before providing you with a car loan, a lender may want to know everything about the vehicle. They may request the vehicle's make, model, VIN number, and even colour. If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible for a car loan. If your primary goal is to acquire a loan and then go car shopping, a personal loan may be preferable. 

If you still need a car loan and want to go car shopping, apply for pre-approval. While this is not a promise, it does give you an indication of how much financing you will get when you return with your chosen vehicle.

  • Is the Vehicle Brand New or Used?

Some lenders, for example, will not finance the purchase of a used car, but others will allow vehicles up to five years old. A personal loan may be more likely to be granted for a used or older vehicle.

  • How Stable Will My Financial Status Be over the Course of the Loan?

Personal and auto loans normally last one to five years but can be for up to seven. An auto loan may be better than a personal loan if your income is solid and your financial circumstances are unlikely to change. A car loan often includes regular monthly payments, making it easier to budget for that time period. 

If you anticipate a change in your status, such as having a child or purchasing a property, a personal loan may be more suited. Personal loans are sometimes more flexible, allowing you to make greater payments for a year or two before returning to the minimum. Late fees on personal loans are uncommon, although they are common on auto loans.

  • Is It Necessary for Me to Borrow More than the Car’s Value?

If you like revving, you might want to customise your new wheels. An auto loan is unlikely to help you if you are unable to pay it and seek a loan. Car loans are only intended for the purchase of a vehicle, which is why the approval standards are so strict. Personal loans are often not secured against specific assets, so you can borrow $5,000 more than the car's value and install a filthy subwoofer in the boot.


Making big financial decisions is an intimidating stage in anyone’s life. Thankfully, new knowledge is at your perusal. Additionally, you can also seek help and advice from professionals, such as financial advisors and mortgage brokers. So, don’t hesitate to begin and be guided as you choose between a personal loan and a car loan.

Are you looking for versatile mortgage brokers? Wealthy You is an Australian mortgage company that specialises in home refinancing and can offer you a variety of mortgage solutions. Our team also comprises professionals who have been in the industry for almost a decade. If you want to know more, contact us for an obligation-free meeting!