Navigating the vehicle finance process

It may take longer than you’d like, so understanding how it all works can help to remove a lot of the frustration.

Buying from a dealership

  1. When you’ve found a car you want to buy, you need to get your ID, payslip and proof of residence ready.
  2. At the dealership you chat to someone, usually the finance and insurance representative (F&I), who will help you with your application for car finance.
  3. You sign an offer to purchase for the car you want.
  4. The F&I will advise you every step of the way, draw up the finance deal and submit your application, usually to a number of banks and lenders.
  5. If your application isn’t successful, there are things you can do to try again – add or increase your deposit, change your finance term, add a balloon payment or find a cheaper car.
  6. You’ll need to have comprehensive insurance, which is compulsory for all finance agreements.
  7. You’ll also have a chance to add value added products to your agreement, like an extended warranty, extra insurance etc., which the F&I can guide you through.
  8. Get your keys, sign a delivery note for your new wheels, get in and drive off!


Buying privately

The process works a bit differently if you’re getting a loan to buy a car from another person.

  1. Apply with a bank that offers finance for private car sales.
  2. Have the car run through a technical inspection and roadworthiness test – some banks require the seller to do this.
  3. Put together a signed letter of sale between you and the seller that includes the following details:
    • The time, date and location of the sale
    • The make, model and registration number of the car, as well as its VIN and engine numbers
    • The price of the car
    • Both your and the sellers’ names, ID numbers, contact details and addresses
  4. Make sure that the seller has received the money and meet with them to take delivery of the car.
  5. License and register the car in your name.

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