So... you want to buy a car? You're done all the research and spent hours online and now you've found it – your Wheels of Dreams. But how are you going to pay for this machine? We give you a few tips to consider.

Give me the main points

  • Use your savings if you can.
  • If you need a car now – or want a better car – consider a personal loan.
  • Though don't get carried away – you don't want to pay it off for a decade.
  • Your family might be able to help out.
  • If your car's for work, then look at lease options.

Use your savings

In an ideal world, we’d save like crazy for the big purchases. And after a house, a decent car is likely to be the biggest we ever make. Diligently saving up for it will take time. But if you're a gun saver—if you have a great savings plan and enough discipline—it's possible.

You won’t need to apply for a loan or pay interest, which saves you money in the long run. Just make sure you have a budget in place so outgoings like registration, insurance and running costs are covered.

Get there faster with a personal loan

We know saving money isn’t easy and sometimes we don’t have enough savings to buy the car we want. If that’s you, a NAB Personal Loan might be what you need to get behind the wheel faster.

We offer fixed and variable rate loans with a maximum loan term of seven years. Our loans are unsecured, which means you don’t need to use the car as security. We offer loans from $5,000 to $55,000—and repayments can be made weekly, fortnightly or monthly to align with your pay cycle.

Work out what you can afford to borrow

Cars are an important part of many Aussie's lives. Not only do they give us the freedom to whiz around whenever we want, they also make life easier.

But though cars can be fun—and liberating—they sometimes carry the responsibility of a loan.

You'll need to work out how much you can afford to borrow and repay; our loan repayment calculator will help you here.

Family or lease options to consider

Getting a car loan and proving you can make repayments can get you off to the right start with your credit history. But you should consider all your options before you make a final decision.

  • Do you have enough savings to buy a cheaper car outright?
  • Can you wait a little longer and save enough to reduce the car loan amount?
  • Can your family help you buy your car?
  • Is the car for 'business purposes'?

If the car's for work—for business purposes—you might be able to lease the car rather than purchase it outright. There are all kinds of leasing arrangements available; your tax specialist can explain the tax implications before you make that decision.

Get your credit rating

Before you apply for a personal loan, you may want to get a credit report from one of the many online credit checking companies. This outlines the last seven years of your credit history (which includes why you've applied for credit, what types of credit and how much each time). It also lists if you've been bankrupt, as well any overdue accounts you may have had. Be aware these reports sometimes have mistakes so check yours closely.

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