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How to get car loan pre-approval

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New Car Loan

Our super-low, fixed car loans make it easier to drive away in your dream car sooner. With our easy online application, it’s easy to get a loan approved within 24-hours.~

  • 5.69%
    fixed rate p.a.^
  • 6.24%
    comparison rate p.a.*

If you’re searching for a new car, having pre-approval for a car loan could put you in the fast lane and save you a lot of money.

So, what is a pre-approved car loan and how do you get it? Let’s take a look.

What is car loan pre-approval?

Car loan pre-approval is when your lender agrees in principle to lend you a certain amount of money to buy a car, subject to credit approval and an invoice from the dealership.

Why get pre-approved before going to a dealership?

The main reason to get pre-approved before going to a car dealership is to strengthen your position when negotiating with the dealer. It is difficult to play hardball when you are depending on the dealer for finance! If you know your budget and are buying a car with a pre-approved loan, you can bargain with more confidence.

What are the steps to get pre-approved?

Depending on where you are in your car buying journey, you can do any or all of the following:

  • Get car loan pre-approval - complete an online car loan application and then arrange a call with one of our experienced lending managers. They will quickly run through some extra questions and do a credit check. Once an assessment has been made, we will provide a pre-approval. Later, this makes it easier to get approved for a car loan online. 

How long to get approved for a car loan?

You can get pre-approved for a car loan on the same day, and get final approval within two days. The overall car loan processing time, from application to settlement, takes 3-4 days. 

How much can I be pre-approved for a car loan?

Our minimum loan amount for a private vehicle is $5,000 and our maximum loan is $100,000. For a business vehicle, the minimum is $5,000 and the maximum is $150,000. The amount you can be pre-approved for will depend upon the vehicle purchase price and your financial circumstances. 

Does pre-approval guarantee a car loan?

Pre-approval is a conditional approval based upon the information received at the time of issuance. It is not a guarantee but is an important part in the car loan process. Unconditional approval will be provided once all documentation has been received and a final credit assessment has been conducted.  

What are the benefits of having pre-approval?

  • Helps you set a realistic budget – when you go car shopping, you already know how much you can borrow and what the regular repayment will be.

  • Get a cheaper interest rate – if you shop around and get pre-approved in advance, you will be able to compare and get the best value finance.

  • Strengthen your negotiating position – with your pre-approval in hand, you’re in a stronger position to haggle.

  • Avoid upselling – you can use your pre-approval as an easy way to deflect add-ons and extended warranty offers by saying you are only pre-approved for a lesser amount.

  • No obligation – there is no obligation to proceed should your circumstances change and there is no out of pocket cost incurred.  Only if you proceed to get a loan will you be charged a car loan application fee.

Some things to consider:

  • Each time you apply for pre-approval a credit check is conducted, so if you get pre-approvals from multiple lenders it can affect your credit score. To avoid this, shop around first and only get pre-approval from your preferred lender.

  • It is only valid for a limited time.

What are the next steps after getting pre-approval: getting your application sorted

Once you have been pre-approved the next step is to provide your supporting documentation for the final car loan approval process. 

This will include: 

  • A copy of your driver’s license 

  • Payslips 

  • Bank statements 

Once the vehicle has been secured, we will contact the dealership and obtain an invoice for the vehicle.  

At that time, a final assessment will be conducted and a final approval granted. You will then receive an electronic copy of your loan contracts to be signed and returned. We will then pay the loan funds to the car dealership directly. You are then free to drive away! 

What is the step by step application process at

  1. Apply online 

  2. Speak to a lending manager and obtain pre-approval 

  3. Provide supporting car loan application documents   

  4. Sign a purchase contract for a vehicle with a dealer 

  5. We will contact the dealership and obtain an invoice 

  6. Final car loan approval will be granted 

  7. We issue loan documents and you sign them and return 

  8. We will pay the funds to the dealership 

  9. You drive away 


About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

Tags: car loan approval car loans