Different ways to finance a car

Having a working, reliable car is a great freedom – you can get to work with ease, visit friends, buy groceries, go on holidays, etc. Buying a car isn’t a straightforward decision. From buying it outright to using finance, there are several options and many variables.

Below are the different options for car finance.

 Instalment sale agreement

One of the most common ways an individual can finance a car is through an instalment sale agreement. This agreement is the most straightforward way, allowing you to finance a car with a pre-agreed upon interest rate and monthly payment that will not change during the loan if you opt for a fixed interest rate. If you choose a variable interest rate, your monthly payments will increase or decrease when the prime interest rate changes.

The loan length is also pre-determined and can range from just 12 months up to 72 months. The shorter the loan term, the higher the payment, and the longer the term, the lower the monthly payment. Most of the time, an instalment sale agreement requires a down payment, and the higher the deposit, the lower the monthly cost.

With Instalment sale agreements, there is also the option of a balloon/residual payment, which is a lump sum that is due at the end of your repayment period. This lowers the monthly payments, but it also requires you to have enough money saved to pay for the balloon payment at the end of the contract. You can also refinance the balloon payment, but it would make the total cost of owning that car quite high.

  Guaranteed future value (GFV)/Guaranteed buybacks (GBB)

Guaranteed future value/guaranteed buybacks (GFV,GBB) are quite different to using an instalment sale agreement. GFVs guarantee the value of a vehicle by the end of the contract, but there are certain terms that need to be met, the three of which are the following:

  1. Start a new GFV contract with a new car
  2. Return the car to the dealership without entering a new contract for a new car
  3. Pay the remaining balance on the car and own it

  Lease or rent to own

Another popular option is leasing a vehicle or renting to own. A lease is essentially renting a car on a long-term basis for a pre-determined period and monthly payment. The lease contract allows you to use the vehicle without owning the vehicle. At the end of the lease term, you will have three options:

  • Return the vehicle to the dealership and start a new lease contract with a new vehicle
  • Purchase the vehicle you have been driving
  • Leave the dealership and try a new brand/dealership

 Know your credit score before applying for car finance

The information in your credit report is used by most credit and service providers and is calculated using a formula that evaluates how well you’ve paid your bills, how much debt you carry and how all of that stacks up against other borrowers. Essentially, it tells you in a single number what your credit report says about your management of existing credit.

A high score is favourable to financial providers, while a low score implies that you have a negative credit rating and either your request for finance will be denied, or your interest rate will be even higher. Credit providers use different scoring methods, but a low score is between 300 and 609, a good score is between 650 and 699, and an excellent score is above 750.

 MotorHappy auto calculators

MotorHappy recently introduced two new free online auto calculators to help consumers figure out their budget. The MotorHappy Affordability Calculator tool runs a credit bureau check on your behalf which will help you get an indication of whether you will get finance approval.

The MotorHappy Finance Calculator to help estimate the monthly repayments for your new car. Simply input the purchase amount and the deposit amount, as well as how long you intend to pay the loan back. We will then give you an estimated monthly budget as well as a list of used cars for sale that match your budget.

Finding a new vehicle is no longer a difficult task and has been made simpler by the different financing options. There are many ways you can get a new car, either by financing or by leasing, both of which are excellent. There is no right or wrong answer, as everyone is different. Some people like to lease a brand-new car every two to three years and others like to finance a car and use the car for 10 years or more.

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