Arranging car finance

Arranging finance before you find a car will mean you know exactly how much you have to spend and allow you to negotiate. It’s important to choose the most suitable finance for your circumstances and avoid being pressured into accepting a loan that isn’t appropriate for you.

The RACQ Bank Personal Loan Calculator can help you determine the amount you can to borrow by estimating your regular repayments.

Tips when considering finance

  • Never sign a contract ‘subject to finance’ – you may be pressured into accepting a loan arranged by the dealer.
  • If the sale is conditional on obtaining finance add this clause - Subject to the purchaser obtaining finance sufficient to purchase the vehicle from (name financial institution of choice) by (insert date to obtain finance by).
  • Be cautious of dealers or financial institutions that claim to accept all finance applications. It could be a very expensive method of borrowing.
  • If your dealer offers to arrange finance for you, do your research to see how it compares with other options.
  • Read loan documentation carefully and get legal advice if you are unsure of any terms.


  • Some sellers insist on a deposit if you want to take the car for an inspection. It is usually considered as evidence of a contract.
  • The amount is not usually set so pay the smallest amount possible.
  • If you exercise your right not to purchase the vehicle within the cooling-off period the dealer may retain up to $100 of the deposit only.
  • If buying privately, get your deposit agreement in writing. It should be refundable if your finance application is rejected or if the vehicle inspection is not satisfactory to you.

Learn more

Need help understanding car insurance? We break down the basics so you can pick the product that’s right for you.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.