How much can I borrow to buy a car?

How much money you can borrow to buy a car is dependent on a number of things. Your financial situation, and the purchase and running cost of the car will have an impact on how much you can borrow.

1. Your financial situation

When applying for a car loan the lender will look at your financial situation, which may include your savings, income and expenses, and your credit history. It’s also important for you to have an understanding of where you are sitting financially so you can make a decision on how much you feel comfortable making in monthly loan repayments once you purchase the car.  Lenders will generally look at the following:


The amount you have for a deposit on your car will impact how much you borrow, and the amount of interest you will pay in car loan repayments each month. When applying for a loan lenders will also take into account your savings history.

Income and expenses

The amount of money you have coming in and going out will have an impact on the amount you can borrow for a car loan.  When assessing a loan application lenders will take into account any existing loans you have (and repayments associated with these loans), and will look at bank statements for the past three to six months.

Credit history

Your credit history can be checked by contacting credit bureaus. Your history will detail any credit default listed by a third party and any instances where you have applied for credit. Most lenders will do a credit history check as part of a loan application.

2. Cost of car

The cost of the car you want to purchase will have an impact on how much you can borrow. While a credit lender may look at the car’s worth when assessing a loan application, you will need to take into account running, maintenance and repair costs to ensure you can comfortably afford these costs as well as monthly car loan repayments. Remember, running costs include registration, fuel, and insurance. While you cannot foresee repair costs, some car parts are more expensive than others depending on the type of car.  

3. Use a car loan calculator

A car loan calculator or personal loan calculator will help you to understand what your repayments could look like, depending on the interest rate and the amount you borrow.

4. Talk to a lender

Talking to a lender might give you a better idea about how much money you could borrow to buy a car. You can also find out exactly what you will need to prepare to help you have the best chance at securing a car loan.  

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

The information provided is intended as general information only. Blogs have been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining personal investment, taxation and/or legal advice before making any decision.  Please consider the Guide to Heritage Deposit Products and Guide to Heritage Credit Card Products (available in-branch, or at before you decide whether a product is right for you. All loans and credit cards are subject to application and approval. Conditions, criteria and fees apply and are subject to change without notice.