If you’re looking for a car loan you may be wondering which provider to choose. Car loan companies range from car dealers to banks, and each company that offers car loans will tell you that they are the best. But if you’re in the market for a car loan what does a company really need to offer? Here are five features to consider when choosing a vehicle finance provider.
Make sure your auto finance company is financially secure
Making sure that the company that provides your car loan is financially sound is an important part of the vetting process. You need to be confident that the money you pay to your car loan is protected and going to the right place. Auto loan companies that are not financially secure could suddenly call in the debt and expect to be paid in full.
Finding a financially secure car loan company can often be as simple as choosing a brand or name that you trust. You can also look at the number of years that the car loan company has been in business and who provides the finance behind their loans.
Is good service important to your choice of auto loan company?
Some car loan companies offer a cheap deal but may sacrifice their customer service in order to provide a low price. You need to make a decision about the level of customer service you need from your auto loan company when choosing who will provide your finance.
Customer service basically comes down to being able to get in contact with your provider when you need to. Are they helpful, answer your queries clearly, and do they try to resolve any issues you may have? Think about what you expect from your relationship and ask the auto loan company what customer service standards they work to.
Is this auto finance company easy to use?
Whether an auto finance company is easy to use is really down to your personal needs. If you want to apply online, is the application a simple process? Do you need a single point of contact or are you happy with a call centre? Do you want to be able to contact your vehicle finance company by phone or are you happy with email communication?
Work out your ideal process and see if the auto finance company can meet your needs. While it might feel worthwhile sacrificing some convenience upfront in order to get a good price, it’s worthwhile considering the longer term effect that being difficult to deal with could have on your satisfaction with the loan and the provider.
Avoid car loan companies that have hidden extras
Car loan costs are often considered in terms of interest rates, but realistically there are usually more charges to take into account. Ask your car loan company to provide you with a full list of charges and fees before you sign up.
Make sure you know about all potential fees, even those that would only apply if you were to default on your repayments. It’s important to make sure there that you understand the costs associated with your car loan and how they impact the total cost of finance.
This is particularly important if you would like to be flexible in your repayments and have the option of making top up or additional payments across the life of your loan. Paying off more sooner can save you in interest. Take care to identify any early repayment penalty fees that could apply.
Is this auto loan company offering a good deal?
Having reviewed the different features outlined already, you will now need to make an overall assessment of whether the car loan company is offering you a good deal. A good deal is really a balance of all the features that are important to you, including interest rate, fees and service levels.
Choosing between car loan companies can be challenging. It’s easy to get focused on the features and benefits of an individual car loan and forget about the provider. It’s important to understand all the costs associated with your car loan before you sign on the dotted line. Remember it’s also important to be able to trust the auto finance company that you are dealing with, and expect a level of service that will meet your needs.