The average cost of a new car in Canada is over $36,000, while used cars cost around $19,000. If you’re looking to finance another vehicle, you have a few options to consider. While a secured car loan through a bank or online lender typically comes with the most competitive rates, you may be able to secure financing faster by going directly through a dealer.
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You have a few options when you’re looking to borrow $30,000 for a car loan, including:
Secured car loans. Secured car loans use the vehicle you’re buying as collateral. Although this means more risk for you — you’ll lose your car if you can’t repay the loan — it typically results in a lower interest rate and better terms. Most car loans will be secured, so these will make up most of your $30,000 car loan options.
Unsecured car loans. Unsecured car loans don’t require collateral. You won’t risk losing your car if you’re unable to afford repayments, but you’ll likely have a higher interest rate and less competitive terms. Additionally, lenders will probably require a very good credit score. These types of car loans aren’t very common, so you’ll have to do some digging around.
Car leases. Rather than buying a new car outright, a car lease allows you to drive one for a select number of years or miles. At the end of your term, you can usually choose to return your car, extend the lease or buy the car outright. Most dealerships offer financing to help you pay for this monthly expense.
Personal loans. A $30,000 personal loan can also be used to buy a car. If you’re interested in an unsecured option, you likely won’t find as competitive rates as you would with a secured car loan. However, if you want to take out a loan to cover both the cost of a new car as well as other expenses, then a personal loan may suit your needs better.
Types of lenders
From online lenders to financing through a dealership, there are several places to turn to when hunting for a $30,000 car loan:
Bank. If you have good or excellent credit, compare pre-approval offers from your bank as well as other banks — many don’t require you to hold an account in order to apply for a car loan.
Online lender. You can get great rates from online lenders, especially if your credit isn’t good enough to qualify for a bank loan. You can often fold taxes, titling, registration and other fees into the loan amount.
Credit union. You usually have to be a member of a credit union to take out a car loan.
Dealership. Most dealerships offer in-house financing through the car manufacturer or a local bank. You can usually get approved and drive off the lot the same day, but you may get a higher interest rate than if you went through a bank or online lender.
Compare $30,000 car loans
Calculate your monthly payments: How much will a $30,000 car loan cost?
Both your monthly payments and the overall cost of the loan depends on your interest rate and the loan term. Choosing a long term will result in smaller payments, but you’ll pay more interest over the life of the loan. Choosing a small term will result in larger payments, but you’ll save on interest in the end.
Most car-buying experts recommend dedicating no more than 15% – 20% of your monthly budget towards all car expenses — including your loan payment, fuel costs, insurance premium and regular maintenance.
Use the calculator below to figure out how a $30,000 car loan breaks down for you.
Car loan monthly calculator
Calculate how much you could expect to pay each month
Ash, an Ontario resident, is looking for a new car. He visits a dealership where he finds a 2020 Kia Optima Ex priced at $30,500.00. After trading in his old car for $2,800.00 and putting a 20% down payment of $5,540.00 on the Kia, Ash heads to his local bank where he applies for an auto loan to cover the remaining cost ($22,160.00) plus 13% HST. Because of his solid credit history, he is approved for loan. Ash also pays approximately $150.00 to register his vehicle with the province of Ontario – this includes the cost of a license plate sticker and vehicle permit. (Fortunately, he can reuse his old plates and doesn’t need to buy new ones.)
Cost of new car
Auto loan (term loan)
Interest rate (APR)
3.00% origination fee ($664.80)
$0 application fee (waived by bank)
$462.78 monthly or $213.46 biweekly
Total loan cost
$27,766.80 with monthly payments or $27,749.80 with biweekly payments
*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.
Popular cars you can buy for around $30,000
Whether you’re on the hunt for a sports car or truck, you have plenty of options to choose from. Below are the manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRPs) of some of Canada’s most popular 2020 models. The actual cost you end up paying will depend on where you live, your negotiation skills and any special promotions you qualify for.
Kia Forte5 GT Limited
Toyota Corolla XSE CVT
Hyundai Elantra GT N
Volkswagen Golf Highline
Subaru Legacy Limited
Honda Civic Sport
Toyota Camry LE AWD
Toyota Prius AWD-e
Ford Mustang Ecoboost Fastback
Chevrolet Camaro 1LS RWD Coupe
Honda CR-V LX-2WD
Compact SUV (Crossover)
Toyota Rav-4 LE FWD
Compact SUV (Crossover)
Mazda CX-5 GX
Hyundai Tucson Preferred
Kia Niro EX
Hybrid-electric SUV (Crossover)
Ford F-150 XL
Full-sized pickup truck
GMC Canyon SLE and SLT
Mid-sized pickup truck
Chevrolet Colorado Base
Mid-sized pickup truck
Nissan Frontier King Cab SV (2019 model)
Mid-sized pickup truck
Kia Sedona L
Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Plus
You definitely have options when looking to borrow $30,000 to buy a car — from online lenders, to banks and credit unions, to dealership financing. So brush up on your negotiation skills and get ready to compare deals so that you can stay on budget and find the best car for you.
Every lender is different, and you may be required to provide different documents than those listed below. Typically, however, you need to provide the following:
Proof of income. This includes pay stubs, bank statements or Notices of Assessment from the last few tax years.
Government-issued ID. A driver’s license or a passport should suffice. Your name and photo should be on your ID.
Proof of residency. Can be from a utility bill, bank statement, phone bill or similar document that has both your name and address on it.
Details about your finances. This includes any loans you already have, credit card debt, and assets, among other things. Your lender will need to conduct a hard pull on your credit to find out your history of borrowing and repaying, which will temporarily decrease your credit score. You will need to give permission to have your credit score checked, then your lender will take care of the rest.
Vehicle and dealership information. Some lenders may want you to already have a car picked out when you apply, while others will give you a pre-approval period that allows you to shop for your car with a loan already in hand. Pre-approval periods typically last about 60 days. If vehicle information is required, be prepared to provide the make, model, year, cost
Auto insurance information. Note that lenders will often require that you have more than the minimum auto insurance coverage required by your province in order to help ensure that the financial burden of driving is never too great for you to pay back the loan. So, you may need to provide insurance information for the vehicle you want to buy. However, this requirement may be waived for pre-approval offers in which you have a specified time period to pick out a car.
Trade-in documents for your old car (if applicable). The trade-in value of your vehicle will affect how much financing you need, so make sure you get this information in writing from your dealership.
It depends on the lender. Many have limits on the age and mileage that cars can have to remain qualified for financing, so check with your lender to know what limits you have to work within. If you’re looking to buy a classic car, special financing options may be available from lenders who offer loans specifically designed for those who want to buy collector vehicles.
It depends on your priorities. New and used cars both have their benefits as well as their drawbacks. With a new car, you have the peace of mind that comes with owning a vehicle that’s in top-notch condition and a warranty to fix it if anything goes wrong.
However, a new car depreciates up to 20% within the first year of ownership and then loses roughly 10% more of its value each year for the next 3 years. That’s 40% of its value lost in just 4 years! With a $30,000 car loan, you could end up with an “upside down car loan,” where you owe more than your vehicle is actually worth after just a few years.
On the other hand, you can take advantage of that extreme depreciation rate by buying a gently used car that’s only 1-2 years old for a greatly reduced price. But you risk having to pay for repairs out of pocket if the vehicle doesn’t come with a warranty. If you’re buying a used car for $30,000, check car comparison resources like the Canadian Black Book or autoTRADER.ca to make sure it’s really worth paying that much.
Stacie Hurst is an editor at Finder, specializing in loans, banking products and money transfers. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Writing, and she completed one year of law school in the United States before deciding to pursue a career in the publishing industry. When not working, she can usually be found messing around with games, photography or floral arrangements in memory of her former days as a flower shop assistant.
Find out more about what you’ll need to do to transfer a car loan to another person in Canada.
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