Explore your financing options for luxury vehicles.
Shopping for a car loan may not be as exciting as choosing your dream BMW or Porsche, but it’s an important step when you’re looking to buy a luxury vehicle. This loan should be given the same amount of time, if not more, than your car purchase itself. Consider how much are you looking to spend, how much can you afford and what sort of interest rate are you hoping to get. All of these factor into your final luxury car purchase, so plan ahead so you can drive off the lot in the car of your dreams — without paying more than you need to.
How do luxury car loans work?
A luxury car loan works the same as a regular car loan, with one main difference — the size of the loan. You’ll be committing to a larger amount of money since most luxury cars costs upwards of $40,000. A loan of this size is a serious undertaking, and you should make sure your budget can handle the monthly payments before you start browsing lenders.
Fortunately, there are plenty of loan options out there. Whether you’re seeking a secured or unsecured loan or a loan with a fixed or variable interest rate, you can find something that suits your needs.
Types auto loans to consider when financing your luxury car
- Secured car loans. If you’re looking to get the lowest rates, a secured car loan is most likely to get it for you. That’s because these loans use your car as collateral. Make sure to borrow only what you can afford, otherwise your car is at risk if you default.
- Unsecured car loans. Unsecured loans are more flexible, but because of that, they tend to have higher interest rates and more fees than their secured counterparts. You won’t have to use your car as collateral, which makes unsecured loans more attractive.
- Business car loans. If you’re purchasing a luxury vehicle for your business, you may want to invest in a business car loan. Payments are structured around your business’ cash flow, and some don’t even require a deposit.
- Dealer financing. Most dealerships offer a financing option when you purchase cars from them. These loans are usually structured through a balloon payment method. Your monthly payments will be low, much like a lease, but the final payment will be a great deal larger to cover the outstanding principal.
Compare car loans
144-month loans: what you need to knowWhen you’re looking into buying a luxury or exotic car, these terms start to pop up. The interest rates are typically around 6.99% for this 12-year loan, and it takes a knowledgeable buyer to get the most out of it.
So who should borrow? The ideal customer is someone who knows luxury, exotic and classic cars well. There are certain makes and models that appreciate in value, and an initial down payment combined with a loan could actually be worth the investment, making you a profit. The car you invest in should be low-maintenance to reduce ownership costs. Try to find a way to pay off your loan early — usually by selling the vehicle at a show or auction.
But, 144-month loans aren’t for everyone. If you know what you’re getting into and understand the risks, you may be able to finance an exotic luxury car for far less than you would have paid in cash or with a smaller loan.
How to compare luxury car loans
Beyond loan term, fees and repayment options, you’ll want to keep an eye out for loans that have these features:
- Fixed or variable rate. Would you prefer a stable monthly payment, or are you willing to take a gamble on a fluctuating interest rate that could be lower down the road? The choice between a fixed or variable rate loan is a crucial one that will impact your finances, so consider what each lender offers when comparing luxury car loans.
- Secured or unsecured. You can use your new luxury car as collateral for your loan and possibly receive a lower rate, or you can opt for a personal loan that requires no collateral but requires a near-perfect score to get you the cash amount you’ll need to purchase your luxury car.
- Flexibility. Your lender should be accommodating to your needs. If you want to pay off your loan early, find a lender that doesn’t charge prepayment fees. If you think you’ll need more time to pay off your loan, find a lender that’s willing to extend the life of the loan. Customer service is as important as how much you’re paying in interest.
3 mistakes to avoid
- Having a small down payment. When you’re thinking about purchasing a luxury car, you should be focused on your finances. Having a hefty down payment helps reduce the cost of the loan and lower your monthly payments, which is especially useful for people who are self-employed or who get much of their income from investments.
- Lumping one-time costs into the loan. Some lenders might let you include the taxes and cost of vehicle registration in your loan, but remember, this will increase the amount you owe on a car that, despite being luxury, may not maintain its value over the life of the loan. If you’re looking to finance a luxury vehicle, you should seriously consider whether this is a financially responsible decision and whether you are able to afford it.
- Not comparing your options. A luxury car shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Take your time to review your loan options and your finances to be sure you can handle the payment schedule.
How to apply
Although all lenders are different, here’s some basic information you’ll need when applying for a loan.
- Personal information, including your name, Social Security number and proof of identity
- Employment information, including your income, your employer and the length of your employment
- Financial information, including your assets, credits, debts and liabilities
- Vehicle information, including make, model, condition and price
- Business information if the car is being purchased by a business
Since you’re borrowing a large amount, your credit score needs to be high with a near-perfect payment history. Lenders are unlikely to extend a loan to someone whose score and history don’t reflect upstanding financial decisions.
Most popular luxury car brands in the USThese luxury car brands are known for their speed, power and reliability. Some even cost as low as $35,000 for someone with a budget on their mind.
- BMW. One of the most well-known German car brands, BMW produces luxury cars around the world. Whether you want style, eco-friendly features or handmade design — remember, BMW owns Rolls-Royce — you can find it with BMW.
- Audi. Another German company — much renown Audi is owned by Volkswagen and is among one of the top sellers of luxury cars around the world.
- Lexus. Under the luxury division of the Toyota brand, Lexus was once known for stuffy, conservative designs but has recently reemerged with the intent that users Experience Amazing.
- Mercedes-Benz. The top-selling luxury car brand of 2016, Mercedes-Benz is known for beautiful design and great engineering, and the price you pay reflects it.
- Porsche. Also owned by Volkswagen, Porsche is even more luxurious and glamorous than its Audi counterpart. Best known for its sport cars, it also offers trendy coupes and stylish SUVs.
- Acura. Part of Honda, Acura produces luxury vehicles that are sleek and powerful. Models range from sedans to SUVs, and the Acura NSX is a sports car that screams exotic design.
When you’re ready to buy a luxury car, finding financing is an important step you shouldn’t overlook. Most cars are bound to depreciate, so understand how much you’re paying and how much debt you’re signing for. Speak with a financial advisor and compare your options carefully until you’re sure you’ve found the best deal available.