Car Loan

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Regardless of the cost of cars in Singapore, the price will not stop some of us from wanting to buy them. Though how many of us have a hundred grand just rolling around, waiting to be consumed on a car? Except you’ve been saving up for a vehicle quite seriously, you’ll presumably have to get a car loan.

And your car dealer knows. He’s just finding the right time to sweet talk you into his dealership’s in-house car financing scheme.

Don’t get into his trap, please! Car dealers are like girls from Thai disco; all graduated from the same hypnotism school. Everything began as a chat with no obligation, but 2 hours later, you walked out with empty pockets and no recollection.

Understand what your car financing options are before you tio gong tao.

OMV, COE, PARF… what these acronyms?

Well, of course, everyone knows about COE. That’s what makes cars in Singapore so very expensive. But guess what, COE isn’t the ONLY thing that jacks up car costs like crazy. Check out this list of elements that add up to the price of your car:

Component Description
OMV (Open Market Value) The “real” car buying prices, the EXCLUDING of Singapore’s taxes and duties, for example, COE. This is the cost of your car in countries with vehicle ownership that is not taxed back and forth, as it is here.
COE (Certificate of Entitlement) The bulk of your costs is purchasing a car here. This legal document lets you drive it in Singapore for either 5 or 10 years. It’s currently shy of $40,000, but the cost fluctuates significantly as it’s dependent on market demand.
Additional Registration Fee (ARF) When you register the car, you have to pay a tax. It depends on the OMV and is at least 100% of the OMV.
PARF (Preferential Additional Registration Fee) For cars less than ten (10) years old, you can get this PARF rebate if you choose to deregister it before its COE expires at the ten-year mark. This is pegged to the left OMV at the point of deregistration.
Excise Duty Excise duty is an extra tax you spend on certain goods (like alcohol & tobacco). For cars, it is 20% of the OMV.
GST (Goods & Services Tax) You have to spend GST on the OMV + excise duty. This is currently 7% but will grow to 9% in the coming years.

How important do you need to know the exact breakdown of the costs?

Because if you need to borrow money to finance your car, the price you can borrow is dependent on the OMV, NOT the total cost of your vehicle. This leads me nicely to the next section.

How much can I borrow for a car loan?

You can borrow the maximum amount from your OMV car, depending on the updated regulations.

Open Market Value (OMV) Maximum amount you can borrow
Up to $20,000 70% of the purchase or valuation price
More than $20,000 60% of the purchase or valuation price

Though, this only means a MAXIMUM. The actual amount a bank will allow to loan you may be lesser, as the bank will evaluate your monthly income, financial commitments, & credit score.

One (1) official regulation that applies to your car loan is the TDSR or Total Debt Servicing Ratio in Singapore. You can read the associated article for the full story, but in short, it implies that you can’t use more than 60% of your salary to repay loans.

So if most of your income is going to big housing loan installments or if you have substantial outstanding credit card bills to pay, you may not be able to get the complete 70%.

Ensure you’re financially prepared for the downpayment of 30% or more, which you need to pay in cash.

What Are The Differences Between Borrowing From A Bank and An Auto Dealer?

Differences between bank and auto dealer financing

There are a few critical differences between borrowing from a bank & your auto dealer. These include interest rates and the availability of balloon payments.

Interest Rates

Car loan rates in Singapore can seem more expensive than other kinds of loans. This is because they apply a flat rate method. A flat rate is where the interest rate is fixed and based on the original loan amount.

The interest rates offered by car dealers are generally above bank rates from 4 to 4.8% per annum. In addition, the commission of the car seller can also further increase car dealers’ interest rates.

If, however, your car dealer does not give you a car credit, you have the choice of getting the one with the most reasonable rate from the bank. Bank rates can range from 1.88% – 2.7% annually. Some banks may even give an interest rate of 3%, but this is normal for used cars.

Both banks & auto dealers offer loan tenures that range from 1 – 7 years. Both may charge early refund fees if you decide to make a future early reimbursement.

Here’s a table of interest amount between banks & auto dealers:

Bank Auto dealer
Loan tenure 7 years 7 years
Loan amount S$84,000 S$84,000
Interest rate 2.7% 4.8%
Interest amount S$1,189 per month S$1,336 per month
Total interest paid S$15,876 S$28,224

Based on this instance, applying for a car loan from an auto dealer may cost you S$12,348 more at the end of the 7-year loan tenure.

Convenience & Loan Options

You can choose the dealer’s car loan more comfortably, as you can buy the car at the same place and deal with the funding. In addition, funding from the auto dealer can provide you with the possibility to negotiate the sale price.

On the other hand, you will have to apply via the bank’s website or physically to the office if you wish to take out a car loan from the bank.

One advantage of borrowing from a bank is that you have different lenders and credit options to choose from. This allows you to compare your choices to see which bank provides you with the best rates & terms.

Whether you are funding a new or a pre-owned car, both dealers & banks give car loans for both types of vehicles.

Availability Of Balloon Payments

Car dealers also give balloon payment schemes. But do you know what a balloon payment scheme is?

The payment scheme for ballons refers to a type of loan with a significant amount owing at the end of the loan term. For Singapore’s car funding, a balloon payment scheme is a loan scheme where a minimum PARF rebate is not included in the loan for cars. The monthly refunds are lowered.

To understand PARF, you will first have to understand the Additional Registration Fee (ARF). The ARF is based on your vehicle’s Open Market Value (OMV).

The following table shows how your vehicle ARF is calculated.

Vehicle OMV ARF Rate
First S$20,000 100%
Next S$30,000(i.e. S$20,001 to S$50,000) 140%
Above S$50,000 180%

For example, if the car has an OMV of S$75,000:

Vehicle OMV(S$75,000) ARF Rate ARF Payable
First S$20,000 100% 100% x S$20,000 = S$20,000
Next S$30,000 140% 140% x S$30,000 = S$42,000
Above S$50,000 180% 180% x S$25,000 = S$45,000
Total ARF S$107,000

The total ARF will be $107,000.

The PARF rebate is then counted based on the car’s age when you deregister it. Even if the vehicle was registered locally or overseas, the car’s age depends on its date of registration. The table below shows the rebates turned on the date when who deregistered the vehicle.

Age at Deregistration PARF Rebate
Not exceeding 5 years 75% of ARF paid
Above 5 but not exceeding 6 years 70% of ARF paid
Above 6 but not exceeding 7 years 65% of ARF paid
Above 7 but not exceeding 8 years 60% of ARF paid
Above 8 but not exceeding 9 years 55% of ARF paid
Above 9 but not exceeding 10 years 50% of ARF paid
Above 10 years Nil

Credit History Requirements

It’s good to take a car loan from a car dealer in that you may have a greater chance of getting your loan accepted. Auto dealers are usually more lenient in approving loans & do not focus much on credit history.

On the other hand, banks need a good credit history to get a loan approved. If you have a bad credit record, you may want to think about your car dealer’s borrowing or even a private financial institution.

What To Consider When Getting A Loan Through An Auto Dealer

Before asking for a car loan from your car dealer, here are two (2) things you should take note of.

How long should my car loan tenure be?

Usually, you can borrow the money for up to seven (7) years. But note that the longer the loan tenure, the more interest you are paying. As with personal loans, you should pick the shortest term you can handle. Just make sure the monthly installments are manageable.

The one big exception is if you’re taking a loan for an older used vehicle. Because of how COE is set up in Singapore, car loans are usually only for the first ten years of a car’s life, after which they are marked as “worthless.” Hence, if you’re buying an 8-year-old vehicle, your maximum loan tenure is two years as it has only two years of life left.

If you’re buying a “COE car,” specifically, a car >10 years old that requires COE renewal, it will be challenging to obtain a car loan, although there are some exceptions like the UOB COE Car Loan & Maybank’s car loans.

For more tips on used cars, please read our guide to buying used cars in Singapore here.

OK, got it. So what are my car financing choices?

There are three (3) options for you to choose from:

  1. Car dealer’s in-house financing package
  2. Bank loan through a car dealer
  3. Straight to a bank or financial institution

The path of least resistance is the car dealer’s in-house financing package. As I mentioned, your dealer will probably offer you a deal that’s very difficult to resist. He’s going to provide sweeteners like “overtrade,” which is a trick to let you borrow 70% instead of 60% even if your car’s OMV is more than $20,000. (That indicates your downpayment is only 30% rather than 40%.)

Car dealers also offer bank loans you know & love, like UOB, DBS, and OCBC. Your dealer will also deliver a seamless plus fuss-free experience for you & throw in freebies to boot. But it’s not because you’re entertaining or attractive or intelligent. It’s because banks give them a commission to sign you up.

The third option is to shop around for your car loan and go direct to a bank or financial institution. Certainly, you might not take an ego massage, but you’ll get the option to select a more favorable interest rate, saving you a nice piece of cash in the long run. Here are some famous car loan providers:

Interest rates of Car loan in Singapore (as of Feb 2019)

So, how much can you anticipate paying for a car loan? Currently, most banks give an interest rate of around 2.78% p.a.

Let’s illustrate a hypothetical scenario for some car loan rates. You intend to buy a $100,000 entry-level car with an OMV of $20,000. Estimating your income, financial commitments, and credit score check out means you only need to pay $30,000 upfront as your down payment.

You intend to borrow the remaining $70,000 for seven (7) years. Let’s check out the most affordable car loans you can get.

Car loan Interest rate Monthly instalment
Standard Chartered car loan 2.68% p.a. $990
Citibank car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
Century Tokyo Leasing 2.78% p.a. $996
DBS car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
Hitachi Capital car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
Hong Leong Finance car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
Maybank car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
OCBC car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
Sing Investments & Finance car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
UOB car loan 2.78% p.a. $996
Singapura Finance car loan 2.79% p.a. $1,008

Car loan interest rates vary all the time, and so do promotions, so before you act, be sure to check FR Capital car loan wizard for the latest rates.

What essential things do I need to know about car loans?

Apart from taking the interest rate (some financial institutions do not publish theirs) and working out the monthly installments, you also require to be aware of any extra costs such as:

Type of fee Amount Description
Processing/admin fee At least $200 Usually waived as long as the loan amount is above $20,000
Early settlement fee At least 1% of outstanding loan A penalty you must pay if you pay off the loan early, pegged to the outstanding loan amount
Unpaid interest fee Typically 20% of unpaid interest Additional penalty for early settlement (on top of early settlement fee)

You should also ensure that the bank loans your car money. Some banks don’t permit car loans or COE (>10 years old) for China-made vehicles. Before transferring your car ownership to your name, it’s good to get approval in principle.

I’m Good to Go! How do I apply for a car loan?

Having done the study, you can, of course, go back to your car dealer plus please ask them to connect you to your chosen bank. However, be here informed that any online exclusive promo rates may not implement then.

If you want to go to the bank directly, you will require to submit an online application or make an appointment. It helps to have these documents beneficial:

  • Vehicle Sales Agreement
  • Proof of income, for example, CPF statement, income tax statement, or salary payslip
  • Proof of existing financial commitments, for example, personal loan, housing loan
  • Employment details, for example, monthly income, employer name

Need a bit more information? You can also submit an inquiry through FR Capital, and our specialists will guide you through the process.

Car loans: going through the bank directly or to your dealer? Tell us why in the comments.

A car loan (also called a car loan or a car loan) is an amount of money that a consumer lease to buy a car. A loan is usually a sum of money lent to a person, a company, or a company. The party lending the money is the lender, whereas the party taking the money is the lender. A borrower agrees to reimburse a total loan amount and interest at a given date, typically in the form of a monthly payment (a percentage of the loan, usually based annually).

Car loans are mostly following the same rules and procedures as other loans. In most cases, a borrower will especially claim a car credit when purchasing a vehicle; however, a consumer may also use personal credit for the same purpose (a loan that an individual receives for use at their discretion). All car loans are for specific times, usually between 24 and 60 months, although some car loans may be longer. This kind of loan is also referred to as funding. Car loans generally include some charges and taxes added to the total amount of the loan.

Many customers apply at their local bank for car loans. A borrower usually begins by indicating how much money they want to borrow when applying for a car loan. The borrower then provides information about his financial situation, starting with revenue (the amount of money they earn by working). Most lenders will ask the lender to supply some evidence of employment, usually in the form of a pay stub or a copy of a tax return (the portion of a paycheck which includes information on a worker’s income, which is kept for their records by an employee) (the form submitted by individuals when paying taxes).

The loan will also examine the loan report of the borrower. A credit report is an informative record of a person’s past credit activities (in short, borrowing), whether through loans or other debts (money owed). If the future borrower has a bad credit history, the prospective borrower may not qualify for a car loan.

Some customers are often preapproved of car loans by a bank or financial institution. In such cases, a user has some days to decide whether or not to seek full permission for car credits (often 30 or sometimes 45). Since most creditors secure an automobile loan before purchasing a car, a lender usually gives the borrower the maximum amount they can borrow when an application is approved for a car loan. The borrower is free to buy the car they wish with this cash. The borrower does not, however, have to spend the total amount that the borrower offers.

For example, while for a long-term customer, a bank can approve a car loan of S$68,000, this customer is only entitled to spend a portion of that.

Although not as diverse as vehicles themselves, the lenders, the borrower’s needs, and the vehicle in question come into numerous forms and sizes. So many variables can lead to a wide range of loan processes and structures, but the main types of car loans are explained here.

 Secured auto loans

The car guarantees the debt, so the lender can recapture the vehicle and resell the vehicle to recover its losses if the borrower fails to pay them. The law that makes this possible is a link—a lien. The lender has the right to own the vehicle until the loan has been repaid as a lienholder on the vegetable title. Most car lending is secured lending.

Unsecured auto loans

The lender depends more on the promise of the borrower to repay the debt without security collateral. Uninsured car loans are less common and may be higher than guaranteed loans.

Simple interest loans

At the time of the payment, the interest shall be calculated on the outstanding principal. For instance, when you pay a loan of $20,000 down to $10,000, your interest only depends on the $10K you have left. A simple interest loan from lenders like Road Loans allows a borrower to save money early on.

Precomputed interest loans

The term of the loan, the discount is calculated and divided into equal amounts distributed over a monthly payment. This interest calculation is more rigid than a simple amount of interest because you would still pay the same interest every month if you had paid down half your $20,000 loan.

Direct financing

Loans to customers to buy their vehicles from a retailer or a private party, like banks, credit unions, and online financing companies. This approach makes it possible for the customer to be pre-approved for their loan before shopping for a car and is a simple way to buy the best deal.

Indirect financing

When a prospective lender requests a loan, a dealing company finances a car buyer. As a middleman, the dealer can increase the interest rate offered by the lender to a percentage point or two. Captive lenders provide another type of indirect financing. These are financial companies linked to a specific car manufacturer, such as Chrysler Capital, Fiat Chrysler, and Toyota Financial Toyota. You can provide attractive incentives such as discounts and zero-% interest.

In-house financing

Home funding is linked to dealerships ‘purchase here, pay here,’ who sell their vehicle and provide the loan. “Purchase here, pay here” trading firms typically sell to lousy credit customers * who are making payments to the dealer, and rates of interest may be higher.

New and used car loans

Loans for the new and pre-owned vehicles usually have various features based on the nature of the car and other factors of the customer. New cars, for example, pay for average loans and car payments, according to Experian data. They are more expensive than their used partners. The average number of new car loans is longer than for previously used cars. Moreover, new vehicles car loans often have lower rates of interest. This is partly because new vehicles are more accessible for lenders to value assets if they need to be repossessed.

Private party loans

This type of car loan is intended for purchasers who want to buy a single salesperson instead of a dealer. When using a private-sector auto loan, different situations are considered, such as whether the car has a pledge if the seller still owes its loan.

Lease buyouts

A resident can often buy the vehicle for a fixed price at the end of their lease agreement. A rental-purchase loan allows the purchaser to pay the loan until the car is wholly owned.

Making the right choice

These types of car loans are somewhat general and some more specific. But loans may also differ considering various other factors such as credit score, credit length, interest rate, APR, fees, and prepayment penalties for approved applicants. Working is always a good idea of what’s affordable and what conditions are right for you when you buy a car and shop for a loan to continue with confidence.

Find out more about Road Loans car loans. We accept applications from persons with every kind of loan as a full spectrum lender.

The loan “Bad” or “Poor” is usually considered as the FICO score of about 600 and below from sources including the Consumer Federation (the Associated Press),,, Investopedia.

Before applying for a car loan, preparation is an essential step in the process, which will help you know what to expect and plan for. This is particularly true when you try to qualify for a low-income car loan. Learn about car loan income requirements is one of the best things you can do.

You can view how much your car is eligible to receive your credit, but your earnings are too high. Put, lenders approve only lending based on what can be paid for. You need to be aware of three main requirements for car loans:

  • Minimum Income Requirement: You must pay a certain amount each month for all lenders. Although it may vary, many particular finance lenders have a typical minimum income requirement of between $1,500 and $2,000 before taxation is collected.
  • Requirement of debt to revenue (DTI) ratio: This is the percentage of your monthly pre-tax revenue that pays for all your accounts. For this, add up all your monthly bills and division the amount by your monthly income (expert vehicle payment and insurance payment, other loan payments, rent/mortgage, credit card payments, etc.). In most lenders, the DTI limit is typically between 45% and 50%.
  • Requirement for Income Payment (PTI): The PTI ratio is the percentage of your revenue paid for your car loan and insurance by dividing the two by your gross monthly income. In general, lenders limit your PTI by between 15% and 20%.

Together with your credit score, these three revenue requirements determine what type of loan you can qualify for, from first place eligibility to maximum monthly payment, loan amount, and term.

Crediting for a low-income car loan

While a certain amount must be made per month to be approved, you can qualify for low-income car credit. As you can see from the revenue requirements above, what you are eligible for has to do with what you spend on what you do and the price of the car for which you shop.

If you require a loan from a low-income car, we recommend these steps:

  • Check your loan reports and at least one loan score –Before taking out any loans, you should know where your credit lies. There are many ways to get a free score from your credit office, but a small fee can also be paid to get it direct (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). As for your reports, every 12 months, you can request a copy of each of the three offices on, which you are entitled to.
  • Calculate your budget and your ratios –Check your budget carefully to assess the fitness of a car loan. To see where you stand, you should also calculate your DTI and PTI ratios in advance.
  • Make your vehicle choices realistic–You want to ensure that you only finance a car, especially if you have a low income, you can comfortably afford it. You can better understand the price range you should stick to by assessing your PTI ratio with several different monthly car payments.
  • Research your financing options –To find out more about what may be available exploring various sources of funding. Talk about their requirements to your bank or credit union and apply for approval when you fulfill them. You may also contact other significant lenders and banks to see if they can help. If you have a less than perfect loan, you can talk to a local finance dealer about financing options or buy car lots here.

Low Income and Bad Credit Auto Loans

If you try to get a low-income car loan, you can help prepare yourself for the process by learning the typical requirements and what to expect, but working with the right dealership is just as important when dealing with bad loans.

We want to help you match Cars Direct with a particular financial dealer in your area. We work with dealers throughout the country to fund people in unique situations. Please start the process now with our secure online application form for a car loan.

You must shop for the best lenders and get an approved loan before going to the dealership to get the best interest rate on an automotive loan.

Check your credit report.

Your credit score and income will determine how much and at what interest rates you are eligible to borrow.

Each primary reporting office has the right to attain at least one free copy of your report every 12 months (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Many banks, issuers of credit cards, and financial services.

Apply for auto loans from multiple lenders

It is time to look at car loans and lenders, classified as When you have checked the credit.

You’re going to want to compare quotes from the first three types of lenders, even if you plan to finance dealerships. You can also check with your bank or credit union for a preferred rate to be a customer. You can also compare auto lenders online.

Ensure that every lender you seriously consider can buy a car from a private party rather than a dealer or broker. Some limit the place from which you can buy your vehicle.

Get preapproved for an auto loan.

When you have restricted your search to a couple of lenders, it is time to ask for rates of interest and compare offers. Getting lenders to compete for your company gets the best rate because you weigh each factor differently in your credit report. This means that requests for car loans may vary significantly.

It is confusing to apply to lenders because some have pre-qualification, which only requires a soft credit jackpot. Others provide pre-approval, which needs a “hard” credit jack and lowers their credit scores temporarily. Pre-graduation provides an evaluation of the expected rate, but pre-approval provides you with a more specific rate offer. Preapproval thus protects you from interest rate increases to which the dealership might otherwise be the victim.

Use your loan offer to set your budget.

The maximum amount you can borrow from your pre-approval bids is not the price of your car that you can buy. To cover taxes and fees, you need an additional 10%. To design your loan, use the Auto Loan Calculator. Set your down payment, your current vehicle’s value for the business, and your loan terms to find the correct monthly payment for your budget.

Find your car

Now that you have funding and the maximum cost of your car, it’s time for the fun part: pick your new trip.

Be sure to check the loan offers to avoid disappointment when you’re on a vehicle.

Review the dealer’s loan offer

After taking a test drive and finding a car that meets your needs, you might still have a shot from your dealer at a much higher interest rate.

Carmakers establish their banks solely for dealer auto purchases and sometimes offer interest rates below the market. Once you’re preapproved for a fixed rate, the finance manager will probably try to get your business off speed. It is not harmful to see how low your rate may be.

Choose and finalize your loan.

If the dealer exceeds the preapproved rate (and all other terms are the same), congratulations—you can be assured that you have a high level of funding. You can take the loan, and your other offers are ignored. Make sure you learn the contract before signing to confirm that the agreement contains nothing sneaky.

To complete your loan application and to finalize funding, follow the instructions of the loaner. In some cases, you can contact the lender to initiate financing and, in others, you can follow up on your own with the lender.

Buying a new car can be costly–even the most enormous fridge or the flattest TV screen there is can’t come close to the amount of thought (and money) that goes into this decision. After singling out your dream car–that one model that stood above the rest (and put sparkles in your eyes)–the real challenge begins, paying for it.

Unless you’ve saved enough cash for the total amount, you’re probably purchasing your new set of wheels by getting a car loan. Make your vehicle choices realistic?

To make things simple, car financing boils down to two options: Dealer Financing or Bank Financing. It’s important to know what you get in first if you want to get the best deal.

After all, the longer-term payment period of the loan could either spell thousands of miles of automotive bliss or agonizing years of driving knowing you’re stuck in the wrong deal. Here’s a simple breakdown of the two:

Bank Financing

The rates are likely to be lower with bank financing – which does not involve an intermediary (dealer) which requires additional commission. You also get discounts on interest rates if you have a healthy credit score or use other products such as your credit card or other accounts. The banks are even telling you whether you are about to pay too much for your car or anything else that looks financially off as part of its personalized service.

The price? Eligibility requirements are generally stricter than those of dealers, although they vary from bank to bank, which means you must meet more criteria before a loan is approved. In contrast to traders that offer negotiable rates, the offer from a bank is final.


  • Competitive rates
  • Personalized service
  • Solid payment terms with interest spread evenly throughout the loan term


  • Rates are often non-negotiable
  • Stricter Requirements

Tip: First, go to your bank and see the loan offer before visiting your dealer to compare. Suppose the dealer can match the bank’s rate, then great (it is not possible, but is rare). Otherwise, the applied for an auto loan with the bank is better while that’s the case.

Dealership Financing

The thought of “finance, purchase, and drive it home the same day” make dealer financing a one-stop shop for buying your new car. In dealership financing, dealers send your credit information to different lenders; once approved, a quotation is sent back for you to choose from and often negotiate even further. With this much flexibility in payment terms, you’d think it’s the obvious choice.

Well, not so fast.

Keep in mind that dealers have to make money out of the deal as a business, too. Therefore, interest rates can end up being higher in the long run. Also, being late on payments translate to higher penalties. While some dealers will go as far as stretching a loan period beyond the usual five years to lower monthly fees even further, in reality, you’re probably going to end up paying significantly more than the vehicle’s actual price.


  • Easy, convenient, one-stop-shop
  • Working with different finance companies mean more offers for you to choose from
  • Some rates can be competitive


  • Typically, lower rates are rare, and they’re usually not competitive
  • Higher interest mark-up
  • Hard-sell through “discounts” and “promos” only to make back the amount lost through interest

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About FR Capital

FR Capitalis a Singapore consultancy firm that helps SMEs to secure business loans from banks and financial institutions. We concentrate on SME finance, and through our expertise and network, we help clients secure funding with low-interest rates efficiently and hassle-free.