Handelsblatt tests these car loans offer low interest rates and maximum flexibility
Car buyers should always ask for both classic installment loans and car loans.
cologne as the number of new corona infections falls, consumers are more eager to shop. Confidence is also spreading in car dealerships. The auto industry expects its sales figures to rise significantly in the second half of the year, according to a recent study by pricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc). In europe, the management consultancy forecasts growth of ten percent in the passenger car market compared with the second half of 2020.
Although this would not yet return to the pre-crisis level. But the trend is clearly upward – not least because of e-cars, which are becoming increasingly popular with buyers thanks to government subsidies.
Demand for loans is likely to rise in line with the number of car purchases. In some cases, banks offer special car loans to help people buy a car. These often score with good conditions. In recent months, interest rates on individual car loans have even fallen slightly, reports ania scholz-orfanidis, credit expert at FMH-finanzberatung. An evaluation by the financial services provider for the Handelsblatt shows where bank customers can find particularly favorable offers.
Car loans are installment loans for a specific purpose, for the purchase or repair of a car, motorcycle or motor home, and sometimes also an e-bike. "in the past, car loans offered more favorable conditions than normal installment loans. But that’s hardly the case any more," says Scholz-orfanidis.
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Car loan borrowers once had to deposit the vehicle registration document of the new car with the bank. The credit institution thus had a security in hand and could calculate with particularly low interest rates. Today, banks only require this security in a few cases. This development offers customers more flexibility, for example if they want to sell the new car before the end of the loan term – after all, they need the vehicle registration document for this purpose. But it also ensures that there is hardly any difference between car loans and conventional installment loans.
ING offers customers a lot of flexibility
The FMH experts examined car loans from around two dozen providers, from institutions operating nationwide and regional financial institutions. Automobile banks are not represented in the analysis. This is because they often only offer their car loans through authorized dealers, explains scholz-orfanidis. "there one has then completely different conditions."
Among the broad range of commercial banks, car buyers can find a low-interest loan at ING, for example. Regardless of their creditworthiness and the term of the loan, customers pay 2.39 percent interest per year. The vehicle title does not have to be deposited, special repayments are possible free of charge. the institute with its dutch roots thus offers its customers a great deal of flexibility. FMH gives it the top rating of "very good".
PSD Bank nuremberg and SWK Bank still score the second-best grade of "good. the former takes with 2.83 percent per year but much higher interest rates than the best in class. SWK, the direct bank in the Rhineland-Palatinate, is again one of the few institutions where borrowers have to deposit their vehicle registration certificate as collateral. For both banks, it was therefore not enough for the top grade.
Customers should compare car loans with classic offers
Creditworthiness-independent loans are becoming increasingly rare. most banks look at the creditworthiness of their customers and make them an appropriate interest offer. Banks like to advertise such offers with the conditions for customers with the best credit rating. These are impressive: at the bank of scotland and postbank, which scored best in this category, car loan borrowers pay just 1.48 and 1.55 percent effective annual interest respectively – note "very good. But there’s a pitfall here, too: "hardly anyone gets the best credit rating," says scholz-orfanidis.
A guide to comparing creditworthiness-based interest rates is the so-called two-thirds interest rate – the interest rate that at least two-thirds of borrowers pay at most. In this case, the cooperative bbbank came out on top in the FMH comparison of institutions operating nationwide. it was the only bank to receive the grade "very good" – thanks to an interest rate of 2.99 percent and generous rules on unscheduled repayments and repayment breaks.
Second place goes to commerzbank. The effective two-thirds annual interest rate there is also 2.99 percent, but the loan is not as flexibly adjustable as with the class winner.
to get the best possible conditions, car buyers should always ask for both classic installment loans and car loans and see which offer is more favorable – and this at several banks. It’s a bit of a hassle, but can be worth it.