How to Upgrade a Car

Filed under Information Centre

How do you upgrade a car? It may seem simple, but what’s the process?

We find out.

What do you mean “upgrade a car”?

It means replacing an older vehicle with a newer one.

People often want to do this for several reasons;

  • Their current car is too old
  • Their current car is lacking certain features they require
  • Change of lifestyle (eg. they need more passenger room)
  • Change of job (eg. they need to carry tools)
  • They simply want a new car!

Here’s the typical process to upgrade a car

1. Research

This is often a long process, between 15 and 17 weeks for a lot of people. It’s the time where you might start noticing “nice” cars on the road and looking at what make/model it is.

Usually Google comes in handy as people read and watch online reviews to find a handful of vehicles that suit.

  • Opinions count too

Most car buyers also ask family and friends for their opinion which is always a good idea.

Tip: do your research and ask for opinions from people you trust. It’s easy to get tunnel vision on a popular model, but is it right for you?

2. Budgets

Numbers with dollar signs are always crucial. Use a car loan calculator to get an idea of the numbers. You’ll be able to tweak various input details too.

Many people figure out registration, insurance and running costs too.

Tip: don’t break the bank, everyone has their budgets. If owning the car you’re looking at will mean sacrificing too much, it might be worth looking at other options.

3. Pre-approval

Here’s where you arrange finance for a vehicle pending actually finding an example for sale.

Pre-approvals mean you’ll have a budget to go car shopping with. Pre-approvals are great because they have very few limitations.

For example, someone might get pre-approved for $30,000 on a car no older than 2011. This means they’ll be able to buy almost any car in Australia that fits these criteria.

In other words, you can change makes and models as you go car shopping, providing, in this case, the car is within budget and not too old.

4. Car shopping

The fun stuff. Now, armed with a budget and a selection of vehicles suited to your needs (from the research stage), it’s time to scour the web, take a few cars for a test drive and ask yourself the right questions.

If you’d like Australia-wide buying power, Positive is able to assist with sourcing that perfect vehicle no matter the location.

With your pre-approval, you’ll be able to select from dealer new and used vehicles and private sale vehicles from places like GumTree and Facebook Marketplace.

5. Decision time

This is where negotiation skills come in handy. The lower you can get the vehicle for, the better (of course). Your loan amount will be adjusted to match the sales price.

For example, if you’re approved for $30,000 but haggle a vehicle price down to $28,000, the loan amount will be adjusted down to $28,000.

Sometimes buyers need extra funds for registration or repairs / upgrades. This can be arranged but is dependent on the applicant’s profile.

6. Trade in / selling

If you have a vehicle to trade in or sell, now is a good time. The more you can get for your current vehicle, the more of a deposit you might be able to make.

Again, that means a lower loan amount.

If you decide to sell a vehicle privately, it can often mean a higher price compared to trading it in to a dealer. However, you’ll have to negotiate with strangers coming to view your vehicle.

The ultimate goal for most people is to sell their current car for as much money and as quickly as possible.

Some people need extra time and actually own two cars for a while, the new one and their old car and eventually sell the old one. This can mean putting a lump sum towards the loan a few weeks or months down the track.

7. Funds

Funds are typically dispersed from the lender (eg. a bank) to the seller of the vehicle, rather than going from the lender to the buyer, and then to the seller.

The lender and broker will make sure that all funds are correctly dispersed in a timely manner.

This is also the time to arrange insurance. All vehicles must be comprehensively insured when purchased with a secured car loan, however, if you’re using an unsecured personal loan to buy a vehicle, insurance, other than compulsory their party (CTP), is not mandatory.

Note that comprehensive insurance is always highly recommended no matter how you buy a vehicle.

Positive is able to assist buyers with insurance which typically means selecting from a few options.

8. Keys in pockets

Yay! After funds are dispersed and insurance is sorted you’re ready to drive away in your new car.

Time frame

The process time from start to finish can be as little as two business days - or less. Processing times vary depending on a few things like getting documents back and actually deciding on a vehicle.

Get started

Start with a quick quote by entering a few details in. Positive is able to make things happen quickly which is important when vehicles are in high demand.

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