WesBank: DIY car finance application or outsourcing to a dealer


19 March 2024 – Despite the proliferation of e-hailing services in South Africa, owning a car remains a necessity for most commuters, exacerbated by the generally poor public transport system in many parts of the country. However, the relatively high price of cars means most people who aspire to own a car will have to apply for vehicle finance to make their dream of car ownership come true.

So, once you’ve determined your affordability range and decided on the brand, model and derivative you want to park in your driveway, you have to decide on the best option for initiating the vehicle finance application process. Is it best to approach the bank directly or is it better to apply with assistance from the car dealership? Either way, the application ends up with the bank. But there are pros and cons to either option.

The biggest benefit derived from following the dealer application route is convenience. All the applicant needs to do is provide the dealer with the required documentation, such as their proof of income. The dealer’s finance and insurance department in turn takes care of all the administrative work that goes into setting up the finance contract. They’ll approach various finance houses to seek the best deal, and even provide options for insurance cover. This hassle-free option is especially appealing for first-time car buyers who might find the application process intimidating.

The direct approach might lack the convenience of a dealers’ assistance, but it makes up for this by giving full control to the applicant.

By getting pre-approved for vehicle finance before approaching the seller, a buyer is less likely to be tempted into buying a vehicle that costs more than the budgeted amount. Knowing your budget and sticking to it also empowers buyers to negotiate with the seller to price the desired vehicle within the approved loan amount.

“For those who choose to take the proverbial bull by the horns, finance institutions such as WesBank offer useful tools that aid in the car finance application process,” says Lebo Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank.

“Our online finance calculator helps applicants calculate the estimated monthly repayment or instalment by altering the variables that influence the instalment, such as the vehicle purchase price, deposit amount and payment term. There’s also the WesBank FastApp, a personalised affordability tool that allows qualifying applicants to get finance pre-approval within minutes by completing only five required data fields,” he says.

“With the affordability checks done, there’s a plethora of online vehicle listing sites that provide access to thousands of new and used cars available for sale from dealers, private sellers, or auction houses across the country.

“Once you’ve found that dream car, an application can be submitted online, and if approved, the finance deal can also be finalised and signed online. That’s how easy and convenient it has become for buyers to take charge of the vehicle application process and navigate their own way towards freedom of mobility,” concludes Gaoaketse.


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