How long does car finance approval take?

Car loan finance approval can take anywhere from three hours to ten business days depending on the type of lender being used. Non-bank lenders tend to be quicker than traditional car financing lenders, such as banks and credit unions. Other factors can impact the length of time it takes for approval, including a borrower’s credit history, income, identity check and the speed at which a borrower completes the loan documentation and provides supporting evidence.

The quicker you submit the relevant information and documentation, the quicker your car loan finance request is likely to be approved.

There are several steps in applying for car finance

Step One: Application and form eligibility

The first step for any finance application is to fill out the chosen lender’s car finance application forms. Most lender forms will ask for basic information such as name, address, phone number, email, business name and ABN, along with how many years you have been in business (if you are a business applying) and your credit score (if known).

To be eligible to apply for car finance there is normally a standard set of criteria that needs to be met. You must be:

  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Aged 18 years or over
  • Able to provide proof of permanent employment and estimates of income and expenditures.
  • Be willing to be subject to a formal credit check

For business customers looking to secure car loan finance with Grow Finance, we require the following additional criteria to be met:

  1. Commercial applications must have a registered ABN
  2. You must have been trading in business for a minimum of 12 months
  3. You must be GST registered

Step Two: Formal credit check

As with any car loan application, the lender will need to complete a formal credit check of your credit history, to determine your level of credit worthiness. 100 points of identification must also be supplied before the credit check can proceed. This can include things such as your driver’s license, passport, Medicare card etc. Normally credit checks are instant if they are completed online. However, the longer it takes a borrower to provide the necessary points of identification, the longer the car finance application process will take.

Depending on your credit worthiness you may receive conditional car finance approval at this stage of the application process. If a bad credit score is returned, your application may either be declined, or additional documentation may be requested.

Step Three: Settlement of your car finance loan

Once your car finance application has been unconditionally approved, your lender will directly pay either the dealer or seller or will transfer the agreed car loan amount into your account for you to then pay the dealer or seller.

If purchasing through a dealership it is a more common practice for the dealership to send the lender documentation to complete the purchase.

Once payment has been made and the funds have cleared, the vehicle should be available for you to pick up.

How to speed up your car finance approval

To ensure your application process is expedited:

Read the lender’s eligibility requirements

Always make sure you meet the lender’s eligibility criteria before commencing the application process. This avoids disappointment after you have begun the application process.

Get pre-approved car finance

For a faster process, submit your car finance application and obtain pre-approval before you find the car you wish to buy. Getting car finance approved upfront will allow you to purchase the car you choose faster and will ensure you choose a car you can afford.

Be responsive to lender requests

Be ready and on the ball if the lender requires you to answer questions or provide additional documentation. The quicker you respond and provide what is required, the quicker your car finance will be approved.

Apply straight away

If you decide to submit your car loan application after you have found the vehicle you wish to purchase, ensure you apply for your car loan earlier rather than later in the day. Applying at night or afternoon may mean your application isn’t looked at till the next business day.

Some lenders have cut-off times for processing. For example, they may guarantee a quick turnaround time if you apply in the morning or before a certain time, such as 2 pm. This will vary from lender to lender and will likely be dependent on the particulars of your application and if you are asked to supply additional documentation.

Have your car finance documentation ready to go

Having all your personal or business information ready to go will ensure you are prepared. This includes things such as your 100 points of ID, bank statements, income tax returns, pay slips and any other documentation that may be required by the lender.


Like other loan types, typically the larger the deposit you have available, the quicker and easier it is to generate lender approval. It is a good idea to be prepared and to know how much you can contribute before applying. Having no deposit or very little to contribute may mean you are required to provide further documentation to satisfy the lender’s requirements.

Car details

Have the details of the car you wish to purchase on hand. This includes the make and model, engine number, registration number and the details of the dealer or seller you are purchasing from.

Frequently asked questions about how long it takes for car finance to be approved

Can borrowers get same-day approval for car finance?

At Grow Finance we can provide unconditional loan approval within as little as 3 hours, provided borrowers apply at the start of the day and all documentation is supplied quickly.

What is the process to reach approval with Grow Finance?

If you are looking to obtain car loan finance with Grow Finance, the first step is to fill out an application form or speak with one of our lending consultants. Once we have your application, any required supporting documentation and points of identification will need to be supplied. A credit check will then be carried out and verified, and your application assessed and either approved or declined. Once you are approved you will be issued with loan documentation that will need to be signed and returned to us. Following this, your loan will settle and we will pay the funds directly to the dealer/seller after which you can pick up the vehicle.

What is car finance pre-approval?

Pre-approval is a conditional approval for car finance providing you with a set amount you are eligible to borrow to purchase a car. This is provided on the basis that the car and your car finance documentation check out.

How will I know if my request for car finance is approved?

Your loan consultant will notify you via email, SMS, or phone, depending on your preference.

Can my application for car finance be approved on the weekend?

Unfortunately, loan approvals can only take place Monday to Friday during business hours.


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