880 Walkers Line, Burlington, ON, L7N 2G2, Canada

Buying a Car When You Still Owe Money On Your Current Vehicle

Buying a Car When You Still Owe Money On Your Current Vehicle

The urge for a new car can be strong, but what happens if you haven't quite finished paying off your current one? Many Canadians find themselves in this situation, and navigating the options can be tricky. Fear not!


This guide will explore the financial implications of buying a car with an existing loan in Canada, helping you decide the best path forward.

Get Pre-Approved in 2 Minutes or Less.
All credit scores accepted & no down payments required.

Apply Now

Understanding Your Equity (or Lack Thereof)

The key factor influencing your options is your current car's equity, essentially the difference between what you owe and its market value. There are two main scenarios:


Positive Equity

If your car is worth more than your loan balance, you're in a good spot! This difference, called positive equity, can be used as a down payment on your new car, reducing your loan amount and potentially lowering your monthly payments.


Negative Equity (Being Upside Down)

This occurs when you owe more than your car's worth. It's a common situation, especially for newer vehicles that depreciate quickly. In this case, additional steps are needed to manage the negative equity before buying a new car.


Navigating Negative Equity

While negative equity isn't ideal, there are ways to handle it:


Rollover Loan

This is where the negative equity gets rolled into your new car loan. Essentially, you're adding the difference between your current loan balance and the trade-in value to your new loan.


This increases your loan amount and potentially extends the repayment term, raising your overall borrowing costs. Proceed with caution!


Pay Down Your Current Loan

If possible, consider prioritizing payments on your current car to reduce the negative equity. This improves your financial situation and makes trading in for a new car less expensive down the road.


Sell Privately

Selling your car privately can sometimes fetch a higher price than a trade-in, potentially helping you bridge the negative equity gap. This requires more effort in advertising and dealing with buyers, but the financial benefit can be worthwhile.


Making an Informed Decision

Here are some crucial considerations before buying a new car with an existing loan:


Can You Afford the New Payment?

Factor in the new car's loan payment, insurance costs (which might increase with a new car), and ongoing maintenance. Ensure these fit comfortably within your budget.


Do You Need a New Car?

Consider if repairs on your current car might be more cost-effective than buying a new one. Is there a possibility of holding onto your current car for a while longer?


Explore Refinancing Options

Depending on your creditworthiness, refinancing your current loan at a lower interest rate can free up some budget space for a new car payment.


Tips for Canadian Car Buyers

  • Research Thoroughly: Use online resources like Canadian Black Book or Kelley Blue Book to estimate your current car's value. Research new car options, considering reliability, fuel efficiency, and total ownership costs.
  • Shop Around for Financing: Don't just accept the dealership's financing offer. Get quotes from banks, credit unions, and online lenders to compare interest rates and terms.
  • Focus on Long-Term Value: Prioritize reliable, fuel-efficient cars that hold their value well. This will minimize future depreciation headaches.


The Bottom Line

Buying a car with an existing loan requires careful planning. By understanding your equity situation, exploring solutions for negative equity, and making informed financial decisions, you can navigate this process successfully.


Remember, prioritizing affordability and long-term value will ensure a smooth ride down the road.


If you're ready for a car loan in Southern Ontario, we'd love to help! simply fill in the form below to get started.

Car Loan Pre-Approval

    Car Loan Approval


    Categories: Auto Loan

    Tags: ,