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7 Most Common Car Loan Mistakes To Avoid


by Mahindra Finance


April 26, 2024


5 mins read


Buying a car can be an exciting milestone in one's life. However, it can also be a costly affair, especially if you don't plan your finances well. That's where a car loan comes in handy. It allows you to purchase the vehicle you desire while managing the expense over time through monthly instalments. But before you jump into a car loan agreement, it's important to be aware of some common mistakes that people often make. In this article, we will discuss the 7 most common car loan mistakes to avoid, ensuring that you make informed decisions and have a smooth experience throughout the process.

1. Excessive borrowing:

One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking out a car loan is borrowing more than they can comfortably afford. While buying a car may require additional expenses such as accessories, insurance, and maintenance costs, it is essential to evaluate your financial situation beforehand. Consider factors like your monthly income and expenses to determine how much you can comfortably allocate towards car loan repayments without straining your budget.

2. Not Checking Your Credit Score:

Your credit score plays a crucial role when applying for any kind of loan, including a car loan. Lenders use your credit score to assess your creditworthiness and determine the car loan interest rate they will offer you. Therefore, it's important to check your credit score before applying for a car loan. A poor credit score can lead to higher interest rates or even rejection of your loan application. 

3. Opting for a Longer Tenure:

When choosing the tenure of your car loan, it's important to strike the right balance. While longer tenures may seem appealing as they result in lower monthly EMIs, they can end up costing you more in the long run due to higher interest payments. Additionally, as the value of the car depreciates over time, you may find yourself repaying more than what the car is actually worth if you opt for a longer tenure. You can find out your EMI using an online car EMI calculator.

4. In-depth Research of Lenders:

Before finalising a car loan provider, it's crucial to conduct thorough research and evaluate different lenders. Compare interest rates for car loans, facilities offered, flexibility in repayment options, and any hidden charges or fees that might affect the overall cost of the loan.

5. Financing for add-ons:

When purchasing a car, you may come across various add-ons offered by the dealer, such as premium music systems or seat covers. While these add-ons might seem appealing, it's important to consider whether they are necessary or if they will simply increase the overall cost of the car. By financing these add-ons along with your car loan, you may end up paying more in interest over time.

6. Always Approach Banks Instead of Dealers:

While dealers may offer convenient financing options at their showroom, it is generally more advantageous to approach reputed banks like Mahindra Finance for your car loan needs. Dealers often charge additional fees or commissions that can increase the overall cost of the loan. By directly approaching a bank for your car loan, you can avoid these extra charges and potentially secure better terms and conditions.

7. Not Evaluating Car Loan Processing Fee & Other Charges:

Before finalising a car loan agreement with any bank or financial institution, it's essential to carefully evaluate all charges associated with the loan. This includes processing fees, documentation charges, and any other additional fees. These charges can significantly impact the overall cost of your car loan.


By avoiding these common car loan mistakes, you can ensure a smooth and financially responsible car buying experience. Always evaluate your financial situation before borrowing, check your credit score, choose an appropriate tenure, research lenders thoroughly, avoid financing unnecessary add-ons, approach banks instead of dealers, and carefully assess all charges associated with the loan. you can also make use of an online car loan EMI calculator to accurately calculate your monthly loan repayments.

Remember to consider Mahindra Finance as a potential solution offering competitive car loan interest rates and transparent processes tailored to meet your individual needs.


Q: What is the ideal down payment for a car loan?

A: According to the 20/4/10 rule, it's recommended to make a down payment of 20% of the total car purchase price to reduce the loan amount and lower monthly payments.

Q: Can my car loan application be rejected based on my credit score?

A: Yes, lenders consider your credit score while evaluating your car loan application. A low credit score can lead to rejection or higher interest rates. Focus on improving your credit score before applying for a loan.

Q: Is it wise to prepay my car loan?

A: If you have surplus funds and no other high-interest debts, prepaying your car loan can help reduce interest payments and shorten the loan tenure. Consider prepayment charges, if any, before making this decision.

Q: Can I negotiate the interest rate on my car loan?

A: Yes, negotiating the interest rate on your car loan is possible. Before finalising the loan, research different lenders and their interest rates. Approach lenders with competitive offers and use this information as leverage to negotiate a better rate.

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