Car finance is one of the first types of finance customers take on. It’s the opportunity to have that little bit of freedom to get on the open road. It allows customers to rely on their own wheels to get them from A to B, without having to rely too heavily on public transport. DBS Bank Car Loans provides customers with the finance for their dream wheels. This review takes a closer look to see why it doesn’t satisfy needs as well as it should.
One of our favorite Auto Loans providers was Standard Bank, thanks to variety and transparency.
About DBS Bank
It took a lot for Singapore to be declared independent from Malaysia. Those years of turmoil wreaked havoc with the Singaporean economy, however, the government also used the opportunity to rebuild the nation from the ground up. DBS Bank was one of the banks founded for this initiative, as funding proved to be an integral part of the operations. For about 20 years, the country worked on improving infrastructure, with the eye on modernization. This paved the way for the nation to become one of the most prosperous nations in the world.
Factors that Affect Car Loans
When it comes to buying a car, consumers need to be aware of a number of factors that can influence the purchase of their vehicle. Apart from affordability, there are other aspects to consider as well.
Income and Affordability
Customers may have access to a high salary, but the affordability of the repayment is based on other things as well. For instance, the number of other installments the customers is already paying. Customers need to be able to service all their debt, household expenses, and more. This allows customers to maintain a healthy payment profile.
Credit Score and Willingness to Pay
Customers who have a low credit score will need to improve their scores first. The credit score provides financial institutions with information on the customer’s willingness to pay. If a customer has too many defaults or missed payments, this could be an indication that they can’t afford their lifestyles. Also, those who have missed payments that can afford these repayments, indicate that they don’t take their repayments seriously, which questions their willingness to pay.
Account Conduct and Rates
Customers are required to conduct their accounts well to ensure they benefit from good rates and offers. Their deposit amount is often also dictated by their internal score. This is where banks allow the deposits to be negotiated. Other things that affect the interest rates include credit score, risk profile, and the asset class.
Term and Balloon Payments
The sweet spot for vehicle finance is believed to be the 3-year period. This is the ideal term for customers to repay their finance and is also an indicator of true affordability. The rule of thumb for financial fitness is that customers repay their loan over this period, and those who can’t afford it should look for a cheaper vehicle or save a little longer. Those who require more affordable installments can stretch out their finance for the full finance term and some institutions offer customers the opportunity to pay a balloon payment at the end of their term to further reduce monthly installments.
The majority of banks across the world require customers to pay a down payment towards their finance. The norm is up to 10% for new vehicles, and 20% for older vehicles. The down payment reduces the risk of the finance for the bank and also ensures that the customer is able to afford their loan. The other consideration is that customers are more invested in their finance and have given their purchase a lot of thought.
Customers who don't necessarily require finance for a car can also take a look at DBS Bank's other loan options.
DBS Bank Car Loans Product Offerings
DBS Bank only has one type of car loan on their portfolio. They promise to deliver something that is both simple and affordable.
- Customers choose a loan tenor from 1 to 7 years.
- The loan amount is based on the Open Market Value.
- The finance offered on vehicles up to S$20,000 is up to 70% of the purchase or valuation price.
- The finance offered on vehicles over S$20,000 is up to 60% of the purchase or valuation price.
Other Car Loan Tools Offered by DBS Bank
Although they may not have a vast range of car loan options, they do make the car buying and selling process a little easier.
- The Toolkit provides customers with an online calculator that helps them determine the estimated installments for their finance. With this Toolkit, they are also able to determine their maximum loan amount and purchase price.
- The bank often has promotions where customers benefit from rate reductions or other special offers that have a positive effect on their finance.
- There is an online platform customers can access to buy or sell their vehicle. The platform is hosted by Carro, and customers also benefit from up S$200 footpanda credits when they meet the required criteria.
Related Car Loan Products
DBS Esso Card
For motorists, this is the ideal card as it provides customers with savings of up to 20.32% on their fuel spend.
- This card turns all shopping, dining, and other card spend into Smiles Points for fuel.
- There are also fuel options at other retailers apart from Esso.
- Customers enjoy a 0% interest-free Instalment Payment Plan for Motor Insurance and Road Tax.
- Finally, customers pay an annual card fee for the principal card and a reduced fee for the supplementary card.
What We Like About DBS Bank Auto Loans
This review takes a look at all the plans on offer with a bank, and this bank only has the one to offer. As the only product on the books, it is a very reasonable loan product and offers customers a decent package. Customers can finance their car anywhere between 1 and 7 years. This makes it possible for customers to increase the term to lower their installments, which frees them up substantially when it comes to the monthly servicing of the loan.
Also, DBS Bank is known for its impressive rate offers. Competitive rates and this bank go together like peas and carrots. Customers may also qualify for an interest-free period during times when this particular promotion is held.
Finally, there are a number of other product additions that make this a favorable product. The Toolkit and direct link to the online sales portal is a bonus that is hard to ignore.
What We Don’t Like About DBS Bank Auto Loans
When you only have one product, you need to ensure that the product is perfect. Failing this, customers are free to roam to other institutions to look around. When this happens, a bank risks losing the client to other products as well. The single product is a big issue as there is a massive market to tap into.
The other aspect of the finance is the high deposit requirement. The regular man on the street will probably tap into their emergency savings to cover such a high requirement, or they will apply for other finance to cover their shortfall. A more reasonable deposit between 10% and 20% will still ensure the customer is vested, however, won’t be such a tough feat for consumers to accumulate. Consider the customer who needs a vehicle in order to commute to work and has a family to care for. Dipping into the cash flow for a car could spell disaster in the event of an emergency.
Finally, the loan tenor of up to 7 years may allow customers to stretch out their finance a bit to accommodate for the high deposit. This does work out more expensive in the long run even though the customer’s cash flow is a little more flexible.
Critical Review Rating DBS Bank Car Loans – 5 of 10
We honestly expected more from this bank as their product line is one of the best in the world. With only one finance option for cars, customers are restricted to a one-fits-all approach. This could point them to other institutions who pay a bit more attention to detail in this department.
The high deposit requirement also puts a massive damper on the rating. This is not only because it is exorbitant, it is also because it makes finance inaccessible to a large portion of the population. Those who need to get finance for a car will have to seek assistance from another institution, dip into emergency savings, or incur multiple loans for a single product. Customers who live in more rural areas will find it especially difficult to meet their transport needs.
Finally, not only are there a number of assets that could enjoy finance, there are also different loan types that deserve some attention. Customers should have a choice between hire purchase and installment sale. This allows them to manage their car needs more effectively. This is truly a poor product display from a bank that usually provides the best.
DBS Bank also happens to have mortgage loans as part of their product range, and we recently did a review on it.