Should You Buy A Car With A PNC Bank Check Ready Auto Loan?

A few months ago, the Money Misfit household considered trading in our current vehicle for a new one. Normally, we are all about buying used vehicles since they are cheaper but I had identified some features that I was interested in that made a new vehicle a better choice. The specifics of why really aren’t important though.

I hate car shopping.

I mean, really, REALLY hate car shopping. It always takes too freaking long and they try to snooker you into paying more than you need to and it just really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, y’know? And seriously, why does it always take so freaking long?! This was my real hangup with getting a new ride.

Then I remembered that CapitalOne does that thing where you can get a check and walk into a dealer and just hand it over and leave with your car. That definitely sounded like it would take less time, so I started looking into it. Then, I discovered that PNC Bank offers a similar thing called Check Ready auto loan and you can often get a better rate with them. AND – you can use it to buy a used car instead of a new one!

So, I applied for the loan via PNCs website and got approved. It was all very easy and they sent the packet of info, with the blank check, via next day delivery. If you have been interested in this sort of car buying program, then let me share some of the specific with you.

PNC Check Ready Auto Loan Details

I was approved in the fall, so the requirements listed below were quoted in 2012, which just means that you’d now have to get a 2006 model or higher instead of 2005. And, here are the full details:

  • can be used on a new or used vehicle
  • cannot be used on a model year older than 2005
  • cannot be used on a vehicle with more than 80,000 miles
  • cannot be used on a commercial vehicle, trailer, boat, motorcycle or RV
  • amount of check cannot exceed 110% of sales price for new automobile or 105% of sales price for used automobile (sales price means MSRP or NADA retail value plus tax, tile, license and extended warranty)
  • total cost of extended warranty cannot exceed $1500

I had requested a maximum of $25,000, which was approved. And the paperwork that came with the check states that the minimum check amount is $7500.

An interesting aspect of this process is that the interest rate on the loan is directly tied to the loan amount that ends up on that check. For me, I was quoted the following rates:

  • If model year is 2012-2014 and amount is $7500-$14999.99, then rate is 2.59%
  • If model year is 2012-2014 and amount is $15000-$25000, then rate is 2.19%
  • If model year is 2009-2011 and amount is $7500-$14999.99, then rate is 2.89%
  • If model year is 2009-2011 and amount is $1500-$25000, then rate is 2.39%
  • If model year is 2005-2008 and amount is $7500-$14999.99, then rate is 4.39%
  • If model year is 2005-2008 and amount is $1500-$25000, then rate is 3.19%

As you can see, you are rewarded for spending more and buying a newer vehicle, even if it is used.

Of course, if you have any negative equity on your trade-in, then you are screwed unless you have the cash to make up the difference at the dealer.

A really nice thing about the packet of information that they sent with the check is that breaks down each of the rate scenarios above to let you know how much you will pay in interest charges over the life of the loan and  how much your monthly payments will be. Of course, they use an estimate since those dollar amounts are ranges.

They also let you know which credit bureau they used and what your credit score was at the time. In case you’re wondering, they use Experian and our credit scores were 718 and 692 at the time of the application. So, keep that in mind if you are considering using this PNC program to buy your next car.

Did I Buy A Car With A PNC Bank Check Ready Loan?

Ultimately, I did not end up using the blank check I received from PNC Bank. But that is only because I did not end up trading in the Money Misfit car at all. We still have it. In the end, we decided that it was a better financial choice to keep the car until later this spring when it will be paid off. At that time, we will sell the vehicle and try being car-free for a while.

However, I do think that the PNC Check Ready program is a good choice for people who want to take a little of the hassle out of buying a car. If I need to buy another vehicle, then I will probably apply through PNC for financing again.

5 thoughts on “Should You Buy A Car With A PNC Bank Check Ready Auto Loan?”

  1. Hello. I know this is an old article but were the Experian scores PNC pulled auto enhanced or the regular FICO scores. Thanks!

    Neal

  2. If you dont mind me asking did you get approved right away ? or did it say it took 24 hours ? And what were your annual income?

  3. You’re not the only one that hates car shopping and many shoppers will secure the loan through their own bank and show up with a check for that same reason. However, not everyone gets approved through their own banking institution and they have to look at other options which the dealership can facilitate.

  4. L, so what s the point I drive manual as well, and abhor driving with only two pedals, but I m already having difficulty trying to find car with a manual transmission.

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