PNC auto loans review: One-stop car shopping and financing

Woman with brochure in car dealership showroom Image:

In a Nutshell

A PNC auto loan might be a good option if you want to easily and quickly shop for cars and apply for financing online, or if you want to shop like a cash buyer. But you’ll typically need good credit, and you must live in one of the states where PNC does business.

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Pros Cons
Range of loan options Not available in all areas
One-stop car shopping and financing Loans available only for car models from 2011 and newer
Ability to shop like a cash buyer May need good credit to be approved

What you need to know about PNC auto loans

If you’re considering applying for a PNC auto loan, here are three features that stand out.

1. Many loan options

PNC offers several auto loan options, depending on your needs and eligibility.

2. One-stop car shopping

With PNC Total Auto, which is powered by TrueCar, you can find a new or used car at a participating dealership without leaving PNC’s website. Once you find a car you’re interested in, you can see what others in your area have paid for the same car, see local inventory and pricing, and check for dealer offers.

From there, you can apply for a car loan, and in most cases, you can get a decision within minutes. 

3. Ability to shop like a cash buyer

PNC’s “Check Ready” auto loans allow you to shop like a cash buyer. If approved for a loan, you’ll receive a check that you can use — up to the approved loan amount — to buy a car at a dealership.

A closer look at PNC auto loans

When trying to decide if a PNC auto loan is right for you, here are a few more things to consider.

  • PNC auto loans are available only in certain areas.
  • PNC checking customers who allow for — and maintain — automatic payments receive a 0.25% auto loan interest-rate discount.
  • PNC won’t finance vehicles that are made before 2011.
  • You can choose from a range of loan terms, from as short as one year and up to six years.

Is a PNC auto loan the right fit for you?

PNC auto loans can be a convenient option for people who want to do the majority of their car shopping online and shop like a cash buyer. They might also be ideal if you’re buying a car from a private seller or want to buy out your lease.

Keep in mind that you will generally need good credit to be approved for a PNC auto loan. In 2018, roughly 84% of auto loans financed by PNC went to those who had FICO® scores of 650 or above, according to the bank’s annual report. 

How to apply for a loan from PNC

You can apply for a PNC auto loan online, over the phone or at one of the bank’s branches. To apply online, follow these steps.

1. Click the “Apply Now” button on the bank’s auto loans page.

2. Check the box to prefill your application with your information if you’re already a PNC bank customer. Otherwise, click “Apply without signing on” and enter your ZIP code to see if you’re eligible to apply.

3. If eligible, enter your desired loan amount, vehicle model year, desired loan term and estimated down payment and trade-in value.

4. Indicate whether you agree to have your loan payment automatically deducted from a PNC checking account to receive a 0.25% rate discount.

5. Provide your personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number, date of birth and driver’s license information (or other government ID) and employment and income information. Specify whether you have a co-applicant — which is different from a co-signer.

6. Carefully read the terms and conditions and review your loan application one more time before deciding whether to submit.

In most cases, you’ll receive a decision within minutes. If you’re approved, PNC can get your check to you by the next day.

Auto loan alternatives to consider

PNC offers a range of auto loans, a convenient car-shopping experience and financing. But if you don’t happen to live in an area where PNC bank operates — or you aren’t sure if a PNC auto loan is the right fit for you — here are some other lenders to consider.

  • Wells Fargo auto loan: Wells Fargo could be an option for someone who doesn’t live in an area not serviced by PNC. Check out our Wells Fargo auto loan review for more.
  • Bank of America auto loan: A Bank of America auto loan could be good for someone who wants to finance a car that’s up to 10 years old. To learn more, check out our Bank of America auto loan review.