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.

Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about our team.
Advertiser Disclosure

We think it's important for you to understand how we make money. It's pretty simple, actually. The offers for financial products you see on our platform come from companies who pay us. The money we make helps us give you access to free credit scores and reports and helps us create our other great tools and educational materials.

Compensation may factor into how and where products appear on our platform (and in what order). But since we generally make money when you find an offer you like and get, we try to show you offers we think are a good match for you. That's why we provide features like your Approval Odds and savings estimates.

Of course, the offers on our platform don't represent all financial products out there, but our goal is to show you as many great options as we can.

Pros Cons
Range of loan options Not available in all areas
One-stop car shopping and financing Loans available only for car models from 2012 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

PNC offers a range of financial services and products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts and credit cards. 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 2012.
  • You can choose from a range of loan terms, from as short as one year and up to six years. Remember that while a longer repayment term could lower your monthly payment, you could end up paying more in interest over the length of the loan.

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 party or want to buy out your lease.

Keep in mind that you’ll generally need good credit to be approved for a PNC auto loan. In the first quarter of 2020, a majority of auto loans financed by PNC went to those who had FICO® scores of 650 or above, according to the bank’s quarterly 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.

You’ll need to have the following ready: 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.

It’s also helpful to know your desired loan amount, vehicle model year, desired loan term, and estimated down payment and trade-in value.

Before you apply for an auto loan with PNC, it’s a good idea to check your credit and compare other loan offers. Understanding your credit can help set expectations — in general, lower credit scores will result in higher interest rates. And shopping around can help you find the best rate and terms for your needs. Read our article on how to get a car loan to learn more about the process.

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.

  • 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.
  • RoadLoans auto loan: RoadLoans may be a good option if you have bad credit or have filed for bankruptcy in the past.