PNC Bank Auto Loans Review

PNC Bank

PNC Bank auto loans offer excellent interest rates for people who live close enough to a PNC branch to qualify.

New Car Rates
3.44%–5.54%
Loan Amount
$7.5k–$50k
Terms
12–72 months
SimpleScore
3.5 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
PNC Bank
3.5
  • New Car Rates
    4
  • Loan Size
    4
  • Customer Satisfaction
    2
  • Used Car Rates
    4
  • Fees
    N/A
PNC Bank auto loans is a division of PNC Bank, a Pittsburgh-based bank with over 2,400 locations in 37 states and Washington D.C. PNC started in 1852 as the Pittsburgh Trust and Savings Company. The bank’s grown a lot over its nearly 170-year history, becoming the seventh-largest commercial bank in the United States. If you’re shopping for a new car, you should definitely include PNC Bank in your search for the best auto loan rates, especially if you live near one of its branches.
Full review

Our Two Cents — PNC Bank is a good choice for people who live near a branch. Its rates are competitive and it allows you to buy from both dealers and private parties; however, PNC is not very transparent with fees.

PNC Bank auto loans at a glance

Lender Loan Amount APR Terms Key Benefit
PNC Bank Auto Loans $7,500–$50,000 3.44%–5.54% 12–72 Months Wide variety of auto loans available

*Rates accurate as of August 12, 2020, and exclude an autopay discount of 0.25%

What we like about PNC auto loans

PNC Bank auto loans give you options — a great benefit when you’re shopping around for a vehicle. You can buy from a dealer, a private seller, buy out your lease or refinance your vehicle with PNC. If you’re buying from either a dealer or a private party, PNC will send you a check you can write up to your approved amount, allowing you to shop like a cash buyer.

When repaying your loan, you can pay it off as quickly as you’d like without having to worry about any prepayment penalties. Also, if you’re already a PNC Bank customer and sign up to auto-pay your car loan, you’ll receive a 0.25% discount off your interest rate.

[Read: Best Auto Loan Rates of 2020]

Things to consider

You might not be able to get a PNC Bank auto loan if you live in a region that PNC doesn’t service. Loan availability varies by ZIP code, but PNC doesn’t make it very easy for you to tell which areas can get a car loan and which ones can’t. You’ll have to enter your ZIP code on its website to see if you live in a qualifying area.

You should also know PNC won’t finance a vehicle more than 8 years old. If you’re buying a car with a model year older than 2012, you’ll have to look somewhere else for financing or save up enough money to pay cash for it.

What you need to know

PNC Bank auto loan rates can be as low as 3.49% if you’re buying a new vehicle from a dealer and as high as 5.54%. It all depends on the car you buy, who you buy it from and the term length you choose — which can be anywhere between 12 and 72 months. You can also lower your rate by 0.25% by signing up for auto-pay through a PNC Bank checking account.

Applying for an auto loan with PNC Bank is an easy process. You can apply either online, over the phone or in-person at a PNC branch. To apply online, follow these steps.

  1. Navigate to the PNC Bank auto loan webpage.
  2. Decide whether you need a Check Ready Loan for a dealer purchase or a refinance loan, then click apply. You’ll need to apply in-person for a private seller loan.
  3. If you’re a current PNC Bank customer, sign in to your account to streamline the process. If not, click “Apply without signing on” at the bottom of the page.
  4. Enter your ZIP code to see if you live in a qualifying area, then enter details about your purchase including the total cost, your down payment and the term you’re looking for to get a loan amount and interest rate estimate.
  5. On the next page, enter your personal and financial information to complete your application. You’ll need to provide a form of ID like your driver’s license or passport.
  6. Once you submit your application, you should receive a decision shortly — usually within just a few minutes.

Collateral and criteria

PNC Bank doesn’t publish a minimum credit score requirement for auto loans online, but its quarterly filing with the SEC shows that 98.7% of PNC Bank auto loans went to customers with credit scores higher than 650. While this isn’t a complete guarantee you won’t be approved if your scores are below 650, it does show that PNC Bank doesn’t offer the best auto loans for bad credit.

PNC Bank auto loans are secured by the vehicle you purchase. If you’d rather use an unsecured loan to buy your vehicle, PNC Bank offers personal loans up to $35,000 — but you’ll pay a significantly higher interest rate.

[Related: What Are Collateral Loans?]

PNC auto loans vs. the competition

Bank of America

Bank of America SimpleScore: 4.4/5

Both PNC Bank and Bank of America have the resources of a large national bank, but Bank of America auto loans are available in all 50 states, while PNC Bank auto loans are not. You can also potentially qualify for a lower interest rate at Bank of America if you have excellent credit.

With J.D. Power customer satisfaction, PNC Bank reviews and Bank of America reviews are similarly low — the PNC Bank ratings are two out of five and Bank of America ratings are three out of five. Many of the top reviews are from customers who experienced overdraft fees and long wait times due to COVID-19.

Overall, if you live near a PNC Bank branch, you’ll receive great service for your auto loan, but Bank of America is a better option for people all over the country.

Read our full Bank of America auto loans review.

Capital One

Capital One SimpleScore: 4.6/5

You can qualify for a Capital One auto loan in every state except Hawaii and Alaska — but you have to purchase a vehicle from a participating dealer. PNC Bank shines compared to Capital One by giving you the ability to choose which dealer you buy from. While PNC Bank’s vehicle restrictions are slightly tighter — model year 2012 or newer while Capital One will finance 2010 vehicles — PNC Bank still comes out on top for flexibility.

Read our full Capital One auto loans review.

Too long, didn’t read?

PNC Bank is a great option for people who want the security of financing a vehicle through a large bank while still allowing for a personal touch. While PNC Bank auto loans aren’t available everywhere, if you live in a qualifying ZIP code, you can benefit from its cash-equivalent loan by shopping at the dealer of your choice or buying from a private seller.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For auto loans, we compared new car rates, loan size, customer satisfaction, used car rates and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing an auto loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best auto loan that fits your specific needs.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the auto loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Trevor Wallis
Trevor Wallis
Contributing Writer

Trevor Wallis is a St. Louis-based personal finance writer who teaches people how to achieve freedom through good money practices. He's written for Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Rewards Credit Cards and Online Loans. When he isn't writing, he's roasting specialty coffee and planning new ways to use credit card rewards to explore the world with his wife and newborn son.

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.