This story is brought to you by Savvy.
One of the many ways COVID-19 has changed us is an increased appreciation of the fun and sense of freedom that comes with a driving holiday.
Jumping in your much-loved set of wheels and hitting the road to dial down the stresses of life and explore the natural beauty of Australia's regions has never been as alluring and popular as it is right now.
Fortunately, when it comes to purchasing that new vehicle to make an adventure behind the wheel even more comfy and enjoyable, there's possibly never been a better time to buy.
Not only are interest rates at an historic low, but with international travel restrictions putting the brakes on many overseas holiday plans, there is extra cash in many pockets.
At the same time, demand for used cars has sent prices soaring making upgrading to a new car instead an even more appealing and smart choice.
After a lengthy slow period for the car industry, demand for new cars - particularly SUVs - is now on the increase as buyers take advantage of the current situation and treat themselves to a new vehicle.
According to car loan experts, Savvy, applications for car loans are up more than 20 per cent.
So, if like many other Australians you've decided to take advantage of the situation, here are a few tips to get you on the road and in your new vehicle as soon as possible.
If you've decided on the kinds of vehicle you might be interested in, the next step is getting the car loan sorted.
To ease the process of getting approved you need to make sure your financial house is in order. Get your credit card balances sorted and check your credit score (you'll want it to be above 650 for the best chance of securing finance).
Then make sure you take the time to do your research to ensure you lock in the best car loan for you. Comparing loans can be challenging - look for comparison rates instead of base interest rates to get the most accurate picture.
Many people opt to use a car loan broker instead of wading through the many offers and trying to work out the best deal. A car finance broker has access to a range of lenders to help people find a car loan that suits their needs with the best rate. They can also give you a clear understanding of the details of the loan so there are no nasty surprises.
It's important to get pre-approval from your chosen lender before you head into a car dealership. That way you'll know exactly how much you can spend, what your interest rate is going to be and that you're going to be able to cover the repayments.
You'll be in a position to negotiate more confidently and also to avoid the possibly risky situation of making a rushed decision on finance at the dealership. You can take the vehicle for a test drive, talk to the dealers about prices, but relax in the knowledge that your finance is in place.
Once you've zeroed in on the make and model of car you're after it's time to hunt for the best deal you can find.
As well as getting quotes from your local dealers, it's a good idea these days to widen your search outside of your immediate area - the surge in demand for new cars means there may be some stock shortages.
An option is to speak to a car broker. A broker is usually linked up with hundreds of dealers nationwide and effectively puts your business out to tender. You may end up with offers from ten or more dealerships. With the best price located, the broker will help organise the purchase.
Choosing a vehicle that will become such a part of your life is often an emotional experience - you can easily fall in love with a certain model and even colour and want to have it now. But it's also worth taking a more hard-nosed financial approach by investigating the resale value of your choice.
Some vehicles depreciate more than others so choosing wisely means you'll be able to recoup more of your money if you decide to sell.
Like any big purchase decision, being thoughtful and taking your time when it comes to buying a new car and getting experts on your side will reap rewards.
For more information about getting approved for a car loan that's best for you head to the Savvy website or call 1300 974 066 to speak to their experts.
This story is brought to you by Savvy.