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PNC Bank: 2023 Auto loan review

2023-01-01 00:00:00

At a glance

4.0
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.4 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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About PNC Bank

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    $5,000 - $100,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    5.39% to 23.04% with autopay

  • Funds available in

    As soon as one day

PNC Bank features

Consider these aspects of an auto loan with PNC Bank before applying.

PROS

  • Checkmark

    PNC Total Auto program

  • Checkmark

    Automatic payment discount

  • Checkmark

    Large in-person availability

CONS

  • Close X

    High minimum loan amount

  • Close X

    Undisclosed eligibility requirements

  • Close X

    In-person visits may be required

  • Close X

    Funding only available through check

PNC Bank is one of the biggest banks in the U.S. with more than 2,600 branches across the country. It offers auto loans in person, online and over the phone — but for some loan options, you will still need to visit a branch. 

This bank stands out for its PNC Total Auto program, powered by TrueCar. This service allows you to search for vehicles in your area, compare prices, apply online and receive funding overnight. Along with this, PNC offers competitive rates and a wide range of repayment options.

Do you qualify?

PNC does not specify its credit score or income requirements to get an auto loan. However, you may use its loans to finance only vehicles with a model year of 2014 or newer, and borrowers using the Check Ready Loan must work with a U.S. franchise dealer. If you plan on refinancing or buying a used car, the vehicle must be under 80,000 or 100,000 miles, depending on your credit score.

What we like and what we don’t like

Consider these benefits and drawbacks of an auto loan with PNC Bank before signing off on an application. 

What we like

  • PNC Total Auto program. PNC Total Auto guides you through the car-purchase experience from car comparison to loan application. It lets you see what other people in your area paid for cars, letting you better estimate the loan amount to apply for. 
  • Automatic payment discount. If you sign up for automatic payments through a PNC account, you will receive 0.25 percent off your APR.
  • Large branch footprint. If you prefer in-person service, PNC could be a good option. It has more than 2,600 branches in more than 25 states. 

What we don't like

  • High minimum loan amount. PNC’s minimum loan amounts are on the higher side. If you are looking to finance a new or used car through a dealer, you must be willing to spend at least $7,500 — and you must refinance at least $5,000. 
  • Requirements not specified. PNC does not specify its requirements when it comes to income and credit score. This makes it harder to determine whether you will qualify for a loan with the company. 
  • Branch visit required for some loans. If you want to purchase a used car from a private seller, you will need to visit a branch. This means private sale loans are not available if you don’t live in one of the states where PNC operates. 
  • Funding only available through check. Other lenders — including big banks — offer fund transfers to your bank account. If you don’t want the hassle of paying by check, PNC is not the right option for you.

How to contact PNC Bank

PNC has both online and app availability as well as in-person appointments in its banks. Customer care consultants are available at 888-762-2265 Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

Auto loan types offered

PNC Bank offers auto loans for new and used vehicles, vehicle refinancing and lease buyouts.

New and used auto loans

PNC offers new and used auto loans for both dealership purchases and purchases from a private seller. Like most banks, PNC has loan terms up to 72 months. But if you want to use its Check Ready program — and avoid visiting a branch location — you will need to buy through a franchise dealership.

Refinance

PNC allows you to refinance your auto loan to get a lower rate or change your loan term — or both. It is only available for vehicles less than eight years old and under 80,000 miles, although there are some exceptions. But its refinance rates are relatively high if you don’t have good credit, so you should calculate how much you will save in interest before committing.

Lease buyout

If you have fallen in love with your leased vehicle, you can finance its purchase through PNC. Much like buying a new or used car, bringing in outside financing can give you more room to negotiate with your leasing company. And with long terms and relatively low rates available, you may be able to keep your monthly payments low with a lease buyout loan.

How to apply for a loan with PNC Bank

Applying for a new or used vehicle from a dealership using PNC’s Check Ready loan is the easiest option. The application can be filled out entirely online, and if you are approved, a check can be mailed to you overnight.

But the process is more complex for other loans. If you opt for a non-franchise dealer — one that isn’t associated with a car manufacturer — or want to buy from a private party, you will need to visit a branch to apply. If you are approved, you can have the check mailed to you or pick it up at a branch.

For refinancing, you can apply online, by phone or at a branch. But to close your loan, you will need to either visit a branch or have the documents mailed to you. This is significantly more complex than most other banks and lenders, which will simply deposit funds into your bank account or pay off your old lender on your behalf.

How Bankrate rates PNC Bank

Overall score 4
Availability 4 While PNC offers good maximum loan amounts, its minimum loan amounts are slightly higher than those of competitors.
Affordability 3.4 PNC has average minimum rates, but it does not disclose any of its eligibility requirements or fees.
Customer experience 4.4 PNC stands out for its quick funding timeline and fairly wide range of customer service hours.
Transparency 4 PNC offers prequalification in some states and scores high for disclosed expected APR.

Methodology

Bankrate considers 18 data points when rating auto loan lenders. Acceptance criteria, whether rates and fees are available and APR range all influence lender scores. These scores are broken up into four categories.

  • Availability: Loan amounts, repayment options, dealership requirements and state availability all contribute to this category.
  • Affordability: This section houses APR ranges, acceptance criteria, fees and discounts. 
  • Customer experience: How long you have to shop, customer service availability, whether there’s an app and autopay availability are accounted for in this section.
  • Transparency: This category accounts for the availability of fees and rates along with whether prequalification is available.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.
Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.

Edited by Auto loans editor