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PNC Bank: 2023 auto loan review

2023-06-09 00:00:00

At a glance

Rating: 4.2 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

    $7,500 - $100,000

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Not specified

  • Rates

    APR from

    6.84%-18.14% with autopay

  • Funds available in

    As soon as one day

PNC Bank auto loans are best for in-person shopping

The fully online experience isn’t best for all types of auto loan borrowers. For those who prefer handling their finances in an office setting, working with a bank can be the solution. PNC Bank couples the benefit of a large branch footprint — more than 2,600 branches across the country — with the convenience of online availability.  

PNC Bank pros and cons

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


  • Checkmark

    PNC Total Auto program

  • Checkmark

    Automatic payment discount

  • Checkmark

    Large branch footprint


  • Close X

    High minimum loan amount

  • Close X

    Undisclosed eligibility requirements

  • Close X

    Branch visit required for some loans

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.

PNC Bank versus PenFed

PenFed, a Virginia-based credit union, offers the same range of products to borrowers as PNC Bank with some slightly sweeter deals. PenFed is an excellent option for those that are looking to finance a little or a lot of their next vehicle. Loan amounts range from $500 all the way to up to $150,000 — a much wider range than PNC offers. However, PenFed requires a savings account with the credit union in order to secure a loan.  

PNC Bank versus U.S. Bank

If working with a longstanding financial institution is a top priority, U.S. Bank is another strong contender offering the same loan products as PNC. U.S. Bank offers borrowers the ability to apply for loan preapproval along with extended loan terms in line with PNC Bank. They also have a smaller minimum loan amount of $5,000. For more help deciding, see our PNC Bank vs. U.S. Bank comparison.

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 29 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 $7,500. 
  • Undisclosed eligibility requirements. 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. 

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 is one of the biggest banks in the U.S., with branch offices across the country. The bank offers financing for new and used vehicles along with refinancing and lease buyouts. 

New and used auto loans 

  • Amounts: $7,500-$100,000
  • Terms: 12-72 months
  • APR: 6.84%-18.14%

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. 


  • Amounts: $7,500-$100,000
  • Terms: 12-72 months
  • APR: 6.84%-18.14%

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 

  • Amounts: $7,500-$100,000
  • Terms: 12-72 months
  • APR: 6.84%-18.14%

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. The process of receiving your funding via check is rare. Many lenders offer funding directly to your bank account. So, if you don’t want the hassle of paying by check, consider shopping elsewhere.

But the process is more complex for PNC’s 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.

Features and additional perks

One stand-out feature that the Bank offers is the PNC Total Auto program, powered by TrueCar. This service can expedite the process of finding your perfect vehicle as you can explore your zip code to compare prices and receive funding overnight. 

Borrowers who arrange for automatic payments with a PNC checking account will benefit from a 0.25 percent discount on their rate. 

Fees and penalties 

PNC does not disclose specific fees that borrowers can expect but does not enforce a prepayment penalty. Look out for any additional costs when signing off on your loan agreement. 


How Bankrate rates PNC Bank

Overall score 4.2
Availability 4.3 While PNC offers good maximum loan amounts, its minimum loan amounts are slightly higher than those of competitors.
Affordability 4 PNC has average minimum rates, but it does not disclose any of its eligibility requirements or fees.
Customer experience 4.6 PNC stands out for its quick funding timeline and wide range of customer service hours.
Transparency 4 PNC offers prequalification in some states and scores high for disclosed expected APR.


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 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
Writer, Auto Loans

Rebecca Betterton is a writer for Bankrate who has been reporting on auto loans since 2021. Through her writing, Rebecca aims to provide clarity and accessibility to the automotive loans industry as the cost to finance new and used vehicles continues to climb due to steep inflation.

Edited by Editor, Personal Loans, Auto Loans, and Debt