Electric car sales are rising year on year. Photo: Chutterstock

Get your finance right when buying electric cars

Electric and hybrid cars are being bought in ever rising numbers. The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) report that 8,646 new electric cars were registered in 2021 compared to 4,013 in 2020 (+115.4%). Headline rates on PCPs (personal contract plans) can seem very low and appear like very attractive deals. However they are complex and can carry hefty balloon payments at the end of the deal.

Loretto Dennehy McCarthy, Manager, of Our Lady Crowned Credit Union is urging consumers to ensure they are fully informed about PCPs and said they should consider a credit union car loan. “Credit unions are the most ethical lenders in Ireland, offering straightforward loans with very flexible terms and transparent terms and conditions.

“For example, there will never be any hidden charges or admin fees with our loans, nor will there be any stressful balloon payment at the end of the loan term. We will work with borrowers to ensure the loan repayments are structured in a way that best suits their financial circumstances.

“We are always happy to re-structure repayments if the borrower is under pressure, or alternatively, if they want to pay the loan off quicker than initially agreed. There are never any penalties for doing this.”

With PCP agreements however, the contract terms are fixed, so consumers can neither extend the term of the loan, nor increase their monthly repayments. Other limitations include sticking to an agreed mileage limit and committing to certain car services. The consumer never actually owns the car until they pay off the balloon payment.

None of these limitations apply to a credit union car loan. Loretto said: “When you opt for a credit union car loan, you own the car straight away. You can drive it as much as you want, and sell it on whenever you might need to. This is simply not an option with a PCP as you are effectively only renting the car. We have recently launched our lower rate car loan for new car purchases,” she added.

To find out more about a Our Lady Crowned Credit Union car loan, see olccu.ie , call 021-4504923 or visit the office in Mayfield or Little Island.