Santander Auto Loan Review

It’s easier to shop for car loans now than it has ever been before, but the wealth of options can make the experience a confusing, overwhelming task. This is where Car Talk can help. Santander Bank offers loans through various channels, including as Chrysler’s in-house financing partner. We’re here to help you understand more about Santander, including the services it provides, so let’s get started.

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About Santander

Santander was founded in Spain over 160 years ago. Today, it operates in several countries around the world, including the United States, where it offers retail and commercial banking services. Santander also offers auto financing, mortgages, personal loans, and other financial products. The bank’s auto loans division offers financing for new and used vehicles, and forms the backbone of Chrysler’s lending products. It’s important to note that in most cases, Santander’s loans are offered exclusively through dealers. You can get pre-approved financing through Chrysler Capital online, but the approval is limited to the purchase of Chrysler vehicles.

Online auto retailer Vroom has a partnership with Santander to facilitate financing car purchases on its site. Santander also operates a separate, direct-to-consumer lending organization called RoadLoans. The site offers a variety of lending products to people with spotty credit histories or no history at all.

Why Consider Santander for an Auto Loan

Santander’s lending services are offered through new and used car dealers, which can make the purchase process much smoother as a one-stop-shop. It offers loans for a variety of credit backgrounds, so there’s a good chance that the bank has a loan to fit your needs. It’s also good to note that if you’re shopping for a Chrysler vehicle, which also includes Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and SRT, you may be able to obtain promotional rates or other incentives through your local dealer.

How To Apply for a Santander Auto Loan

Santander loans are offered through your new or used car dealer. If you are buying a Chrysler product, the Santander loan may be labeled as Chrysler Financing. The application process depends on the dealer, but will generally involve:

  • Your consent for the dealer’s financing department to pull your credit history report.
  • An approval (or rejection) for the amount you requested to borrow.
  • Discussion with your dealer on the car’s final pricing and any add-ons you want, such as accessories or extended warranties.
  • Complete paperwork with dealer financing department.

If you wish to apply with RoadLoans, you can head to its website and follow the instructions to apply online.

Santander Auto Loan Details

Santander says that it offers loans for vehicles between $5,000 and $75,000 with interest rates as low as 1.9 percent. Interest accrues daily, but you won’t be penalized for paying early to save money on interest. The bank’s loans can extend to 6 years/72 months in length, but it’s in your best interest to take a loan for the shortest amount of time possible.

Pros and Cons

  • One-stop-shop at dealer for financing
  • Variety of new and used car loans
  • Can be used to purchase a car online
  • Customer service ratings are poor
  • Most lending options have to be applied for through a dealer
  • Santander website more of a sales tool than an information center

Should I Get An Auto Loan Through Santander?

Santander is a fine bank, but there may be alternatives that provide better customer service. If you’re shopping for a Chrysler vehicle, however, Santander should be your go-to. Factory financing incentives and promotional rates could make the bank your best option for a Chrysler.

Read more about average auto loan rates here.


Does Santander have an app?

Santander offers a banking app that you can use to access and interact with your loan account. The bank does not appear to offer a standalone auto loans app. When downloading Santander’s app, note that there are several international versions available.

Is Santander a good bank for car loans?

Santander has garnered mixed reviews from various online sources. It’s important to dig into what those reviews are stating, however, before making a full judgment. Many have to do with misunderstanding loan terms, so you’ll want to make sure you read everything carefully.

Does Santander offer deferred payments?

Santander offered assistance at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but those programs may have changed or ended by now. Contact Santander to find offers available to you.

Is Santander Chrysler Capital?

Chrysler Capital is a program of Santander Bank and Chrysler. Your statements and other important loan documents should reflect this.

How long does it take for Santander to approve a car loan?

Santander says that it can approve and fund a new loan in as little as two days for its own customers with existing accounts. Your own experience may vary, so it’s important for you to check with the bank before making plans to purchase a car.

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