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PNC Bank Auto Loans Review 2023

PNC Bank offers a wide array of auto loans, but watch out for its poor customer service reputation

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PNC Bank logo

PNC Bank logo

Investopedia’s Rating

Our Take

As one of the largest banks in the country, PNC Bank is a good choice if you live near a local branch and prefer keeping all of your financial accounts—auto loans included—in one place. That said, if good customer service, a fully online experience, and the lowest possible rates are more your style, we might recommend choosing another lender.?

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
  • Offers many types of auto loans

  • Good online banking experience

  • Check Ready loan option for dealership purchases

  • No co-signers allowed

  • Doesn’t offer pre-qualification

  • Some loans only offered in-branch

Key Takeaways
  • PNC Bank is a full-service bank that offers auto loans across the country and has branches in many—but not all—U.S. states.
  • You may need to complete part or all of the loan application process at a local branch for auto loan refinances or private party auto loan purchases.?
  • Customer reviews of PNC Bank and multiple class-action lawsuits point to a record of sub-par customer service.
Company Overview

PNC Bank is based out of Pittsburgh and is the seventh-largest bank in the U.S. Although it operates over 2,500 branch locations, they’re currently only located in roughly half of U.S. states, with a noticeable absence in the Pacific Northwest, among other areas.

Like most large U.S. banks, PNC Bank has a rather so-so reputation among actual customers. It offers a wide range of options for financial services, including auto loans. However, the company suffers from a poor reputation based on customer reviews and ratings left on third-party websites, and it’s also currently the subject of multiple class-action lawsuits for alleged malfeasance in managing its auto loans.

  • Loan Types Offered New, used, refinance, cash-out refinance, lease buyout
  • States Available Not disclosed
  • New APR Range 5.24% and up
  • Used APR Range 6.24% and up
  • Refinance APR Range 5.39% and up
  • Min. Time to Receive Loan 1 day
  • Recommended Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
  • Recommended Min. Credit Score 100,000
  • Max. Accepted Age 8 years
  • Max. Accepted Loan-to-Value Ratio Not disclosed

Pros Explained

  • Offers many types of auto loans: PNC Bank offers just about every type of auto loan available, plus some rare types, including lease buyout loans and cash-out auto loan refinances.
  • Good online banking experience: PNC Bank was tied for the third-best online banking experience among national banks in J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Banking Mobile App customer satisfaction survey.
  • Check Ready loan option for dealership purchases: Get a blank check to bring to the dealership and use it to pay for a used or new vehicle up to $75,000 (or your approved limit) once you find the car you want.

Cons Explained

  • No co-signers allowed: You can apply with a co-borrower if you’re looking to share ownership of the car with someone. You can’t apply with a co-signer, however. 
  • Doesn’t offer pre-qualification: You must fill out a complete loan application with PNC Bank to check your potential rate. It doesn’t offer an option to view your rates with a soft credit check that won’t impact your credit.
  • Some loans only offered in-branch: Although you can apply for most loan types online, you can only apply for used car loans for private-party purchases in person. You’ll also need to close in person for auto loan refinances or if you’re buying a used car from someone who’s still paying it off.

Types of Auto Loans Offered by PNC Bank

PNC Bank offers three main types of auto loans: new loans, used loans, and refinance loans. PNC’s full range of rates isn’t disclosed; the rates below are based on the lowest rate options found using PNC’s auto loan tool.

New Auto Loans

  • APR: As low as 5.24%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Loan terms: 12–72 months

If you’re purchasing a new car from a dealership for $75,000 or less, PNC Bank also offers a “Check Ready” loan option; you essentially receive a blank check to take with you car shopping, valid for 30 days. When you find the car you want, simply write the check for the amount of the purchase (within your approved limits) and your loan will begin.

Used Auto Loans

  • APR: As low as 6.24%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Loan terms: 12–84 months

PNC Bank also offers its Check Ready loan option for used car purchases ($75,000 or less) from a franchise dealership. You can use your loan funds to buy a car from a private individual too, although the process is a bit more burdensome since you’ll need to apply in person. PNC Bank also offers lease buyout loans if you’re currently leasing a car and want to purchase it.

Refinance Auto Loans

  • APR: As low as 5.39%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Loan terms: 12–84 months

PNC Bank will refinance auto loans from other lenders, as well as itself. That means if you already have a PNC Bank auto loan and you’re able to qualify for a better rate, it may refinance your existing PNC Bank loan too. In some cases, PNC Bank may also allow a cash-out refinance for your car as well. 

Time to Receive Funds

If you’re approved for a loan, you may receive your Check Ready check in one business day. You may be able to pick up your loan check from a local PNC Bank branch or have it mailed to you. For refinance loans, PNC Bank will send the check directly to your current lender.

Borrower Requirements

PNC Bank doesn’t disclose much information about what requirements you’ll need to meet in order to get approved for an auto loan.

  • Minimum recommended credit score: Not disclosed
  • State availability: Not disclosed

Vehicle Requirements

Similarly, PNC Bank provides only a sprinkling of information about which types of vehicles qualify for its various auto loans. In general, here are the minimum vehicle requirements across all of its loans:

  • Maximum age: 8 years
  • Maximum accepted mileage: 100,000
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Not disclosed

PNC Bank Auto Loan Features

PNC Bank makes your auto loan experience a little easier by offering a few nice touches:

  • Origination fee: $0
  • Discounts: 0.25% rate discount if you sign up for autopay from a PNC Bank checking account
  • Pays creditors directly for refinance loans: PNC Bank will send the funds directly to your old lender, saving you from having to do it yourself.?
  • Can change due date: PNC Bank allows you to adjust your payment due date.?
  • Car-buying service: PNC Bank partners with TrueCar as its car-buying service, allowing you to shop for local cars and see how much people are generally paying for them.
  • Mobile app: You can manage your auto loan online with PNC Bank’s mobile app, the same app that other banking customers use to manage their accounts. It’s available for Apple and Android.

Co-Signers and Co-Applicants

You can choose to apply with a co-borrower for a PNC Bank auto loan, but not a co-signer. The difference is that any co-borrowers you apply with will also be listed on your car’s title, making them a co-owner as well. Some people choose to do this if they want to share ownership of the car (such as partners or spouses) or because they’re not able to qualify for a loan on their own.

Customer Service

PNC Bank offers many options to get in touch with a customer support representative. If you live near a branch you can visit in person to get help, but for most people, calling phone support may be the most convenient option. You can also contact PNC Bank through X/Twitter, but we’d only recommend this for general information since it’s a public setting.

Customer Satisfaction

Auto loan customers of PNC Bank generally aren’t happy with its service, at least according to reviews and ratings left on various platforms. Customers left poor ratings with both Trustpilot (1.3 out of 5 stars) and the Better Business Bureau (1.1 out of 5 stars), although there are a limited number of reviews and they’re geared more towards the bank’s overall services, not just its auto lending division.

Even when diving into its auto loans, however, reports aren’t that great. J.D. Power rated PNC Bank far below average on its annual survey of overall customer satisfaction among auto loan lenders (17th out of 24 lenders). There’s also a steady stream of customer complaints lodged against PNC Bank’s auto loans department with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As of August 2023, there are also two class-action lawsuits filed against PNC Bank, alleging that it kept GAP coverage fees and didn’t release vehicle titles in a timely manner after customers paid off their loans.

If you think you’ve been treated unfairly with any auto loan lender, you can file an official complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

How to Apply for a PNC Bank Auto Loan

PNC Bank’s auto loan application process depends on the specific type of loan you’re applying for. We’ll go over the rough process of how it works here:

  1. Get ready to apply: Check your credit reports and your budget to see what you can afford for a monthly payment. Gather the documents you’ll need, such as a copy of your driver’s license, recent income statements, and utility bills showing your proof of address.
  2. Apply for the loan: You can apply online, in person, or over the phone for most loan types. If you’re buying a car from a private seller, however, you can only apply in-branch. You’ll need the car’s VIN if you’re applying for a refinance loan or if you’re buying a car from a private seller. 
  3. Get a loan decision: PNC Bank will let you know within a few minutes if you’re approved for the loan or not, in most cases, and what your loan costs will be.
  4. Close on the loan: If you decide to proceed with your loan, you’ll need to finalize your loan application. If you’re approved, PNC Bank will send out a blank check if you’ll be using its Check Ready loan to buy from a dealership, or send a check directly to your current lender for refinance loans. If you’re buying a car from a private seller who hasn’t paid off their own loan yet, they will need to go to a local PNC Bank branch with you to close the loan.
  5. Add PNC Bank as a lienholder on your car title: PNC Bank does not handle this step for you automatically. After the loan is closed, it’s on you to add PNC Bank as a lienholder to your car’s title with your state’s department of motor vehicles.

Whether you’re paying from a PNC Bank account or not, make sure to sign up for autopay on your auto loan to avoid missed payments and the late fees and credit damage they can entail.  

Alternatives to PNC Bank

PNC PenFed OpenRoad Lending
Loan Types Offered New, used, refinance, cash-out refinance, lease buyout New, used, refinance, cash-out refinance, lease buyout Refinance, lease buyout
States Available Not disclosed All states, D.C., Puerto Rico All states and D.C. except AK, HI, ND, NV, WI
New APR Range 5.24% and up 5.39%–17.99% N/A
Used APR Range 6.24% and up 5.24%–17.99% N/A
Refinance APR Range 5.39% and up 5.94% and up 1.99%–29.90%
Min. Time to Receive Loan 1 day 5 days 3 days
Recommended Min. Credit Score Not disclosed Not disclosed 500
Max. Accepted Mileage 100,000 125,000 160,000
Max. Accepted Age 8 years None Not disclosed
Max. Accepted Loan-to-Value Ratio Not disclosed 125% 180%

Final Verdict

If you already bank with PNC Bank and have had a good experience, it’s worth considering when it comes time to put together an auto financing plan. Unlike many lenders, it’ll be able to handle most types of financing situations, whether you’re refinancing your current loan, buying out your auto lease, or just purchasing a new or used car.?

However, PNC Bank is a bit archaic in that some borrowers will need to visit a local branch even though it offers online banking. That’s enough of a dealbreaker for many people, but another major strike against it is PNC Bank’s recent track record of complaints, negative reviews, and even legal action. Unless you have a compelling reason to stick with PNC Bank, we’d recommend considering another auto loan lender.??


Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected hundreds of data points across more than 20 auto loan lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, borrower requirements, and vehicle requirements, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs. We also conducted a survey of 1,016 auto loan borrowers for attitudes and opinions about lenders and the loan approval and disbursement process. See our full auto loan review methodology for more information.

Article Sources
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  12. "Class Action Says PNC Bank Failed to Timely Provide Lien Release, Vehicle Title to Plaintiff."

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