What is a Car Loan?
When making a major purchase like a car, you may need additional financial support to cover the costs. A car loan is a way for you to finance the purchase of your new car. You can use the loan to cover either the complete cost, or a part of the payment, and then repay the money over affordable monthly instalments.
There are various car financing options available for you to use – such as personal loans and Hire Purchase arrangement, etc. To choose what’s best for you, it is important to evaluate your income, expenses and prior financial engagements.
What are the different types of car loans?
Here are three of the most common ways to finance the purchase of your car:
A. Unsecured Car Loans – An unsecured personal loan is a quick, convenient, and budget-friendly way for you to fund the purchase of your car. You can borrow up to £35,000 without pledging collateral and repay the loan via reasonable monthly instalments.
Since the money gets disbursed directly into your account, you will be able to buy the car with complete ownership, unlike Hire Purchase. So, you can even sell the vehicle if you’re facing a cash crunch, want an upgrade, or don’t need it anymore.
Plus, the better your credit report is, the lower your rates will be on a personal loan, so the overall cost of your car might come out lower using a personal loan than through a Hire Purchase arrangement.
B. Hire Purchase (HP): When you use Hire Purchase to finance your car, you are required to present a small deposit, usually amounting to 10%, to take the car home. You can then continue to pay the car’s cost every month. However, you won’t be the owner of the vehicle, nor would you be able to sell it until you’ve paid the car’s entire cost. Once you settle the dues, you may have to pay an additional fee of around £100 to get the car’s ownership, often known as the ‘option to purchase price.
C. Personal Contract Purchase (PCP): A PCP agreement is similar to a Hire Purchase but slightly lower monthly repayment. This loan aims to pay the difference between the current market price and the predicted market price of the car at the end of the PCP. During the PCP term, the annual mileage can be forecast to determine the predicted value. When the term ends, you can either return the car to the dealer, use resale value to buy a new car, or buy the original car by paying a final lump sum to the dealer.
What is the best way to apply for car finance?
There are numerous ways to finance the purchase of your car. Assess your finances and work out which method would suit you the best. Compare your options to make an informed decision:
Hire Purchase (HP)
Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)
Immediate car ownership
Car ownership after the final term
Optional (If you pay off the final payment, often a considerable lump sum)
Collateral requirement (car)
Mileage limit and charge
How does a car loan work?
A personal loan for car purchases enables you to split your expense into affordable monthly instalments and lightens your financial burden without the need for collateral. Herein, you can borrow from £1,000 to £35,000 and repay the loan within 12-84 months.
Lenders usually disburse the loan amount directly to your bank account within a few days. Upon receiving the money, you can pay your car dealer upfront to purchase a vehicle, and you will own the car the moment you begin repayment.
Personal loans also carry a repayment obligation. Defaulting your loan payments can severely harm your credit score. There is a possibility that your lender may even obtain a County Court Judgement against you, which will hinder your ability to secure credit in the future.
Personal loans can help you build or improve your credit score when used responsibly. As long as you borrow an amount you can pay back, including loan repayments in your monthly budget will enable you to adhere to your repayment schedule.
Why is a personal loan for car purchases better than traditional car finance?
Financing your car through a personal loan gives you more control and flexibility over the loan terms. To own your ideal car, you won’t need to find a way around the mileage restrictions or exorbitant APRs. Plus, personal loans are more convenient since they’re transferred directly into your bank account, enabling you to purchase the car under your ownership.
What to consider before borrowing a car loan?
Buying a car is a critical decision, so there’s a lot that you might want to consider before taking a call. Ask yourself these questions to get more clarity on your borrowing decision:
• Is this a suitable loan amount for me?
You have to assess your affordability before borrowing a loan. Ensure that you borrow an amount you can afford to repay within the decided loan term.
• Will I be able to commit to the loan term?
Long-term loans require a greater commitment. Evaluate your finances and circumstances to figure out a convenient loan term.
• Do I need a contingency plan for repayments?
It is always wise to plan for unprecedented events in life. A contingency plan will allow you to stay consistent with your loan repayments, safeguarding your credit score.
• Will I be able to handle the car’s maintenance and repair costs?
Buying a car comes with responsibility – you need to consider the overhead costs like fuel expenses, repair costs, maintenance costs, etc. Make an informed decision based on these factors.
What happens if I miss a payment?
Missing a payment can cost you a few points off your credit score. If you continue to miss payments and default on your loan, your lender may get a CCJ issued against you. A CCJ could severely impact your chances of securing credit for your future goals. Therefore, you must stay on top of your repayments and maintain a healthy credit score.
Calculate monthly payments
71.3% p.a (fixed)
Some people may not be able to afford to purchase a car outright. For this reason, car finance plans are becoming a more and more popular option to fund a new car. A wise way to purchase the car you desire is through car financing. Especially if you are unable to pay for it all at once in a lump sum.
You can drive the car home without making a large upfront payment – thanks to car financing. Instead, you will be making monthly payments. It is a loan you have to pay for the car, allowing you to spread the expense out over a number of months or years.
While all types of car finance in the UK aim to get you behind the wheel of a new car as soon as possible, there are some crucial distinctions to be aware of before signing a contract.
Here is a list of different types of car financing options that you may consider while searching for ways to finance your new car:
Personal Loan for Car Financing
You might be able to get a personal loan to cover the full cost of your car. The loan will then be repaid over a predetermined period of time at a generally fixed interest rate.
The fact that a personal loan is unsecured—you can get one without pledging an asset like your home or car as security—is one of its benefits. If you can’t pay back the loan, the lender has the right to sell any security you have as payment. You might need an excellent credit score to get authorised for an unsecured loan because there is less risk for you and more risk for the lender.
With hire purchase (HP), you can spread out the cost of the car over a predetermined length of time with regular monthly payments. You won’t owe anything more after the loan is paid off; you will be the sole owner of the vehicle. Although they aren’t usually necessary, deposits can lower your interest rate and monthly repayments.
Simply subtract the deposit from the car’s purchase price and then add interest to determine the total cost of your loan. At the conclusion of the loan, you can also be responsible for administration and transfer rights fees, which are essential to consider. Although this can vary, the majority of HP agreements last between three and five years. Due to the loan’s fixed monthly instalments, creating a budget and planning around it is simple.
Personal Contract Purchase (PCP)
PCP loans are one of the most popular but also one of the most complicated types of car financing. You won’t purchase the car outright using PCP. Instead, you will make a non-refundable down payment on the car’s cost and borrow the balance. After that, you will pay interest and depreciation (the amount the automobile loses in value while you own it) on a monthly basis.
Leasing (H3 Tag)
When you lease a car, you only make regular payments to use the vehicle; you never actually own it. The cost of the rental depends typically on the car’s value, how long you plan to keep it, and a predetermined mileage allowance.
Even while you might spend less each month than you would if you were financing the car, there might be additional expenses.
It is not always easy to pay upfront for a brand new car and financing is an easy way to own the vehicle without putting much pressure on your finances.
Listed below are a few benefits of using car finance:
When you are planning to buy a vehicle using car financing, you must know the eligibility criteria and how to apply for it. Prepare yourself beforehand so that you can smoothly reach your goal of buying a car with a financing option.
Eligibility Criteria for Car Finance in the UK
Determining your eligibility for a car loan can be difficult, especially because different lenders have different requirements. You must be at least 18 years old to apply for car financing. Some financial institutions may set an upper age limit for candidates. They may state that applicants must be under the age of 80 in some instances, but they may also require that the loan be repaid before a specific age.
Documents Required for Car Finance Applications
Make sure you are organised and ready to submit your application for car finance. The lending firm will need to see a variety of details, documents, and proofs of identification before they can evaluate your application. Additionally, they will look up any employment references you have and access any information kept about you by other parties.
After the application has been accepted, formal identification documents and perhaps income proof are required before the final contract may be finalised.
Steps Involved in Applying for Car Finance
Different lenders may have different processes for car financing. However, we have listed below the steps involved in applying:
In the UK, car financing contracts are always signed with a fixed interest rate for the duration of the deal. Therefore, if your APR (annual percentage rate) was 5% when you signed up, it will stay the same during the entire term.
Let us understand the car finance interest rates and fees in detail.
Explaining Interest Rates for Car Finance
The interest rate will be set once you sign a car finance agreement. Therefore, you shouldn’t be impacted if you have already signed your loan contract but have not yet picked up your automobile.
That also implies that regardless of whether the Bank of England increases or lowers its interest rate, your monthly payments will remain the same as what you initially agreed to.
The financing company may terminate the contract and request that you sign a new one with a higher interest rate.
Factors Influencing Interest Rates of Car Finance
A new car purchase can be spread out with the help of car financing. Additionally, it enables you to purchase a superior car and can ultimately result in financial savings on maintenance and replacement costs. However, the rate of interest you will be charged for financing your vehicle depends on a number of factors that are listed below:
Additional Fees and Charges Associated with Car Finance
PCP, PCH, and HP types of car finance options can often have admin fees. Many buyers overlook this, but it’s crucial to read the fine print before making any commitments because it frequently changes from business to business. Since auto dealers frequently charge admin fees to offset expenses. This could involve a number of activities, including entering the transaction into the system, processing financial paperwork, and generating relevant documentation.
When offering car financing, some dealers do, however, add “hidden costs”—either upfront or at the end of the contract—to the price. Make sure you ask them thoroughly about the total charges and are crystal clear on the costs that will be tacked on at the conclusion of the contract.
Comparing Interest Rates and Fees from Different Lenders for Car Financing
Getting the best interest rate is crucial when taking out any form of loan. Your monthly payments and the total amount you wind up paying back during the loan’s term may significantly change as a result. Hence, get quotes from multiple lenders and compare the interest rates they are offering you before finalising one.
With a car finance agreement, you may stretch out the cost of your loan over a predetermined time period in manageable monthly payments. The lender determines your monthly payments based on the total amount borrowed plus interest paid during the term of the contract.
Depending on the type of agreement, different additional variables will be utilised to determine the cost of your monthly payments.
Duration of Car Finance Agreements
Depending on the sort of financing option you choose, car finance arrangements can last anywhere between 36 and 60 months.
If you want to spread the expense of the car, you could select a longer car finance duration, which would result in lower monthly payments but for a longer period of time. Keep in mind that by doing this, you will pay more in total because you will pay higher interest rates.
To pay off the car more quickly, you could decide to cut the term of your contract if you can afford to make larger payments each month. You decide how long your contract will be; a shorter period typically entails higher monthly payments, but your contract will end sooner.
Balloon Payments and Final Settlement Options in Car Finance
A lump sum due to the lender at the conclusion of a finance agreement is known as a balloon payment. Due to the fact that you are delaying a portion of the cost to the conclusion of the contract, loans with a balloon payment option often have cheaper monthly repayments.
There are two loan alternatives available for car financing that have a balloon payment – Leasing and Personal Contract buy (PCP).
The lender determines your balloon payment at the beginning of your contract using the vehicle’s Guaranteed Future Value (GFV). This is the estimated resale value that the lender believes your car will have at the end of your loan.
Regardless of changes in used car values, your balloon payment was set at the beginning of your contract and will not change.
One of the most crucial factors considered by lenders when evaluating applications for car loans is your credit score. There is no clear-cut solution, but there is a lot to learn about credit ratings.
Impact of Credit Score on Car Finance Options
Your credit history is important to finance companies so they can assess your likelihood of repaying a loan. Credit scores are a measure used by creditors and credit reference organisations that can be used to estimate your likelihood of being approved for a loan. When you finance your car, your credit report is assessed and you will lose a few points for the assessment as a hard credit check is conducted. However, when you start repaying the loan on time, your credit score will get a boost.
Car Financing Options for Individuals with Bad Credit Scores
There is no minimum credit score required to get car financing, but lenders are less likely to approve you if your rating makes you appear to be a larger risk. Be cautious when applying and only take out car finance if you are sure you can repay it since you might find that people with a low credit score may see their interest rates go up.
Improving Credit Scores for Better Car Finance Deals
If you apply for financing and are turned down, you might need to find any problems with your credit history and fix them. Make sure you are on the voter registration list so that lenders can confirm your identification and, if at all possible, pay off outstanding obligations. It could take some time for your credit history to improve if you have made late payments, defaulted on loans, or even received County Court Judgements (CCJs).
In the event that something goes wrong, warranties and insurance might offer you additional protection. You will frequently have to contribute money to have the parts installed and replaced. This is the surplus, which typically weighs a few hundred pounds. The warranty may be included at no additional cost when you purchase a new or used car from a dealer.
Car Insurance Requirements for Financed Vehicles
Fully comprehensive, third-party, and third-party – fire and theft are the three types of car insurance coverage. It is a legal obligation in the UK to have car insurance if you own or drive a vehicle. In fact, you need insurance even if you are still learning to drive. Even if you are an experienced driver, unanticipated dangers and other drivers’ activities can endanger you and your car. If the worst occurs and you are involved in an accident, having insurance coverage in place offers financial security and certainty.
Gap Insurance to Cover Outstanding Finance in Case of Theft or Total Loss
Gap insurance, sometimes referred to as guaranteed asset protection insurance, pays the difference between your remaining car finance balance and the settlement you get from your insurance provider in the event that your vehicle is declared a total loss or theft.
Exclusions vary depending on the insurer, but generally, you must have fully comprehensive insurance, the coverage will only pay out if your automobile is stolen or totally destroyed, and the compensation won’t cover any changes you have made to the vehicle.
There are four different types of gap insurance and they are listed below:
A pre-approved car finance can be useful for a variety of reasons, including giving you more clarity regarding how much you can borrow. It is often used to describe a financial deal in which you have conditional approval for a loan, credit card, mortgage, and, of course, car financing.
Pre-approval is not a guarantee that you will be approved for car financing; the lender may still ask for further information and look over your unique financial documents before deciding. However, it might help you better understand the process by indicating if you are likely to be authorised for financing.
Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved for Car Finance
How to Get Pre-Approved for Car Finance in the UK?
You can get pre-approved for car finance in the UK in the following three steps:
You can get a better idea of how much you can borrow if you have pre-approved car financing. Before purchasing your next vehicle, you can use that information to determine whether it is worthwhile to complete a full application.
Understanding the Pre-Approval Process
Before approving your car finance application, the lender may still need more proof or evidence. These additional crucial elements should also be taken into account. The information on hand at the time of the application is often the foundation for the terms and circumstances of pre-approval. The lender reserves the right to modify the terms or even revoke the pre-approval offer if your financial situation changes. A deposit can increase your chances of pre-approval and reduce the amount you need to borrow. Saving for a deposit demonstrates to lenders that you have some money set out to invest in the vehicle.
It is always a wise decision to compare all the car finance offers you are getting as it will help you choose the best one as per your unique situation.
Using Comparison Tools to Compare Car Finance Options
If you are not sure if you should apply to multiple lenders offering car financing, then you can take the help of tools. A car finance comparison tool will help you get all the quotes available for your situation. It will make your job easier as all you have to do is pick the option with the best rate per you.
Reviewing Customer Experiences with Different Lenders
Before you sign a car financing agreement, ensure that you go through the reviews and experiences of past customers. It will give you an idea of who you are about to deal with.
You should have been informed of the terms and conditions prior to signing the car finance agreement. You may have been asked to sign a form someplace stating that you accept to abide by the terms and conditions as part of the financing.
The interest rate and whether it is fixed or variable is included in this. It will specify the duration of the contract as well as the agreed-upon monthly instalments. It will also specify any additional fees, such as administrative costs or GAP insurance. The terms and conditions will also include information about the financed car, such as its make, model, registration information, and market value. It will also include information about the guaranteed future value and balloon payment in the case of a personal contract purchase agreement.
Early Repayment and Settlement Options
Also known as early settlement fees, they equal one or two months’ worth of interest that you would have had to pay. Before applying for car financing, it is crucial to check the various rates because the fees change from company to company.
Paying early isn’t adhering to the plan, and repaying your car finance according to plan can really help your credit score. Your finances may be put under stress and your emergency reserve may run out. Analysing your financial condition both now and in the future is essential.
Tell us how much you need, for how long, and for what purpose.
We find you the loan offers you qualify for from multiple lenders.
Select the loan that best matches your circumstances, and Get Funded.
Car finance is a way of financing your car – used or new. If you do not have enough money to pay for the car upfront, you can use the financing options available.
There are different types of car finance options available in the UK, and they are:
Most car financing plans are customised. You can choose a longer term to further spread the expense out or a larger initial deposit to lower monthly payments. Depending on what works best for you and the lender, your car financing plan will include different monthly payment amounts, interest rates, durations, and lengths.
With car finance, you can spread the cost of your car over the years to pay it back. It will allow you a financial breathing space without disturbing your current budget much. Also, when you repay it, your credit score will be built.
Check the interest rates, terms and conditions, and any hidden charges the lender is offering you while you choose a car finance option. Also, check the monthly repayment amount to see if you can pay it back easily.
Find a lender who you think is offering the best rate for your car finance application. Submit your application and the lenders will come back to you with a decision.
You will need to prove your identity, residency, income and employment to get car finance. The requirement may include additional documents depending on the lender.
Yes. You can get car finance with a bad credit score, however, the interest rate may be a little higher due to the risk involved.
Depends on the lender. Generally, it takes a couple of days for the lenders to assess and review your car finance application and come to a decision.
The interest rate for car finance depends on the cost of your car, your credit score, and the repayment period you have chosen.
Some lenders may charge an admin fee, or early repayment fee for your car finance.
The fundamental distinction between PCP and HP is made at the end of your contract. You will have paid off the car’s entire value at the conclusion of an HP contract, making you the official owner. With PCP financing, you only pay back a part of the vehicle’s worth over the course of the entire credit period. There is a final payment, also referred to as a balloon payment, that must be made if you want to acquire the property at the end.
Your credit score will suffer if you don’t make your car finance payments on time. Your vehicle may be repossessed if you are unable to pay. Until your finance balance is paid in full, the finance company will technically own your automobile.
Yes. You may have to pay an early settlement fee to the lender.
Compared to standard car finance, balloon payments offers a lower monthly payment schedule. You will make one sizable payment at the end of your term, which will lower your monthly payments.
Yes, you can finance a used car with a car finance option.
Your credit score will determine the rate of interest you will be charged for financing your car. A high credit score means you are more likely to get a lower interest rate and vice versa.
Yes. A car insurance is mandatory in the UK even if your car is financed.
Technically no. As you are not still the owner of your car.
You can search for reputable car finance lenders in the UK online.
The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.
Representative APR Example: On an assumed loan amount of £1,000.00 over 18 months. Rate of interest 71.3% per annum (fixed). Representative 99.89% APR. Total amount payable £1,655.10 of which £655.10 is interest. 18 monthly repayments of £91.95.
Our APR rate starts from 18.22%. The maximum APR we offer is 770%, but you will get a personalised rate tailored to you. The minimum repayment term is 3 months, the maximum repayment term is 7 years.
Warning: Late repayment can cause you serious money problems. For more information, go to moneyhelper.org.uk
Credit subject to status & affordability assessment by Lenders.
LoanTube is a credit broker and not a lender.
Think carefully before securing debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on any debt secured against it.