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Car finance made easy

We make getting car finance simple so you can be on the road in no time with over 17 lenders and 70 products compared.

  • Get a free no-obligation quote - no impact to your credit file
  • Purchase any vehicle from any dealer or privately
  • Don’t pay broker fees - transparent process
  • Found a car? Check the history & value for free
Price calculator

Car finance calculator

I would like to borrow
£1,500
To pay back over
3.5 years

Representative Example: Borrowing £5,500 over 48 months with a representative APR of 19.8%, the amount payable would be £163 a month, with a total cost of credit of £2,283 and a total amount payable of £7,783.

Should I finance a car through a dealer or a bank?

There are a number of ways you can get the finance you need to buy your next car. The question is, should you look into bank loans – or stick to the finance package your dealer puts together for you?

We’ll explore the subject in a little more detail – and look at some of the pros and cons associated with each option.

Do I have to finance through the dealership?

We’re often asked if you’re obliged to use the finance that a dealer offers – and the answer’s simple; no. 
Car dealerships like it when you use their finance products – as they have targets to meet and it means they earn a commission – but you’re free to choose from a wide range of possible products.

Should you finance through the bank?

In the past, banks were generally only able to offer personal loans for people looking to buy cars. This has changed though – and now, most of the high-street banks can offer the same kind of finance products you’d expect to find if you talked to a dealer.

So, you can apply for a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) plan or Hire Purchase (HP) through the bank – but if you do, you’ll need to buy your next car through a dealer, as the money will be paid directly to the company you’re buying from.

On the other hand, banks will let you explore personal loan options that’ll mean you can purchase your next car from anywhere you want. Rather than make any arrangements with the dealership, the bank will pay a personal loan directly to your account, so you’re effectively approaching your purchase as a cash buyer.

Since the money is paid directly to you and not secured against the car you buy, a personal loan gives you the freedom to explore a wider range of cars.

Why?

Well, it’s all to do with how PCP and HP plans work. If you were unable to pay for your car, the finance company would look to repossess your vehicle, to recoup the money they’re owed. As such, they will only offer finance for cars that meet their lending criteria – usually cars that are intended for the UK market that are under a certain age.

A personal loan means you don’t have to worry about the finance being secured against your car. So – if you fancy an older car, a classic, an import, or anything else a finance company might not be able to help with, then a personal loan from the bank can make a lot of sense.

Should you get financing through a car dealer?

Since many banks can now offer PCP and HP deals – what’s the benefit of getting your finance through a dealer? 
Well, since dealers work closely with finance companies, they can often offer a range of products that banks can’t.

For instance, there are some special offers where dealers can offer 0% APR (also known as interest-free) finance on select new models. While this usually means putting down a big deposit, it’s a great way of keeping your monthly costs as low as possible.

Another perk that sometimes comes when you finance through a dealership is the possibility of a discount on the overall price of the car. Now, you shouldn’t expect to knock huge figures off the purchase price – but since dealerships get a small amount of commission when they sell a finance package, it sometimes gives them a little room for manoeuvre. Generally, a salesperson won’t offer that discount – but there’s no harm in asking.

Which is right for you?

So, should you finance your next car through the dealership or through the bank?

Ultimately, the choice is yours. If there’s a specific package that a dealer is offering that you won’t find elsewhere, then the dealer option could be right for you. Then again, shopping around different banks might mean you get a better rate compared to limited options within the dealership.

If you want to make sure you’ve got the very best option for you, why not compare quotes with our handy finance tool? You’ll be able to select the amount you’d like to borrow, the term you’d like to make repayments over – then browse an enormous selection of finance options. That way, you can take a few test drives, safe in the knowledge that you’ve found the best finance option for you.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

In the past, car finance companies sometimes offered payment protection insurance (PPI) with their products. This is no longer the case – and the deadline has now passed for making a claim for mis-sold PPI.

One of the easiest ways to check if you can get car finance is to use online affordability calculators.

Car finance is calculated according to a number of factors, including the type of agreement you take out, your credit rating, the term of the loan and the size of deposit you pay.

It is possible to modify a financed car – but it’s absolutely vital that you check with the company that provides the finance that it’s okay before you do. After modification, you’ll need to inform your finance company, and insurance company that work has been carried out.

As well as checking your credit rating, car finance companies will need some details about the vehicle you’re planning to buy – and some information about your current employment and accommodation situation.

When determining interest rates on car loans, lenders take a range of factors into account, including the size of the loan and your credit rating.

Applying for a car loan in someone else’s name is referred to as ‘accommodation finance’. This is likely to be against the finance company’s terms and conditions – and, in some cases, it could be considered to be fraud.

Whether or not you can return a financed car depends on the type of agreement you have. If you’ve got a hire purchase (HP) or personal contract purchase (PCP) plan, you’re allowed to hand it back – as long as you have paid off at least 50% of the loan, including any fees and interest.

No, you cannot transfer your car finance to another car. However, depending on your circumstances, you may be able to settle your current finance agreement and begin a new one on a different vehicle.

If you want to sell a used car with a loan, check the details of your agreement carefully. Unless you’re the legal owner of the car, you won’t be able to sell it until you’ve paid a settlement figure.