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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.

How long are car loans for on used cars?

If you’ve decided to buy a used vehicle and are choosing to make your purchase with a car finance agreement, you need to know not only how much you can afford to pay each month, but over how many years you wish to repay the debt. As a result, you might be wondering ‘how long are car loans for on used cars?’

There are many different forms of finance available to car buyers of used vehicles, including Hire Purchase (HP), Personal Contract Plans (PCPs), and personal or fixed sum loans. With all of these options, the length of term is typically between 12 to 60 months (one to five years).

Applying for used car loans online

You can get an idea of how long you can pay your car loan over by using the services of brokers online. Making an application like this is a quick and efficient way to find out what your options are. Typically you’ll need to enter an idea of what your credit history is (rated poor to excellent) and state how much you’d like to borrow over how many years.

The longer the term the smaller the repayments

As a general rule with new or used car loans, the longer the period in which you make repayment, the lower your individual monthly repayments will be. As you’re borrowing money over a longer term, you’ll be paying a larger amount of interest and therefore the total amount of you pay overall will be higher.

If you pay back your car loan within 12 months, the monthly repayments will be much larger, but you won’t pay as much interest. However, you might find smaller amounts more manageable over a 60-month repayment plan and be comfortable with paying more overall.

The age of the used car you’re looking to finance

When looking to get a car loan approved for a used car, the lender will take the vehicle’s age into consideration. Many standard loans from high street lenders won’t consider a car older than seven years of age, but online brokers often have access to groups of lenders willing to consider older cars, usually up to 10 years old.

In the case of classic cars or speciality vehicles, it’s worth getting in touch with finance brokers who can sometimes find you a lender willing to deliver finance for even older cars of 10+ years.

Affordability and length of term

Banks and finance companies will take into account your personal circumstances and credit history before offering you a specific length of term on your car finance. They need to be sure you’ll be able to make your repayments over the length of term. Proof of your regular earnings will be required, such as payslips or a copy of your bank statements showing your income.

If you can’t supply this, you can still acquire a car loan for your chosen used vehicle if you apply with a guarantor.

Whenever possible, it’s worth saving up some form of deposit before applying for a used car loan as this will lower your monthly payments and potentially reduce the number of years you must pay back your loan over. This can mean you pay less interest and therefore less overall on your loan.

At Car.co.uk, it’s our aim to offer a convenient way for car buyers to access information on all aspects of finance. By providing an invaluable resource, our goal is to give car buyers the resources they need to choose the finance deal for their vehicle that they are fully satisfied with.

Other related FAQs

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

When you’re applying for finance for a used car, it’s useful to have the relevant supporting documents such as information on your vehicle of choice, your financial details and proof of address and income. You may also need a deposit.

Car finance companies don’t usually contact employers to assess eligibility. However, in some circumstances, they might.

Car finance is a loan – but it’s one that’s often secured against the vehicle you’ve decided you want. As such, it’s often viewed a little differently to a personal loan – which is not secured against anything.

A guarantor car loan is an agreement in which a third party (usually a family member or friend) agrees to guarantee the repayment of your loan if you fail to keep up with your payments.

Your ‘settlement figure’ is the amount that the car finance company require to pay off your finance in full. Since this changes as interest is added and as payments are made, requested settlement figures are usually only valid for a short time.

Car loans can be secured or unsecured, depending on the type of agreement you get.

Car finance agreements don’t tend to include insurance as standard, but there are packages available that do.

The maximum age of used cars eligible for finance agreements tends to be 10 years, although there are exceptions to this.

Lying on a car loan application is a form of fraud and is illegal. If you’re found to have done this, you could face prosecution and you may find it harder to get credit in the future.

Yes, certain lenders will consider offering finance for a vehicle that is sold privately.