While many people try to avoid taking out finance to keep their monthly outgoings to a minimum, when it comes to high-ticket items like cars, not everyone has the funds at their disposal to pay for a product outright. In these cases, finance can be an invaluable option.
Whether you take out a personal loan, a personal contract plan or opt for a hire purchase agreement, you will make repayments in installments to a lender. In some cases, such as a fixed loan, the car will be yours right away, while in others, such as hire purchase, the vehicle remains the property of your lender until all your payments are complete.
The value of car finance may depend greatly on your individual circumstances and needs, and can vary depending on the deal you are able to secure.
So, all this considered, is car finance worth it? Read on to get the lowdown on car finance pros and cons.
The pros of car finance
Unlike saving up for a vehicle, with car finance there’s no waiting. As soon as you’ve signed your agreement, you have immediate use of the car, although actual ownership will depend on the nature and details of your arrangement.
One of the most popular reasons for opting for car finance is that it allows you to spread out the total cost of purchasing a vehicle. This means that you’re more likely to be able to afford a higher spec or newer model of car than you would if you were to pay in one single upfront payment.
Car finance is a flexible and affordable way to have the use of a car. Terms are available from one to five years, and if you are fortunate enough to be able to put down a large deposit, you may be able to secure an interest rate as low as 0%.
Car finance such as hire purchase can be a good option if your credit history is poor and it’s essential you have the use of a vehicle, for example to work. Individuals with negative credit ratings can receive finance agreements on the basis that the car itself is held as collateral.
Certain car finance agreements such as personal contract plans (PCPs) are worth considering if you like to change your vehicle regularly and upgrade to the latest model.
The cons of car finance
Car finance ties you into an agreement of regular monthly installments. If your circumstances were to change and you were no longer in a position to make repayments, your car could be reclaimed to cover your debt.
With many forms of car finance, such as hire purchase and PCPs, you don’t actually own the vehicle outright until all your payments plus fees have been made. This lack of ownership means that you are unable to modify the vehicle or sell it on without express permission from your lender.
If you have a poor credit history, the rate of interest you pay per month will be inflated. Always look at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) figure before taking out any form of car finance as this will tell you the total amount you will actually be repaying during the term of your agreement. This figure will be instrumental in deciding whether your agreement is financially viable.
As experts in the automotive industry here at Car.co.uk, our goal is to continue to assist car owners throughout the country with all their queries on the subject of car finance.