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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.

What do you need to finance a used car?

If you’ve selected a pre-owned vehicle you’d like to purchase with support from a car loan, you’re ready to take the next step and try and secure a finance agreement. Before you start applying, it’s worth getting all the important information you need organised to ensure you’re prepared, but specifically what do you need to finance a used car?

Applications can be easily made online, but supporting documents are always requested. You can avoid wasting time by getting everything you require for your application beforehand.

Information on your vehicle of choice

Once you’ve found the used vehicle you want to buy, make a note of its make and model and registration along with any other information you can get hold of. If you’re buying your car through a private sale, it’s important that you get the full cooperation of the seller, as details may be required from them in order for your finance deal to be successful.

Personal information on your situation

You’ll typically be asked to rate your credit history from poor to excellent, so it’s a good idea to know how your current credit file looks to lenders. Companies like Experian and ClearScore offer a service enabling you to check out your current credit rating online. This can be an effective way to ensure you can answer these questions.

Driver’s licence

If you’re to be the registered keeper and driver of the vehicle, you will need to supply your lender with a copy of your valid driver licence.

Proof of address

You’ll need to supply proof of your address. This is a very simple check for anti-fraud purposes for the most part. Lenders prefer to see that you have been located at your address for at least six months, although they may consider a shorter term. Generally, the longer you’ve been resident, the better. A utility bill or bank statement are both considered acceptable.

Proof of your regular income

Evidence of your earnings will usually be required in most circumstances. This can take the form of monthly payslips or copies of your bank statements showing regular payments. In some circumstances, your employer could be contacted to verify any details you give so ensure you are truthful.

In order to act responsibly, brokers, lenders and dealers must check that you are able to afford to make your repayments on your used car loan.

A photograph of yourself

As a preventative measure against fraud, in some cases a photograph of yourself will be requested to cross check against the picture present on your driving licence.

Guarantors

If your credit rating is poor or limited, or you are unable to show proof of earnings you can still apply for finance on a used car, but you will need a guarantor. A guarantor is someone willing to vouch for you financially who will accept the responsibility of making your monthly payments if you are unable to during the term of your finance agreement.

Always make sure your guarantor is fully aware you are nominating them before making any applications, as it is their credit history that will be checked.

Deposits

While deposits are not required for finance agreements, they may be requested by dealers to secure a vehicle. Before paying anything to dealers or private sellers, contact your lender with all relevant details on the vehicle. The lender can then contact the dealer and carry out an evaluation before any money changes hands, and there is no danger of you losing a deposit.

At Car.co.uk, our ambition is to offer car buyers access to all the information they require when making a purchase through a finance agreement.

Other related FAQs

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

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

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.

Buying a used car with a finance agreement can be a good option. As with any financial agreement though, it’s always important to check the details carefully and to consider the pros and cons.

In most cases, car finance providers pay for or provide your vehicle after you pay a deposit. Then, over the course of an agreed repayment period, you’ll pay off some or all of the price. The product you choose will decide what happens at the end of the agreement – but common options include taking ownership of the car, handing it back, or upgrading it.

The number of years banks will finance a used car for depends on the particular agreement you enter into. Usually, agreements are available for terms of between 12 and 60 months.

In general, you cannot simply transfer a car finance agreement to someone else. However, there may be other options available to you that meet your needs.

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.

The simplest way to find out how much is left on your car finance agreement is to contact your lender. Alternatively, you can calculate this figure yourself.

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

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.