Handing over car keys to new owner

Bad credit car finance

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    Apply online with no impact on your credit score
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    All credit histories and circumstances considered

Zuto is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 9.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances. Representative Example: Borrowing £7,000 over 48 months with a representative APR of 19.3%, the amount payable would be £205 a month, with a total cost of credit of £2,831 and a total amount payable of £9,831.

What is bad credit car finance?

Bad credit car finance allows people with a low credit score to buy a car on finance. Instead of paying for the car in full with their own money, they can pay using a loan from a finance company, and pay it back in monthly instalments, plus any interest.

At Zuto, we can help you apply for car finance even if you have a bad credit history. We are the experts who can take you through the process step by step, and ensure you get the car you want, no matter what your credit situation is.

Types of car finance if you have a bad credit score

Even if you have a bad or poor credit score, there are three types of car finance available online:

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    Hire purchase

    HP car finance have regular monthly repayments, is secured against the vehicle, and means you own the car at the end of the term.

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    Personal contract purchase

    PCP car finance have regular monthly repayments, is secured against the vehicle, and give you the option to purchase car at the end of the term as you only pay the depreciation. 

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    Personal loan

    Personal loans have regular monthly repayments, are not secured against the car, and you own the car from day one.

How to get car finance if you have bad credit

There are a number of reasons why someone may have a poor credit history:  defaulting on a previous loan, or being declared bankrupt are a couple of the more common reasons. This can make getting car finance more difficult. However, some of the lenders Zuto work with specialise in providing car finance to people with bad credit and this is how you can apply today:

  1. Apply for car finance online - Zuto carries out a soft credit check on all applications which enables us to match you with one of our lenders. This doesn’t affect your credit score but does give us, and you, an idea of what options are available.
  2. Tell us what car you’re looking for – if approved for car finance, one of our car buying experts will get in touch to discuss your finance quotes as well understanding more about the car you’d like. Don’t worry if you haven’t found a car yet, our team can help you with that too.
  3. Choose the option for you – if you’re happy with the APR and monthly repayments, we’ll help you with all the admin, take care of the paperwork and negotiate with the dealer to make sure you drive away with the perfect car.

Our team are experienced in helping drivers find the right car finance deal from our panel of lenders and accept applications for people with defaults, County Court Judgments (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs), mortgage arrears or late payments on their credit history.

By getting to know you and your financial situation, we can search our panel of lenders to try to find you the best car finance offer based on your personal circumstances.

Why not try our car finance calculator below to see how much you could borrow.

Car finance calculator

See how much you could borrow

Impact to credit score when applying for car finance

Understanding how applying for car finance affects your credit score, why you may have been refused finance in the past, and what you can do to improve your credit score moving forward should all help in improving your chances of being approved for car finance.

You can also find more information in our guide, Impact to credit scores when applying for car finance.

Will applying affect my credit score?

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With Zuto, you can apply for car finance online without impacting your credit score.

After completing your application, we’ll approach our panel of lenders to find the best available options for your personal circumstances.

If you proceed, we will need to perform a hard search, which will impact your credit score, but we will always ask for your consent beforehand.



Why have I been refused car finance before?

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If you’ve been refused car finance before, it might be because you:

  • Have a low credit score.
  • Might have tried to borrow too much.
  • Might not have had a deposit.

We go into this in more detail in our guide, what should I do if I’ve been refused car finance before.

How can I improve my credit score?

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There are some simple ways you can try to improve your credit score:

  • Fix mistakes on your credit report – if information isn’t accurate such as an account showing as ‘open’ instead of ‘closed’ then you should amend that to improve your credit score.
  • Register on the electoral roll – this allows credit reference agencies to verify who you are.
  • Avoid making multiple credit applications in a short space of time – avoid numerous ‘hard searches’ in a short period. Zuto doesn’t do a ‘hard search’ credit check until you are happy with the finance offer and want to proceed.
  • Pay your bills on time – forgetting to pay your bills suggests to some lenders that you struggle to manage credit well.

If you haven’t already, you can check your credit score and report, for free, with our trusted partner, ClearScore.

What’s the difference between a ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ credit check?

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A soft credit check is an initial look at certain information on your credit report. Lenders do this to decide how successful your car finance application would be without conducting a full, more detailed, assessment of your credit history.

Only you can see a soft search on your credit report. Soft searches aren’t visible to lenders, so they have no impact on your credit score, or any future credit applications you might make.

A hard credit check happens when a lender conducts a full, more detailed, search of your credit report. Each hard search is recorded on your credit report, so any lender searching in the future will be able to see that you’ve applied for credit.

The more credit applications you make, in a short space of time, which result in a hard search, the greater impact it will have on your credit score and likelihood of getting credit in the future.

Customer reviews

A selection of reviews from customers who we've helped get car finance with bad credit.

Bad credit car finance FAQs

Can I get car finance with a CCJ?

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Yes, you can get car finance with a County Court Judgment (CCJ), but it can make being approved harder.

Zuto works with a large panel of lenders who help customers with a lower credit score.

You can find out more in our guide to ‘Can I get car finance with a CCJ?’.

Can I get car finance with an IVA?

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You might be able to get car finance with an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), but it does make it more difficult.

It isn’t impossible, though. At Zuto we work with a large panel of lenders who specialise in providing finance to customers with a bad credit history.

Visit our help and advice section for more information about IVA car finance.

Can I get car finance if I’ve been made bankrupt?

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If your bankruptcy has ended and you’ve been discharged, you can apply for car finance again.

We recommend you wait 12 months to try to build up your credit score again – you can find more help and advice in our car finance bankruptcy guide.

Can I get car finance if I have a default?

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You can apply for car finance if you have a default but your chances of being approved are likely to be lower due to the default itself impacting your credit score.

For more information on applying for car finance with a default visit our guide which goes into this subject in more detail.

Can I get car finance with poor credit?

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Car finance depends on your personal circumstances. We help many people with poor credit to find a car finance deal that works for them.

You can apply for car finance with Zuto without impacting your credit score. We’ll then approach our lenders and share the options with you. If you decide to proceed, we’ll perform a ‘hard search’, which is when your credit score could be affected.

What credit score is too low for a car loan?

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There is no set limit for car loans – it depends on your personal circumstances.

You can apply for car finance with Zuto without affecting your credit score. If you’re eligible for car finance, you can then proceed and we’ll carry out a ‘hard search’, which can affect your credit score.

Is it hard to get accepted for car finance?

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In general, you are more likely to be accepted for car finance if you have a good credit score.

It can be more difficult for those with a poor or bad credit score, but – as a broker – Zuto is able to help find potential options for you to save you time.

If you want to find out more, read our car finance eligibility page.