What paperwork will I need to apply for car finance?

What paperwork will I need to apply for car finance?

If you’re thinking of getting yourself a new car, it’s likely that, like the majority of people in the UK today, you’re going to need finance to pay for it. If you do, here’s what paperwork you’ll need to apply.

Applying for anything related to finance, like loans or credit cards, can be a bit of a minefield. First you have to fill in the application form, at Zuto it’s online, so no need to worry about making errors and having to Tippex them out - do you remember Tippex?

Anyway, getting back to the topic - once the application form is done, you usually have to provide some kind of back-up paperwork to prove what you’re saying. In this blog, we'll let you know what you’ll need to provide and why.

What paperwork will I need to apply for car finance?

We can’t really tell you what other finance companies might need from you, but we’re pretty sure it won’t be much different to what we, and our panel of lenders, will ask for. And what you’ll need to send to us will depend on what lender we match you with too, as some require documents that others don’t need. But, don’t worry, we’ll let you know what we require, when we get to that stage of the application process.

Have a read and gather your bits and bobs together before you start the application process, it’ll be so much quicker if you do.

Driving Licence

So, the first document you’ll need is your driving licence. Okay, it’s not really a document anymore, but you know what we mean. It doesn’t matter which lender we match you with, they’re always going to need this. We’d need to see your full driving licence in a picture that looks like this:

Why do you need a copy of my driving licence when I’m applying for car finance?

We need this because, as you’re applying for car finance, you need to prove that you’re able to drive the car you’re wanting to buy. If you don’t have a driving licence, it’s likely that your application will be rejected by lenders.

This is because they’ll probably assume that you’re trying to take out finance for someone else, which is a not something lenders like, although it’s not actually illegal. It’s what’s called an ‘accommodation deal’, and is usually seen as a way for someone who knows they won’t get car finance – because of a low credit score for example – to get around the system. Well, at least that’s how lenders see it.

You will also find that in most contracts for finance, it states that the person applying for the finance must also be the registered owner and keeper of the car.

The next three items are not always necessary, so if we need them, we’ll let you know.


The next thing we may need is a selfie, but not all of our lenders request this, so don’t worry so much about this until we ask you to provide it. If we do need a selfie, it’ll have to look like this - don't forget to show us your pearly whites!:

Why do you need selfie when I’m applying for car finance?

This is a basic anti-fraud measure, to make sure that you are the person shown in the photo on the driving licence you provide.


Some lenders will need extra documents to back-up certain things, like something to prove your address, or your earnings. These need to be recent, so from within the last three months (90 days).

Proof of address

To prove your address, you’d need a bank or credit card statement, a council tax bill or a utility bill. If you choose to use a bank statement, we don’t need to see what you’ve been spending your pennies on, so you can block out the details of incomings and outgoings. We just need to be able to see your address clearly.

Why do you need a proof of address when I’m applying for car finance?

Lenders will want to know that you are who you say you are, and part of verifying that is to check that you live at the address you’re giving on your application form. This helps prevent fraudulent applications, something that’s partly our responsibility to weed out.

Proof of earnings

If you’re asked to prove your earnings, you’ll be expected to provide a pay slip or a bank statement. The same applies as above, only you’ll need to leave proof of your wages being paid in, if you choose to use a bank statement.

You’d need to take a photo of the document on a flat surface, so we can see, and read, all of the detail on it, like the example below.

Why do you need a copy of my bank statement when I’m applying for car finance?

We need this information so we can be responsible brokers. What we mean by this is we need to see how you manage your money to make sure you can afford the finance you’re asking for. This is called an affordability check, and is put in place to protect you from getting into financial difficulty – something none of us want.

And that’s about it. If you have these documents to hand, you’ve pretty much covered all the bases for a car finance application.

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