Car finance calculator

How to use our car finance calculator

Our car loan calculator tells you how much you might be able to spend on a car. We only need to know three things:

1. How much you’re able to repay each month.

If you choose to put down a deposit, you’ll pay less each month for your car finance. However, this requires you to spend a lump sum up front.

2. How long you’d like to repay the loan.

The longer your loan term, the lower your monthly repayments will be. This is because the cost is spread out over an extended period. However, if you repay over an extended period, you may end up paying more for your car in the long term. Choose your repayment length when inputting your details into our car loan calculator, to see how much you’ll pay per month.

3. Your overall credit rating. 

Your credit rating is an important factor to bear in mind when working out your monthly budget; your monthly repayments might be higher if you have a bad credit score, for example. Our car loan calculator will take this into account when determining your payments.

That’s it. We don’t need specifics and you can tweak it as much as you like. We’ll then show you an example of how much you might be able to borrow, based on customer profiles who are similar to yo

What can I do next?

Now that you know how much you might be able to borrow, the next steps are up to you. You can:

  • Find out more about car finance – we have loads of information about the different car finance options, as well as details on the most popular types, including HP car finance and PCP finance. Using our finance calculator, car loans are made straightforward.
  • Improve your credit score – even if you have a low credit score, lenders are often still able to help you. Read our advice on how to improve your credit score – it can be as simple as registering on the electoral roll. We work with a number of lenders who offer bad credit car finance.
  • Search for a car to buy – we work with an approved list of trusted dealerships across the UK so you can search for over 30,000 vehicles in your MyZuto account area after you’ve applied. We’re also AutoTrader’s official car finance partner.
  • Talk to our team – we have a team dedicated to helping our customers, from finding the right car finance product for you to helping you pick a car. Call us on 01625 619 944 or use our contact form to request a call-back.

What costs should I think about?

The most important thing when buying a car is to know what you can afford. When using our car finance calculator, it’s useful to think about things like:

What length of loan is right for you?

How long your finance agreement should last, and how much you’d like to repay each month, depends on your personal budget.

Paying the loan off over a shorter period – like two years – will mean larger monthly repayments, but will reduce the total sum you pay back. Paying less each month over a longer period – like four years – may make it easier to get the car you need and make your payments more affordable, but the total amount you pay (see our APR example at the top of the page) will increase.

You can tweak the options in our car loan calculator to find a monthly cost that works for you.

How much will the car cost to run?


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For many years, diesel was cheaper to buy than petrol and had a greater fuel economy, leading it to be the fuel of choice for anyone driving high mileages (such as taxi drivers or sales reps). However, in more recent years, petrol has been cheaper to buy and fuel efficiency has much improved.

Diesel has also had somewhat of a bad press recently as it’s not the most eco-friendly of fuels and there’s talk of diesel cars being banned from many major cities in years to come.

Miles per gallon (MPG)

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Regardless of whether you purchase a petrol or diesel car, (or indeed a hybrid), the most important consideration isn’t actually the cost of the fuel itself, but how many miles you get for each gallon of fuel that you purchase. In general, the smaller and more efficient the car, the higher the miles you will get to the gallon, thus spending less on fuel. This type of information is easy to research by looking at a car’s specifications online.

Servicing and maintenance

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No matter how good a car you buy, it will need repairing at some point. Whether you choose to use main dealer servicing and repairs or independents you may find that some makes of car are more expensive to repair and maintain than others.

If you are considering purchasing a particular brand of car and want to keep a tight rein over future repair costs, it is worth enquiring about how much regular services cost and how much typical repairs are. If you want to have an even tighter rein over future repair costs, then it may be worth enquiring about an extended warranty. These are available from the manufacturer or third party providers and, for one yearly cost, cover you for a range of potential repairs.


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Cars older than three years need an annual MOT. The cost of a car MOT is capped by the government at £54.85. 


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For used cars made before the end of March 2017, road tax can go from £0 to 535 per year. Newer cars produced after March 31 2017 can be taxed at rates from £0 to £2000, so it’s essential that you find out what exactly you will be paying and assess whether you can afford it. You can check car tax rates on the website.


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Insurance can vary significantly, depending on the car you choose, your driving history, where you live, and how you’ll use your car. Car insurance companies now work to a 50 mark system, rather than the previous 20 level system. Group 1 is the cheapest group and 50 is the most expensive.

Knowing that the number of categories have changed is really important to remember – you don’t want to be caught out thinking that a car in the Group 15 category is in the bottom third of insurance groups rather than the top quarter. Generally speaking, smaller, less powerful cars are in the lower insurance groups with high powered, sporty, and exclusive cars being in the higher groups.

Useful information and guides

  • cms-tick

    How to get car finance with bad credit

    If you have a low credit score, you may still be able to get car finance with one of our lenders - find out more with our bad credit finance guide.

    Bad credit car finance
  • cms-tick

    Applying for finance on a used car

    Car finance can make getting a second-hand car more affordable. Read our guide to find out how to apply for used car finance.

    Used car finance
  • cms-tick

    Considering the switch to electric?

    If you're thinking of making the switch to electric, read our guide which explains the ins and outs of electric car finance.

    Electric car finance

Car finance calculator FAQs

How much can I borrow with Zuto?

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When applying for finance through Zuto, we’ll perform a soft credit check which analyses your incomings and affordability rating, which will determine how much you can borrow. Typically, our lenders will offer anything from £2,000 to £50,000, but feel free to get in touch over the phone if you would like to borrow more and we’ll see how we could help.

One thing to consider is the vehicle you choose to finance; depending on the age and condition of the vehicle, you may be required to put a deposit down, which means you’ll borrow less against the vehicle. If this is the case, our team will explain everything to you and discuss your options in detail.

How much does car finance cost?

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Your car finance payments will depend on the value of the vehicle you’re hoping to drive. However, the interest rates vary from as low as 9% APR to 19%+ (if you’re applying with a bad credit history).

Which type of car finance should I choose?

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When applying for car finance, you’ll have three main options:

  • Hire Purchase finance: this involves regular monthly payments and the finance is secured against the vehicle. Our car HP calculator above will give you an indication of the type of car you could be eligible for. 
  • Personal Contract Purchase: this involves regular monthly payments and the finance is secured against the vehicle but you only pay off the depreciation
  • Personal Loan: this involves regular monthly payments, but the loan isn’t secured against the vehicle.

What happens next when I apply?

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We follow a straightforward process when determining car finance options. When you apply, we’ll conduct an initial soft credit check on your profile (which won’t impact your score) to make a preliminary decision on your eligibility.

We’ll then compare the finance opportunities offered by our panel of lenders, to find you the most favourable deal. Your car expert will then get in touch to talk through your quote, how much you can borrow, and what kind of car you want to drive.

Arrange a call back