Zuto Logo
Zuto Logo

Car finance calculator

If you're looking for car finance, our car finance calculator is a great place to start. It's a good idea to work out how much you could borrow and what your monthly repayments might look like.

How to use our car finance calculator

  1. Set your monthly budget

If you know what you can afford each month, put this as your monthly budget. By putting down a deposit using a lump sum, you can pay less each month for your car finance repayments.

  1. How long you'd like to repay the loan

If you choose to spread your car finance over a longer period, it can make your monthly repayments lower. However, by opting for a longer repayment period, your total repayments will be more due to interest. Have a play with the slider on our calculator and you'll see how much your payments will be each month.

  1. Your overall credit rating

Your credit rating can affect the rate you're offered by a lender. An excellent rating can result in a lower rate being offered, while a bad credit score could mean you're offered a high rate which will make your repayments higher. Our car finance calculator factors this in when working out what you can afford. If you don't know your credit score, you can see a guide on our finance calculator, or you can find it out for free using various companies such as Experian or ClearScore.

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 lots of information about the different car finance options, as well as details on the most popular types, including HP car financePCP finance and Personal loans.

  • 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 network of trusted dealerships across the UK so you can search from over 40,000 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 length of loan is right for you?

How long your car finance agreement should last, and how much you'd like to repay each month, depends very much on your personal circumstances and what you can afford. It's worth thinking forward to see if you think you'll have other major costs during the loan period, such as a house purchase

Paying the loan off over a shorter period such as two years will mean larger monthly repayments, but will also reduce the total sum you pay back. Paying less each month over a longer period of time may make your payments more affordable, but the total amount you pay (see our APR example at the top of the page) will increase. To summarise, longer loan lengths can help reduce monthly payments but will cost more overall due to interest. Shorter loan lengths will come with higher monthly repayments, but cost less overall.

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

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 ongoing costs that might impact what you can afford to pay every month.

  • Insurance: Car insurance is a legal requirement.
  • Road Tax: While some cars don't incur tax, many do.
  • Maintenance: Factor in MOT's and running repairs.
  • Ongoing running costs: Everything from petrol to windscreen washer fluid.

Car finance calculator FAQs

When applying for finance through Zuto, we'll perform a soft credit check which reviews your income and affordability, and reviews your credit history, determining how much you can borrow and what sort of rates you may be offered. 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.

Your car finance payments will depend on the value of the vehicle you're hoping to drive, as well as factors such as your credit rating and how long you want the repayment period to be. However, the interest rates  vary from as low as 9% APR to 19%+ depending on your credit history.

We work with a number of lenders on our panel who can offer finance to people who are self-employed. You may need to provide additional documentation to the lender that shows your income - you can find out more about self employed car finance here. We work with hundreds of trusted dealers across the UK so whether you're looking for a car for home or a van for work, we may be able to help with that too.

No deposit car finance options are available which means an upfront cash payment is not always required. However, putting down a deposit will reduce the amount you need to borrow, which would mean your repayments would be less or you may be able to take the finance over a shorter period of time.

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

  • Hire Purchase finance: this involves making regular monthly payments, while 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. One of the benefits of this type of finance is that you'll know your monthly payments in advance, and there is no 'balloon' fee at the end. 
  • Personal Contract Purchase: this involves regular monthly payments and the finance is secured against the vehicle but you only pay off the depreciation. You can hand the keys back at the end of the contract period, or make a balloon payment to keep it. 
  • Personal Loan: this involves regular monthly payments, but the loan isn't secured against the vehicle.

The average cost of car finance can vary from person to person. It can be affected by things such as whether you have a deposit available or a part exchange, and what your credit score looks like. The length of time you want to borrow the money for will also affect how much your monthly repayments will be. Using our calculator will allow you to change the term and credit score banding so you can see how much you could borrow.

When applying for car finance, your payment will vary not just depending on the car's value and the repayment period, but also the Annual Percentage Rate or APR. The APR you'll pay is based on your personal circumstances and how you've handled credit in the past. You'll generally pay a lower APR - less interest - the better your credit score is. Those with bad credit scores will usually pay higher interest rates, although that doesn't mean they're excluded from car finance.

Useful information and guides

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.

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.

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.

How much will the car cost to run?

For many years, diesel was cheaper to buy than petrol and had 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.

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.

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 inquiring 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 inquiring 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.

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

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 Gov.uk website.

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.