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Pre-application Support

What criteria and documents are needed to apply for car finance?

We understand that customers have a lot of questions when it comes to applying for car finance so we’ve tried to answer some of the common themes in one guide.

Firstly, when applying with Zuto, you must be at least 18 years old and have lived in the UK for three years or more. Despite being able to drive from the age of 17, the law states that you’re not able to sign a credit agreement until the age of 18. Meanwhile, the three year address history is required by lenders to gauge the risk of lending to you and is standard practice no matter what kind of online car finance you apply for.

Do I need to be a homeowner to apply for car finance?

You don’t need to be a homeowner to apply for car finance with Zuto. Our lenders will offer finance to applicants living in ‘fixed’ accommodation. By this we mean if you’re living in rented accommodation, if you’re living with friends, family or a partner or living in accommodation that comes as part of your job.

I don’t have a job at the moment, can I still get car finance?

Approval for car finance always depends on your personal circumstances and your ability to repay the loan. If you can show that you’re able to make the monthly payments, we’ll match you with a lender who’s happy to offer you the car finance you need.

If you do not have a regular income, it may be worth discussing and considering a joint application with a partner who has.

Find out more about car finance for unemployed.

Can I get car finance if I’m self-employed?

Yes, we work with a number of lenders on our panel who will offer finance to people in self-employment. We also 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.

Find out more about car finance for self employed.

Can you apply for car finance without a full driving licence?

If you have a car in mind, but you’ve not passed your test yet, we can still try to help you find a car finance option for you.

We do have lenders on our panel who’ll accept drivers with a provisional licence so we simply need the details of your provisional licence for your application. However, as most provisional drivers are usually quite young, and sometimes students, it’s often not the status of their licence that’s the issue, it’s their lack of credit history. This can lead to applications for finance being rejected.

One way to tackle both provisional licence and no credit history issues is to have a guarantor on the application, or to make a joint application with someone who has a good credit score. This can be anyone willing to make the payments if you’re unable to.

Can I apply for car finance with an International Licence?

Yes, you can apply for car finance with an international licence, as long as you’ve lived in the UK for three years or more and meet all the other criteria of the lender.

The decision to give finance is based more on your likelihood to stay in the UK and your ability to make the monthly repayments, so your address and credit history is more important to the lender than the kind of driving  licence you have.


Applying for car finance with Zuto doesn't impact your credit score. We search our panel of lenders to find you the best deal we can and if you proceed with an offer, at that point a hard search will be done.

Written by

Ryan Borrowdale

Content Manager

Ryan has worked at Zuto for a number of years and uses his experience within the industry to help customers understand the ins and outs of car finance.

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