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Joint application for car finance

You can make an application for car finance using just your own details, which is known as a sole application, or, alternatively, you can make a joint car finance application, which is when you apply for a loan with another person – usually your partner or family member.

In this article, we’ve explained how a joint application for car finance works, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, so you can make an informed decision before applying.

image of car and call to action to apply for car finance

How does a joint application work?

The first thing you’ll need to do when applying for joint car finance is apply with just your own details. Once these have been submitted, one of our car finance experts will give you a call to take the details of the additional applicant. Once we have both sets of details, we can then search our large panel of lenders to try and find you the best joint car finance deal we can.

Only some of our lenders accept joint applications, and each of them have different criteria you must meet. For example, some lenders will only accept a joint application for car finance if you both live at the same address, and some will only accept if the second applicant is your partner who lives at the same address.

Our car finance experts will be able to take you through all of this over the phone though, so there’s no need to worry at this stage.

Car finance joint application with bad credit

We understand that you might be making a joint application because you’re looking for bad credit car finance. Fortunately, when applying with Zuto, your credit score isn’t impacted upon your initial car finance joint application.

This is because we only conduct a soft credit check while searching our panel of lenders. If we can get you accepted for joint car finance, and you decide to proceed with the loan offer, a hard search will be done. But we’ll always get both applicants’ consent before this happens.

Advantages and disadvantages of a joint application

Before making a car finance joint application, it’s important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages.


If you can’t get accepted for car finance on your own, a joint application can sometimes increase your chances of approval – particularly if the joint applicant has a better credit score than yourself.

For example, you may have a lower credit score but a good deposit and higher income, while your partner, or joint applicant, has a higher credit score but a lower income.

Getting accepted on your own in this example might prove difficult, due to your low credit score, but applying together may increase your chances.


A potential disadvantage of joint car finance is that both applicants are responsible for the debt. In other words, joint car ownership in the UK means joint liability.

So, if you find yourselves in financial difficulties and are unable to repay the debt, both applicants’ credit files will be impacted.

If accepted for joint car finance, who owns the car?

If your joint application for car finance is accepted, it’s likely to be for a hire purchase agreement, which means the car legally belongs to the finance company until the debt is completely paid off.

The car can only have one registered keeper, and this is typically the primary user. It’s this individual who will be the first point of contact for any parking tickets or motoring offences.

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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