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Pre-application Support

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 application, which is when you apply for car finance with another person – usually your partner or family member.

At Zuto, our aim is to make car finance simple and straightforward so in this article we’re going to explain how a joint application for car finance works and the advantages and disadvantages so you can make an informed decision before applying.

How does a joint application work?

The first thing you’ll need to do is apply with just your own details. Once this has been submitted, one of our car finance experts will give you a call where they can 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 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 applicant who live at the same address as yourself, and some will only accept 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 no need to worry at this stage.

We understand that some customers are looking to make a joint application because they have a bad credit history and need car finance. When applying with Zuto  your credit score isn’t impacted upon initial application and this is the same for your joint applicant. What this means is we’re able to search our panel of lenders to see if we can get you accepted for car finance by doing only a soft search. If we can get you accepted, and you decide to proceed with the finance offer, at that point a hard search will be done, but we will always get both applicants consent before that happens.

Advantages and disadvantages of a joint application


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, however applying together may increase your chances because your partner, or joint applicant, has a high credit score.


A potential disadvantage of a joint application that you should be aware of, is both applicants are responsible for the debt.

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

If accepted, who owns the car?

For a joint application, if you are accepted it is 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

Mike Barlow

Content Manager

Mike has worked at Zuto since 2018 and uses his experience within the industry to help customers understand the ins and outs of car finance.

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