Can I get car finance with bad credit?

We’ll do our best to help.

Even if you don’t have a great credit file or have experienced problems in the past, you could still be eligible for car finance through Zuto’s panel of lenders. We work with finance partners who are happy to lend based on what people can afford now, rather than what’s happened in the past.

The best way to find out whether you can get credit with us is to start the application process. Applying doesn’t commit you to anything. We’ll see what’s possible and talk to you about what you can reasonably afford, so you don’t run the risk of further problems. There’s no need to feel anxious about talking about your financial situation. Lots of our customers have struggled with debt in the past, and our team are here to help you, not to judge you. They understand there are all sorts of reasons why people have had money problems.

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Who we can help

There are many causes of “bad credit”, so our car buying experts will always look at your individual circumstances when you apply.

Missed payments, defaults or arrears

If your bad or poor credit rating is down to missed payments in the past, it’s definitely worth applying. Our panel of lenders includes ones who are happy to consider applicants in this situation.


We look at your individual circumstances and current affordability so may be able to help within six months of satisfying a bankruptcy order.

CCJs (County Court Judgements)

Even if you have recently received a county court judgement (CCJ), our lending panel will consider your application.

IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements)

If you’ve been under an IVA in the past and it’s now settled, we can consider an application. If you have an IVA at the moment, we suggest you check with your IVA company first as we might need written confirmation from them that you’re allowed to borrow again.

Tips for applying with bad credit

To improve your chances of being accepted for vehicle finance and help you to get a better deal, you can:

  • Catch up on any payments you may have missed on other loans or borrowings
  • Offer to provide a deposit for your new loan. It’s not always necessary, but it usually helps to build the lender’s confidence
  • Consider a joint application. If your spouse, partner, or someone at your address has good credit, you may have a better chance of being accepted if you apply together

Does applying affect my credit rating?

When you first apply, we do a ‘soft search’ on your credit history. Other lenders can’t see this. If it’s obvious we can’t help you, we won’t pass your application to a lender, and your credit profile won’t be affected.

If we believe you might be accepted by one of our lenders, we’ll pass your application to the lender we believe best suits your circumstances. They’ll then do a ‘hard search’, which is recorded on your credit profile. On average, two recorded hard searches are likely to be done during the process.

It’s important you give us accurate information, so we can match you with the most appropriate lender. If you don’t, your application could go to a lender who wouldn’t consider someone in your circumstances. This would mean unnecessary credit searches and refusals being recorded on your profile.

Ready to find out what's possible?

No commitment, just help to get a deal that’s right for you.

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