Car finance is a great way of affording the car you want, allowing you to spread the cost of the purchase over a period of time. However, it can be difficult to know if this is the best option for you. We’re going to take you through everything that can impact your eligibility for finance so that you know where you stand.
We know that ‘age is just a number’ but there are some restrictions on when you are eligible for car finance. The minimum age is 18, and the maximum age is 75. You must fit the age criteria from the beginning date of the agreement – i.e. you can be 17 and organise car finance with us as long as you’re 18 when your agreement starts.
You need to be a UK resident of more than three years. We do not usually accept temporary residents in the UK, but if you’re living in the UK and have an EU driving license, we may still be able to help. Also: To clear up a question we’re often asked – we do accept residents of Northern Ireland.
Your credit score makes a big difference to your chances of being accepted and the terms of your agreement. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to have your car finance application approved and receive lower annual percentage rates (APR). An APR is the amount of interest you pay back for borrowing money from your lender.
If you have a poor credit score, you can still be accepted for finance but you may find that providing a deposit will help you to secure an agreement. There are also a number of ways to improve your credit score, which you can find out about here.
The vehicle you’re looking to finance must be less than eight years old at the start of your agreement, and less than twelve years old at the end. However, a poor credit history could mean that the age of the car is limited to a maximum of ten years old at the end of the agreement.
There are no limits to monthly mileage unless you’re on a leasing agreement, such as a Hire Purchase agreement. In this case, the usual mileage limit is 100,000, although lenders do have different criteria.
To learn more about the different car finance options, check out our page.
You must be in stable employment and able to provide your previous three months’ bank statements and payslips. Stable employment history will be viewed favourably and may also help to reduce the interest rate that you pay on your loan.
If you’ve been in your job for less than three months, we may be able to help if you have been consistently employed in the past.
If you are self-employed, it can be more difficult to obtain car finance, but it is possible. You can read more about this here.
If you work part-time, you will still have options. You will need to earn the lender’s minimum income criteria and be able to provide three months’ payslips.
If you claim benefits you will need to prove that at least half of your income is from employment.
Accepted benefits as forms of income include Carer’s Allowance, Local Council Tax Support, Disability Living Allowance, Tax Credits, Incapacity Benefit (long term incapacity), Pension Credit, and State Retirement Pension.
If you claim disability benefit, lenders try to be more flexible due to the nature of the benefit and will accept government-funded mobility allowance.
If you are retired, we’re happy to help – despite being out of employment, usually retired applicants are in a good financial position having had the time to build up a good credit history.
All you will need to do is have proof of income. This would need to come from a pension, investment or property rental income.
Due to the usual age group of retired applicants, lenders may want to minimise the term of the loan to help share any associated risks.
If you’ve found the perfect car and you’re itching to get behind the wheel but you’re not sure how you’re going to pay for it, finance is a great option. We hope this has given you a good overview of the factors which affect your eligibility for car finance, but if you have any questions, give the My Car Credit team a shout – we’re always here to help!