Car finance has lots of confusing jargon – and a balloon payment is one example. Consider this article your ultimate guide to the what, why and how of balloon payments.

What is a balloon payment?

There are many different kinds of car finance available, depending on your needs.

Certain agreements allow you to make a final lump sum (the balloon payment) at their end. Once you’ve paid this one-time lump sum, along with an option to buy purchase and possible admin fees, the car belongs to you.

How does a balloon payment work?

A balloon payment works as a one-off lump sum you can pay at the end of your car finance agreement if you want to own your car.

With PCP, the one-off balloon payment is optional. You don’t have to pay it if you want to hand the car back or opt for a new finance agreement on another car.

The balloon payment is calculated based on the expected depreciation of your car (also known as the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value). It’s a fixed cost, meaning that no matter how much the value of your car fluctuates, it won’t rise.

Why choose car finance with a balloon payment?

There’s more than one type of car finance that allows you to own the car outright at the end of your agreement. With HP (hire purchase), you can own the car without making a final balloon payment (although there’s usually some admin fees to pay).

With that in mind, why would you want to choose car finance with a balloon payment?

HP finance has many benefits. However, because you’re not paying a final balloon fee, you’ll make higher monthly repayments compared to a PCP agreement.

A car finance option with a balloon payment is, therefore, a better choice for you if you want lower monthly repayments and if you regularly update your wheels.

What happens if I can’t afford my balloon payment?

If you’re keen to own your car outright at the termination of your finance agreement but can’t afford the balloon payment, don’t panic.

At My Car Credit, we understand that not all drivers have the cash for their balloon payment. That’s why we have balloon payment finance. With this agreement, you’ll break down your final balloon payment into manageable monthly instalments.

Apply with balloon payment finance with My Car Credit

No matter your circumstances, you can check if you are eligible for car finance with our handy online calculator. Our initial credit check is only a soft search, too – meaning it won’t impact your credit profile! Please note however that should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating


  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed


  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs


  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit


  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past


  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan

X monthly repayments of

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable




*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score*

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

*Initial application is a soft search. Should you progress, some lenders may perform a hard search on your credit file.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!