The need for a gold-standard credit rating to lease a car is one of the biggest misconceptions in the auto industry. If you’re wondering “can you lease a car with poor credit” this article is for you.

Yes, leasing a car is a significant financial responsibility and creditors will do their due diligence to ensure the risk isn’t too big. But that doesn’t mean car loans are reserved exclusively for Brits with good credit. So, can you lease a car with poor credit? Absolutely.

It’s not always as straightforward as leasing a car with good credit and you may end up paying a little more when it comes to interest. But with the right support and a good strategy, it’s definitely possible.

Read on to find out more about how to lease a car with poor credit and stop feeling dragged down by a less-than-perfect score.

Understanding car leases

With the average cost of a new car now sitting at around £20,000, paying cash for a new set of wheels isn’t a reality for most Brits. Even used cars can be pricey, especially in the face of soaring demand and the current semiconductor shortage. This is where car leases step up.

Funded by trusted lenders, these long-term rental agreements boost your spending power and get you behind the wheel of your dream car ASAP. Like other financial loans, such as mortgage and credit card applications, your credit rating can have an impact on how much you can borrow and the terms and conditions of your loan.

The nationwide car finance trend

The latest stats from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) reveal more than 93% of all private new car registrations in the UK are purchased using finance from FLA members. No doubt about it, the UK is a nation that’s well and truly embraced the benefits of automotive leases. The good news is, even if you have a poor credit the chances of securing a loan and taking advantage of long-term rental options is still possible.

Why your credit score matters

Your credit score offers potential financers an idea of what to expect when lending you money. For example, missed payments on a credit card or a previous bankruptcy declaration will bring your credit rating down. This suggests you may not be the most reliable borrower. On the flip side, a flawless track record boosts your credit score and implies you’re a reliable borrower.

When you apply for car finance, lenders will check your score using a UK credit reference agency. Results are used to assess your loan and decide if it should be approved or denied. ‘Good’ or ‘excellent’ scores are preferable but not essential.

Why is my credit score poor?

There are all kinds of reasons why your credit score might not be up to scratch. Of course, missed payments on a credit card or outstanding debts can drag down your rating. But factors such as no previous long-term loans can also keep your score in the below-average range. Yes, sometimes being too responsible with money and avoiding debt can hinder your credit score! Your score might also be flawed due to association with a partner with a poor credit rating.

Can you lease a car with poor credit? Here’s a closer look at why your credit score matters:

The amount you can borrow

One of the biggest factors your credit score affects is the amount you can borrow. Your credit rating is used to establish your financial history and determine your risk factor. Results help lenders decide how much they’re willing to lend you. 

That said, your credit score isn’t the only thing lenders will consider when viewing your loan. Your initial deposit can sway the decision and play a role in determining how much you can borrow to fund your new car purchase.

Your interest rate

As well as influencing the amount you can borrow, your credit score may be used to determine your interest rate. Generally, higher credit ratings correlate with lower interest rates. This is good news for applicants with low credit scores who are hoping to secure a car loan. While you may not be able to unlock the best interest rates, poor credit doesn’t rule you out completely. Instead, you may be offered a higher rate than an applicant with excellent credit.

When shopping around for car loans, look for platforms that offer rates starting from 6.9% APR and take note of the representative APR that they advertise. This gives you an indication of the rate that the majority of their customers (at least 51%) will get.

The representative APR is important because it means that nearly half of customers will be given a rate more than the representative APR. This is especially true where you have poor or bad credit.

The length of your loan term

Your credit score may also affect the length of your loan term. This can have a big impact on the size of your monthly payments.

Can you lease a car with poor credit?

You may not be able to secure the same rock-bottom interest rates as applicants with ‘excellent’ credit but with the help of our in-house advisors, the chances of leasing a car with poor credit are improved. Whether you’re in the market for a nearly-new hatchback or a second-hand SUV, we’re here to help.

Ready to jumpstart your car lease application? Use our car finance poor credit calculator to generate a quick online quote, with zero impact on your credit score. Forget the hard sell. We’re all about offering our customers an easy, stress-free experience.

SendSend us an email or give us a call on 01246 458 810 to find out more. We’re always available to answer all your “can you lease a car with poor credit” questions and discuss your car finance options.

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!