The coronavirus pandemic has caused disruption in everyone’s lives across the UK. From the way we work to weekly supermarket shopping, COVID-19 has impacted all of us. While it continues to cause all sorts of stress around health, financial wellbeing is an escalating issue for many. If you’re worried that you can’t pay car finance or make your monthly repayments because of COVID-19, read on to find out what your options are.
Over two million car finance agreement were transacted in 2019 alone, meaning a lot of people will be worried about how they will make their payments in the months to come.
If you’ve bought a car on finance and can no longer afford it because you’ve been laid off, furloughed, or have seen a significant drop in your income, here is what you should know about your options to secure more affordable car payments.
Review your paperwork
Look over the paperwork that you signed when taking out your car finance plan. Read through the wording and check if there are any notes about relief and special circumstances. Understanding your contract will help when you contact the lender. Double-check the documentation on consumer rights. For more information about your contract, take a look at our Adequate Explanation videos.
Contact your lender
Once you have reviewed your paperwork, the next step is to contact your financial provider directly. We can also provide you with the contact details for most of My Car Credit’s panel of lenders.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires all lenders to work with their customers to come to a fair and appropriate financial arrangement. If an individual or household income has been affected directly by COVID-19, lenders are offering payment holidays of up to three months which should allow you to keep the car moving forward.
Handing your car back
During the COVID-19 pandemic, lenders should, wherever possible, consider offering a solution that will enable you to keep your vehicle (if that is your wish), ensuring you can afford any monthly payments and allowing you to retain contractual rights such as voluntary termination.
If your car is financed by a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) or Hire Purchase, you are allowed to hand it back to the finance company if you have already paid off 50% or more of the total amount payable, including any interest and fees. Note that if you cancel the contract, you will not get any extra money back. If you have yet to pay off 50% of the total amount payable, you will have to make up the difference.
As per your agreement with the lender, charges may apply for damage to the car over and above reasonable wear and tear. You may also incur a fee for ending the agreement early.
In many cases, you will be able to keep your vehicle. Even if you’re coming to the end of your PCP agreement, you can refinance the balloon payment instead of paying a large lump sum of cash to keep the vehicle. This is something that My Car Credit can help you with so get in touch if you think balloon refinancing is the right option for you.
Expert financial advice and support
My Car Credit can help you throughout this troubling time. We make the car finance process simple and hassle-free. Our agents are experts in the industry and stay updated on the latest offerings and relief available throughout the pandemic. For more information, call us on 01246 458 810 or email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
If you are concerned about the financial impacts of COVID-19 or are experiencing financial difficulties, the following not-for-profit organisations also provide free, confidential and impartial debt advice and support:
Citizens Advice – www.adviceguide.org.uk
National Debtline – www.nationaldebtline.co.uk
Money Advice Service – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk
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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!