So, you’ve found your dream car, a suitable car finance deal, and you want to hit the road instantly. But how long does it take to get car finance approved in the UK?
How long does it take to get car finance approved?
The initial submission for car finance can take mere minutes. However, you’ll then need to wait for any initial quote to be approved.
The turnaround time for this will vary between car finance lenders. As a general guide, assume that you will wait at least 24 hours to hear if you’ve been accepted. That could even extend to 48 hours and longer, depending on the factors we detail below.
What factors impact how long it takes to get car finance?
Car finance providers will perform a hard credit check to assess your car finance affordability. These take a little longer to perform than any initial soft credit check, and will impact your overall credit score too.
It’s absolutely possible to secure car finance with a poor credit rating, but your application may be swifter with a higher score. Plus, you’ll be eligible for better terms.
Use free online tools like Experian to get a free credit score check and establish whether your report has any issues before applying for car finance. This will help to speed the application process along.
Any car finance provider will need to perform an identity check. You’ll typically be asked to submit copies of your driver’s licence, which therefore needs to be valid – you’ll be instantly rejected if it isn’t.
As well as your driving licence, you’ll most likely need to provide a complete address history. Lenders will ask for the past three years of your address, and may ask for current proof of address too. You’ll also need proof of income, or evidence of profit for self-employed businesses, for many providers.
Having all the relevant documentation to hand can significantly speed up the car finance approval process. Ensure that you have the relevant ID, and that it’s all up-to-date before applying for car finance.
Time of day
If you’re after same-day approval for car finance, apply as early in the day as possible! Some lenders will only turn around same-day approval if you apply by a certain time, so it’s worth checking this.
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