Car finance can be a fantastic way to secure the keys to your dream ride. However, it’s not uncommon to be refused the first time around. There are all kinds of reasons why you may have been refused car finance, some easy to overcome and others a little more complicated.

The good news is, there are always options. If you’ve been refused car finance but believe you’re a reliable and worthy borrower, this guide is for you! Read on as we cover everything you need to know about how to deal with a rejected car finance application, what to do next and the steps you need to take to get behind the wheel of a new car.

Step 1: Understanding why you were refused car finance

The first step is to get a better idea of why you were refused car finance. Understandably, most lenders are strict about who they approve for finance. After all, a car finance loan is a big commitment and lenders want to make sure they recoup their investment. Here’s a few of the most common reasons why you may have been refused car finance:

  • A bad credit score

A bad credit score is one of the most common reasons applicants are refused car finance. Most lenders use consumer credit reporting agencies such as Equifax or TransUnion to assess the suitability of car loan applicants. Equifax issues scores of between 0 and 700, with the average Brit clocking in at around 380. TransUnion rates borrowers on a 0 – 710 scale, with averages in the UK sitting at around 610. Experian is another popular agency and ranks you on a scale of 0 – 999.

Why do you have a low credit score? It’s due to poor credit history. Credit reference agencies keep track of bad credit activity, such as missed payments on utlity bills, outstanding debts on finance or a lack of steady income. Hard searches on your credit file typically display this for up to six years before the date you’re applying.

It’s not always easy to maintain a glowing credit score, as many Brits know. If you’ve ever missed a payment on your credit card, you’re not alone. The latest YouGov research revealed around 15% of UK adults have defaulted on credit card payments, which can knock a decent amount of points off your credit score. The figure is even higher in London, where 19% of credit card holders have missed a payment.

  • An ambitious budget

In other cases, your budget may be too ambitious for car finance lenders to approve. When assessing your application, lenders will consider personal circumstances, such as your employment status, income and ongoing life expenses to determine if you can afford the loan. If there are any doubts, your application may be refused.

Let’s say you want a hire purchase deal that costs £500 a month and you have regular income of £2,000 from your monthly salary. You might think applying for car finance is a sure-fire thing. But once you factor in mortgage or rent payments, utility bills and other typical outgoings, you might only just have enough left to make the payment to your finance company.

Even with a good credit score, it might be too much. But pair that with a less-than-perfect credit score, and many lenders won’t want to take the risk. As well as risking missed or late payments for themselves, mainstream lenders have to lend responsibly to avoid finance agreements leaving customers worse off. So, without the right affordability, lenders could refuse your car finance.

  • Incomplete application

Your application doesn’t just offer lenders insight into your borrowing history but also your competency and organisational skills. Incomplete applications can be an instant turnoff for lenders, so it pays to give your documents a thorough once over before hitting send.

When you apply online, it can be tempting to send old documents that are stored on your computer or phone, for example. Maybe you have recently changed address, meaning you’ll need different documents to apply for car finance. That’s often the case for younger customers who have just moved out having passed their driving test!

Finance companies have their own criteria, so every little error could negatively impact your chances of securing that dream car.

Now you have a better idea of why you were refused car finance, let’s take a look at what to do next…

Step 2: Enlisting the help of experts

Car finance can seem complicated but with the help of experts, it doesn’t have to be. At My Car Credit we specialise in getting Brits into the driver’s seat of their ideal car, no matter what their credit score. How do we do it?

  • A large lending panel

With access to one of the largest lender panels in the country, we take a wide-reaching approach to car finance. Instead of considering just a handful of preferred lenders, we reach out to dozens of finance companies across the country. This drastically improves your chances of being approved for car finance, no matter what your circumstances, borrowing history or credit rating.

If your credit profile doesn’t meet one lender’s criteria, you still have a chance of being approved by one of our other lenders. That’s how we secure finance agreements for young drivers, self-employed applicants and more.

  • Award-winning technology

We’re part of Evolution Funding, one of the largest and most trusted car finance brokers in the UK. Our service is backed by their award-winning technology, making it faster and easier for us to match your loan application with the right lender. 

  • A personalised approach

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach at My Car Credit. We assess every car finance application individually, meaning you’re matched with the best possible lenders for your unique circumstances. If you’ve had previous rejections due to a poor credit rating, that doesn’t mean you can’t get car finance with us.

For more information, check out our guide on car finance explained.

Step 3: Improve your chances of a car finance agreement

After you’ve developed a good understanding of why you were refused car finance and have enlisted a team of experts to help with your application, it’s time to start improving your chances. Here’s how:

  • Boost your credit score

There are lots of ways you can boost your credit score, some easy and others requiring a little more time and dedication. Registering on the electoral roll and keeping on top of regular payments such as a credit card repayments or your phone bill are both great ways to improve your credit score. If your credit score is lacking due to a lack of financial history, applying for a basic credit card can be a good way to develop a positive paper trail that establishes you as a reliable borrower. 

  • Pad out your deposit

A small deposit suggests you’re just scrimping by and can be a red flag for lenders. Saving cash where you can and using it to pad out your deposit is a foolproof way to improve your status as a borrower and show lenders you can commit to a regular savings regime.

If you can afford a larger deposit sum upfront, it’s always worth putting it towards your new car. It will reduce the total loan amount, making car finance less of a risk for the lender. It will also reduce your monthly repayments, so you can soon save back the money you added to your deposit.

Securing car finance with poor credit history

Just because you have a less-than-perfect credit history, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the running for a loan. With the right approach, your chances of securing car finance with poor credit are high. If you’re struggling with other barriers such as being self-employed or a lack of credit history, we can help.

At My Car Credit, we understand the difficulties you face with a poor credit rating. Not least that a hard search will stay on your credit file. That’s why we only use a soft search initially to get an idea of your credit profile before moving onto the next steps.

Whatever information we receive from the credit agency, the search won’t appear on your credit report. But even if we find you have bad credit, we can still work to get your application approved if repayments are affordable.

Ready to get the wheels moving on your application? Get in touch by emailing or give us a call on 01246 458 810 to find out more about how to proceed after being refused car finance.

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!