Car finance is an accessible way to purchase a vehicle. Whether you’re after a new or nearly new vehicle, there are various different kinds of car finance that can help you drive off into the sunset with minimal stress. In this post, we’ll explore them in a little more detail to determine the cheapest way to finance a car.

Financing a car – the cheapest options in the UK

Purchasing the vehicle itself is likely to be the steepest cost, but you should also consider other costs like running and maintenance fees, as well as any interest rates or other costs you may be required to pay. Here are the basics on each method of financing a car.


The cheapest way to finance a car is with one up-front payment. As a cash buyer, you’re able to fund the entire cost of the car immediately, meaning that you’ll own the vehicle outright. Being a cash buyer means you’re invulnerable to any interest rates, monthly loan repayments, or having to repay more on a finance agreement than the car is worth. You can also sell the car at any time.

However, you do have to be able to fork out what the car is worth in one go – which is a lot more than most individuals can afford. It also means you are entirely responsible for any servicing and maintenance costs.

Personal loans

Personal loan rates are nearing an all-time low, and are therefore the next cheapest way to finance a car after cash purchases. With personal loans – or unsecured loans – you’ll borrow a fixed sum which you’ll repay over a pre-determined amount of time (usually one to seven years) and will also pay interest at the same time.

If you have a good credit score, personal loans can be secured with relative ease, and by shopping around and comparing the APR, you can secure a competitive rate. You’ll be the legal owner of the vehicle, so can sell it whenever you want, but monthly repayments of a personal loan can be higher than with alternative car finance.

Finding the cheapest car finance

If neither of the above are viable options for you, there are alternative ways to get a car finance quote and secure a deal that suits you to save money. Be aware that you will likely receive better deals and cheaper monthly payments if you have a good credit score, but you can find a car finance company that will still accept you if your score is less than ideal.

Hire purchase agreements (HP)

If you’re struggling to get a cheap personal loan, a hire purchase agreement may be for you. You won’t own the vehicle until you’ve made the final repayment – the car is used as an asset against the loan. As such, if you fail to make your repayments, the lender has the right to repossess the vehicle. A hire purchase differs from other options in this way.

You’ll typically make a deposit of around 10% (although there are no-deposit options) and from then on, you’ll have a series of pre-determined monthly repayments. These can, depending on the agreement, be low monthly payments. If you want to own the car at the end of the term, you can opt to make a final payment in order to do so. Repayment terms are flexible, you’ll often be offered competitive fixed interest rates, there aren’t usually any mileage caps, and a Hire Purchase Agreement is easier to be approved for than other car finance.

Personal contract purchase (PCP)

PCP is another car finance option, but if you’re hunting for the cheapest way to finance a car, PCP might not suit. But if you’re a fan of chopping and changing vehicles, PCP is ideal.

PCP finance deals often have low deposits as well as flexible repayment terms with low monthly repayments. You can choose to own the car at the end of the finance term, in which case you’ll make one final balloon payment, or can hand the car back to the dealer.

Bear in mind that, although the monthly repayments for PCP can be lower than HP, you’ll often end up paying more overall. If you exceed a mileage cap or cause wear and tear, you’ll also have to cough up.

Personal contract hire (PCH)

PCH is a way of leasing the vehicle – it’s essentially a long-term rental. Servicing and maintenance fees are included, and there’s a mileage cap as well as an initial deposit. As such, PCH can work out cheaper overall than PCP, but it will usually cost more in monthly payments.

With PCH, you hand the car back to the dealer at the end of your finance term. Your repayments are fixed, but payment terms are flexible and you can generally change providers.

Find a cheap car finance deal that works for you

Searching the car finance market and securing affordable car finance can feel overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to be. My Car Credit has hundreds of helpful blogs and articles for you to browse through. We also have a large network of trusted lenders to help you find the cheapest way to finance a car for your requirements. Contact us on to get the ball rolling.

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
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  • 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
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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!