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Can I get car finance with bad credit?

When you apply for car finance, one of the most important factors in assessing your suitability will be via a credit check. This can be off-putting to some motorists, whose first concern might be ‘can I get car finance with bad credit?’

While your chances of being accepted for car finance greatly increase with a good credit score, and you’re liable to get terms which are more lenient, if you have a bad credit score there are still options open to you.

Getting car finance with bad credit can be a challenge, and being accepted may bring with it higher interest rates for a longer term, but it is still a possibility.

Even then, there is work which can be done in the background to improve your credit score and therefore your chances of being approved on better terms. We’ll look at some of the causes of bad credit and what you can do to improve it to increase your chance of being accepted for car finance.

What causes bad credit?

Bad credit reveals your risk to lenders, with any examples of bad credit staying on your report for anywhere up to six years. This can be caused by any number of things including:

  • Making a payment late
  • Missing a payment
  • Being tied into too many finance agreements
  • Multiple credit applications in a short period
  • Outstanding County Court Judgements
  • Bankruptcy

These items will all be highlighted when a credit reference agency assesses your history to ascertain how you deal with credit, helping them to inform how you will be scored. The more bad credit, the lower your score and the less finance options will be available to you.

This can be improved though. We’ve previously offered five tips to boost your credit score as well as nine things that don’t affect your credit report which all offer advice on how to make the most of your situation and reduce your credit utilisation score.

Can I get car finance with bad credit and will I have to pay more?

While car finance may still be an option even with bad credit, you are likely to have to make some compromises. This is likely to be in the amount of credit offered to you to borrow and/or at a higher interest rate than normal. 

While this might seem unfair, it is due to your risk factor for repaying the amount back to the lender.

Whereas personal contract purchase and leasing are likely to be out of the question for funding your next car using car finance, hire purchase is likely to be your best option as it is essentially a secured loan using the asset, in this case the car, as security against repayments.

Who offers car finance with bad credit?

If you’ve received your credit report and know you have a less-than-stellar credit history, Hippo Motor Finance might be able to help. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to finance a car regardless of their credit history.

Some lenders won’t accept people with bad credit or financial difficulties, but it doesn’t stop dealers from putting applications through. We increase your chance of acceptance by working with specialist lenders.

On top of that, our eligibility checker discovers whether you’re likely to be accepted for car finance by performing a soft search on your credit history. This ensures if you do have bad credit you’re not affected.

Whether you have bad credit from missed payments or defaults, or other financial problems such as bankruptcy, DROs, DMPs, IVAs or CCJs; we can help you determine whether you’re eligible for car finance.

Representative Example of Credit

We expect more than 51% of our customers to achieve this rate.

Loan Amount Total Cost of Credit Representative APR 60 Monthly Payments Deposit Amount Loan Term Total Amount Payable
£7,500 £3831 19.1% APR £188.85 £0 60 Months £11,331

All offers are subject to change at any time, you must be 18 or over and finance is subject to status, vehicle availability and terms and conditions apply. We can introduce you to a limited number of finance companies, a commission may be received. Failure to maintain payments may result in termination of your agreement and the vehicle being returned, this could affect your credit rating and make it more difficult to obtain credit in the future. All prices correct at time of publication.

We purchase a wide variety of vehicles from all over the country to ensure the best quality and value for our customers, all of our cars go through a thorough inspection process and if they do not meet our standards we do not sell them. We endeavour to inform our customers (where possible) the provenance of the vehicle they are buying and as such we will always inform you if the vehicle has previously been either an ex fleet or hire car. Should your vehicle be an ex hire/fleet car please do not be concerned as we would never value this vehicle differently when you come to part exchange it and there is no difference to the CAP valuation either.

You should try and estimate the distance you will travel as accurately as possible to try and avoid excess mileage charges at the end of your contract.

All pictures and/or photos and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily the vehicle on offer. All offers are subject to change at any time and are subject to finance approval and vehicle availability. All prices correct at time of publication. E & OE.

Hippo Vehicle Solutions t/a Hippo Motor Finance is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FRN 658076. We are a Credit Broker not a Lender and can introduce you to a limited number of lenders. Subject to status and to UK residents only (excl. the Channel Islands). Individuals must be 18 or over. Guarantees and indemnities may be required. We typically receive a fixed commission calculated by reference to the vehicle model, product or amount you borrow, for introducing you to a lender but this does not affect the interest charged on the agreement, all of which are set by the lender. Images for illustrative purposes only. Hippo Vehicle Solutions t/a Hippo Motor Finance is an Appointed Representative of AutoProtect (MBI) Limited for insurance distribution purposes. AutoProtect (MBI) Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Its firm reference number is 312143. You can check this at

We endeavour to ensure that all information including the specifications and finance availability are accurate. Whilst we make every effort to display correct information we are aware that errors may occur occasionally. We are not able, therefore, to guarantee the accuracy of all information especially when given to us by third parties. If you do require clarification of some information you have seen on our website, please email us at . This does not affect your statutory rights.

We are a broker not a lender and our registered office is Unit 26 Trident Park, Trident Way, Blackburn, BB13NU.