Phone lines open today until 7pm
01254 956777
How It Works Apply Now

How to get car finance if you have no (or limited) credit history

How to get car finance with no credit

The truth is that getting car finance without, or with little, credit history is an unlikely event but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to build up your credit profile over a relatively short time period.

Don’t make too many credit applications

The first point to make is that if you know that your credit history is very limited, don’t be tempted to apply to loads of sources for finance as you are more likely to damage your credit history. If you do want to test the waters, make sure that the lender or broker you are using uses “soft search” which means that your credit file will not be negatively impacted by doing a credit search, even if you are rejected.

Thin credit files

On the opposite end of the spectrum, having a ‘thin’ credit file can also impact your finance application.

People have thin credit files for many reasons. The may be relatively young, have shunned credit facilities previously because they wanted to avoid being in any debt, have moved to the UK relatively recently, relied on their partner to set up credit facilities, so they have no or a limited credit footprint.

Whatever the reason that you have a thin credit history, here are some key things you can do to ensure that you start to build a decent file and that lenders will consider you in the future.


Identification is key. The lenders want to make sure that you are who you say you are. They establish this through a number of means but one of the first places they start is the Voters Roll. If you are not on the voter’s role then this is a very positive first step that you can take. Make sure you have a bank account and at least a debit card associated with it. Your bank is also a good place to approach for a credit card with a small facility – which can help to build up your credit profile.


Lenders also like stability. This means that it’s generally better not to move your residence very often. It’s one of the reasons lenders often ask the question, “How long have you been at your current address” followed by the request… “If resident for less than 3 years then please supply all your previous addresses during this period”.

Prove you can pay

Evidence of ability to pay. Lenders, unsurprisingly, want to see if you have a steady income so that their risk of non-payment by you is reduced. This means that unrecorded earnings are not only an issue for the taxman, but also for potential lenders who may want you to prove your earnings, particularly when purchasing something as large as a car. Unfortunately, zero hour contracts are not good news when it comes to applying for credit as the lenders have a greater risk in that you are less protected if a company wished to reduce your hours or part ways or goes into administration.

What can you do to improve your chances of being accepted?

It’s all well and good to know what it is that credit lenders want to see in applican’t, but what tips can someone with a limited or no credit history do?

  • Start small. If you apply for too much credit based on your earnings, this may well come up as a fraud alert or at least damage your chances.
  • Start smart. You can sign up with free credit score companies like ClearScore to get a monthly update of where you stand relative to your score. It’s very easy and free, plus they have some great hints and tips themselves so well worth the 10 minutes investment in time.
  • Store cards. Your first forays into borrowing should be small and steady. For example, look for a store card with a reasonable APR where you can purchase things that you would already buy like clothes. Don’t forget to check that they use soft search and apply for a small credit line – say £300.
  • Credit utilisation – the rule of thumb is not to use more than a third of your credit facility, so in the example above, if you have a £300 store card, try not to use more than £100 before paying it off.
  • Pay bills on time. It sounds obvious, but make sure you pay your bills on time, missing payments for utility contracts will negatively affect your score for example.

It’s not a great position to be in if you want credit but you have a limited credit history, but you have to start somewhere so if you follow the hints and tips above you will be that much closer to getting sufficient credit for a nice shiny car.

Don’t damage your chances of getting finance for your car – use Hippo Motor Finance’s soft search facility to check if you will be accepted 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.