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How to find car finance when you are on a tight budget

piggy bank

At Hippo Motor Finance we only work with responsible lenders and we encourage our customers to buy great cars but the monthly budget always needs to be considered. With this in mind, what are the things you can consider when looking for a vehicle with finance that won’t break the bank?

They key is to find ways of lowering your monthly payments, and there are several ways you can consider doing this.

Get the best APR you can

Try get the best APR (Average Percentage Rate) that your credit score qualifies for by using a broker with a large panel of lenders. Many brokers will introduce you to one lender, but Hippo Motor Finance works with 14 lenders meaning we’ll find the lender with the best APR for you.

APR has a significant on your car finance agreement, as the lower your APR, the less you will have to pay back and the lower your monthly payments are.

Length of contract

Your contract length is a second consideration if you are worried about how much you pay every month. A longer contract, such as a four- or five-year contract brings down your monthly payment, while shorter contracts of two or three years increase your repayments. While this is convenient, bear in mind that the longer you borrow money the more you will pay in total at the end.

Look for value-for-money car deals

Value is hard to find if you are not looking for it but it’s amazing what you find when you have a good broker or car dealership to help you or if you put in the hard yards yourself to find a great deal. Try to find a broker that has a huge array of vehicles – this means that they are less likely to want to steer you towards a certain vehicle that might suit you but not them.

Hippo Motor Finance has thousands of new car lease deals but we also have hundreds of nearly new and used cars which are also available as lease deals like PCP (Personal Contract Plan) or PCH (Personal Contract Hire) or, alternatively you can opt for more traditional finance in the form of HP (Hire Purchase). Bottom line, we have so many real cars that we are happy to get the one that suits your needs, including your financial needs.

Our account managers are very good at finding small compromises that add up to big savings. At our head office we have a state of the art showroom and over 800 cars in stock plus 600 on the way. We frequently buy nearly new cars and we are able to market these at significant discounts and because we have a huge lending panel we can bring down monthly payments considerably. Because we also finance so many new cars, you are bound to find a bargain amongst the thousands of our new car lease deals if you have your heart set on a brand new car.

Many people have no problem buying a nearly new or used car on finance but what stops them is the fear that they might have bad luck and get a bad one. There is no concern for this at Hippo as firstly, we buy very carefully, secondly, we have a service team (body shop and workshop) of over 40 people whose job it is to assess, fix any small repairs and make your nearly new or used vehicle almost as good as new. We also ensure that every car or van that leaves our premises has a warranty in place, either the existing manufactures warranty or a complimentary Platinum warranty.

Calculating what you can afford

At Hippo we try not to lecture to customers about what they can and cannot afford but if you have concerns that you might overstretch yourself then consider doing an exercise where you look at your income, take an average over a 3 month period, then consider all of your must-have payments (like utility bills) and bills you cannot avoid. Once you subtract one from the other, hopefully, you will be left with an amount that represents your “discretionary income” which you can use to make your monthly payments with. It’s a good idea to build in a bit of a buffer here as seasonal spend (such as during the holiday season in December) can throw out your ability to make payments on time. Calculate how much car finance you can apply for with our handy Car Finance Calculator tool.

At Hippo Motor Finance, we are on your side and want to help you access the car you need for the monthly payment that’s right for you and we have the vehicles, finance relationships and team to do it. Apply for car finance today.

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.