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

How much can I borrow for a car?

A car is usually your second-most expensive asset, after your home. And how much you can borrow for it depends on a few things. 

When deciding whether to accept your finance application and working out how much you can borrow, a lender will look at a variation of your financial characteristics, as well as your credit history. 

Things like: 

  • Whether you keep up to date with other bills
  • How much you earn each month
  • If you already have a lot of other loans or lines of credit
  • The value of the car you’re interested in
  • How long you want the agreement to last
  • Whether you’re making a deposit and how much
  • How much it would cost you to run the vehicle

All of these things come together to help a lender decide whether to approve you for car finance and how much you can borrow. 

So, let’s take a look at how each impacts your application. 

Credit history

Your credit history includes things like whether you keep up to date with your monthly payments and bills and which other loans or lines of credit you already have open, such as a mortgage or credit cards. 

Missing payments or making too many applications for finance in a short period of time are two of the most damaging things you can do to your credit score. 

And lenders will use this information to see if you’re creditworthy and decide how much you can afford (your affordability). 

Read: What is a credit score and how does it affect a car finance application?

How much you earn

Another huge factor in your affordability is how much you earn. It’s not about earning the most, but whether you live within your means and what impact having car finance would make. 


If you already regularly spend more than you earn, then it’s less likely you’ll be accepted for a new car finance application, albeit not unheard of if you have a strong track record of keeping up with repayments. 

It’s also important for you to look at your affordability in detail before making an application or getting a car on finance. You don’t want to overstretch yourself, as the implications could be more than just damaging your credit score. 

The value of the car you’re interested in

Like how much you earn, a lender will look at the value of the car you’re interested in and make a judgement call on whether they think you can afford it. 

If, for example, you’re in a low-paying job or have little disposable income, the likelihood of you being accepted for finance on a luxury, £70,000 German saloon is slim. 

You need to be realistic in your choice of vehicle and make sure it fits your circumstances. And you may need to sacrifice some niceties of the car you want for the one that’s right for you. 

The length of the agreement 

How long the car finance agreement lasts also plays a contributing factor in how much you can borrow for a car. 


By taking the vehicle over a longer term, you pay less each month, although you usually pay more overall through higher interest. 

So, if you’re worried about affordability, a longer-term contract may allow you to borrow more, meaning you can get a nicer car. It’ll probably also make your monthly payments more comfortable. 

Deposit amount

When a lender decides how much you can borrow and whether to accept you or not, they’ll also consider how much deposit you’re making. 

Also known as an initial payment, a deposit is the amount of money you pay before you take the car away. 

Savings Tin And Car

Typically, the more deposit you put down, the more you can borrow, as you’re actually borrowing less. 

For example, if the car you want is £10,000, if you make no deposit, you’re borrowing £10,000. But if you make a £2,000 deposit, you’re only borrowing £8,000. 

So, even though it’s the same car and the same price, there’s a higher chance of you being accepted for the £10,000 car if you make a deposit. 

However, we understand that not everyone can or wants to make a deposit on their new car. That’s why all our vehicles come with a £0 deposit option

The cost of running the vehicle

Another thing a lender will consider when deciding how much you can borrow for car finance is the running costs of the vehicle. And you should, too. 

If your monthly repayment will put you on the very edge of your disposable income, or worse, a lender may not offer you the full amount. 

And you also need to remember that when you get a new car, it’s not just the monthly repayment you need to consider. 

There’s also the cost to insure, fuel, vehicle tax and maintenance. You can include some of these costs in your monthly payment with some of our vehicles.

So, how much can I borrow for a car? 

Now you know what a lender will consider, it’s time to find out how much you can borrow for a car. And you can do it easily online without affecting your credit score

Click the Apply Now button below, and within minutes we’ll be able to tell you whether you’ve been accepted for car finance and estimate how much you can borrow. 

Then, when it comes to looking for a new car, you already know what’ll be suitable for your circumstances and what won’t. 

car loan eligibility checker

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.