Can I get car finance with bad credit?

This is one of the questions we get asked most frequently, but also one of the ones that has quite a complex answer!  The truth is that there is no such thing as “bad credit”. Almost anybody can get access to some form of borrowing if they search through enough financial providers (if its affordable).  The difficulty which some borrowers face is getting hold of bad credit car finance in the amount that they need and at an interest rate that still makes borrowing an appealing option. To answer this question more fully, it's important to first understand how lenders decide on the amount they are prepared to lend you and how much interest they expect you to pay. 

car finance with bad credit

Lenders base their decisions on the level of risk you represent to them. If the information you give leads them to believe that you are a high risk (ie: it's highly likely you won't stick to your loan agreement terms), they are likely to refuse to lend to you completely. If you're a moderate risk, they may lend, but the terms will reflect your risk profile; low risk borrowers can expect to enjoy the opportunity to borrow plenty and pay it back at a low rate of interest.

There are a number of different factors that can affect the level of risk lenders believe you represent to them.  These can include:

  • Not being on the electoral register
  • Frequent changes of address
  • An address you live at being identified as one where there is a history of unpaid debt
  • Falling behind on any type of repayment agreement – this could include anything from an electricity bill through to a mortgage.

Much of this information is held on a central database and forms the basis of your “credit history”. When you want to borrow, a lender may conduct a “credit search” which is where they take a look at your credit history.  As part of this process, they will often calculate a “credit score”.  This is based on your credit situation when the search took place.  Generally credit that's being well-managed will be attributed a high score. Individuals who have a history of defaulting, non-repayment or financial instability will be attributed a lower score. Scores vary depending on which organisation is conducting the search; they also vary over time, depending on your on-going ability to manage your finances. 

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It's important to remember the following:

  • Credit scores vary over time; if you've been declined credit in the past, actions such as repaying arrears or sticking to repayment plans can cause your credit score to increase and vice versa.
  • Different lending companies have different views on risk. Some will tolerate more risk and be prepared to lend to you, even if you've had a few repayment problems in the past. 
  • There is no such thing as “bad credit”. Lending companies simply use their own criteria to assess the level of risk you represent and tailor what they offer you accordingly.

If you have been declined car finance for poor credit previously or feel that you have a poor credit history, we can often still find you a broker or lender who's prepared to offer you appropriate finance. Our brokerage service works with many different lenders and broker, many of whom are happy to accept borrowers who may have had a few financial difficulties in the past. Even if you're not sure you'll be accepted, it's still worth asking us about car finance for poor credit – the solutions we come up with may well be a very pleasant surprise! 

Representative example:

Cash Price £7,500, borrowing £7,500 with £0 deposit and £0 charges over 48 months with an interest rate of 22.4% per annum fixed. Representative 22.4% APR fixed, the amount payable would be £234.75 a month, with a total cost of credit of £3,768.00 and a total amount payable of £11,268.00.


Sandhurst Associates Limited is a FCA-authorised credit broker, not a lender

Representative 22.4% APR.

We work exclusively with a selected group of lenders and brokers to offer you a range of credit and loan products. We may receive commission from lenders or brokers for introducing you to them or when you complete your application with them. You can request details of these commissions or fees, by emailing us. We will then provide you with the precise amount of the commission. Please note the broker we direct you to may not offer the cheapest loan that is available to meet your needs due to the panel of lenders they work with and/or have integrated with.

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Our Service

Flexible repayments - repay over a period of 12 to 60 months
No deposit - we work with a number of providers where no deposit is necessary
Choose any vehicle - whether it's a car, van, motorcycle, used or new, we may be able to help
No hassle - you will only be contacted when absolutely necessary

Our Team

Our team consists of experienced financial services personnel, who should be able to guide you through the process.

Upon completion, one of our partners who’s criteria you match may return an online quotation, in other cases they may contact you straight away to discuss further.

About Us

Find Me Car Finance is a trading name of Sandhurst Associates Limited based in Manchester.

As well as car finance, we also offer the ability to search for motorbike finance and van finance, both used and new.

Our simple solution to use an online application form makes it easy to apply for car finance, and is optimised for mobile use so you can apply on the move