Car finance

Compare car finance and find a loan, hire purchase or PCP today with Runpath Regulated Services[1]

Car finance explained

There are lots of ways of financing a new car.

Although there are differences between them, most deals will ask you to make an initial deposit, then set monthly payments over the time period you agree. 

Whatever deal you choose, it’ll help you spread the cost of buying a car, although you’ll have to factor interest rates and fees into the total cost.

When you compare car finance with us, you’ll see all the options available to you – not just unsecured personal loans and secured car loans.

You’ll be able to compare loans against Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) and Personal Contract Hire (PCH) as well, to really help you find the right finance for your next car.

You need to know the difference between these products – you’ll own the car from the outset of the agreement with some types of finance, but with others you won’t until the end. And, in some cases, you will never actually own the vehicle.

With some deals you effectively only hire the car and will have to hand it back once the agreement ends, while with others you’ll need to make a larger final payment to take ownership.

Compare car finance types

Think about which features are important to you and choose the right type of finance.

Personal loan PCP PCH Hire purchase
Deposit and/or part exchange needed No Usually Usually Usually
Monthly payments Yes Yes Yes Yes
Balloon payment at the end No Yes Not applicable No
Excess mileage charges No Yes Yes No
Secured (against the car) No Yes Yes Yes
You own the car from the start Yes No You never own the car No
You own the car at the end Yes No - unless you pay the balloon payment No Yes

What’s the best car finance option?

It’s not so much a question of ‘best’, it’s more which is right for you.

If lower monthly payments are your priority, you might be drawn to PCP or contract hire.

On the other hand, you might be adamant that you want to own the car after the deal finishes, in which case a personal loan or hire purchase deal will be better for you.

To help you decide, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a deposit to put down?
  • How much can you afford to repay each month?
  • How much do you want to borrow?
  • Do you have a decent credit history?
  • How long do you want to keep this car?
  • Do you already have a specific make and model in mind?
  • Do you want to buy from a private seller, or a dealer?
  • If applicable, how will you pay for the balloon payment at the end of the agreement?

How to compare car finance

When you search for car finance deals with us, you can compare different types of finance against each other.

Just enter some details like your name, address and employment status. If you know it, you can tell us the number plate of the car you want to finance to help us find the most suitable deals for you.

Then you just need to choose the one that’s right for you.

What do I need to apply?

When you come to actually make your application, you’ll need to have to hand:

  • Your address
  • Your phone number and email address
  • Details of your income and employment status
  • Details of your outgoings

Can I get car finance with a poor credit score?

If you’ve had credit problems in the past it might be a bit harder to get accepted for the most competitive deals, or you might have less finance options to choose from. But it’s not impossible.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you’ll be rejected, or that your only option is to take out car finance through the car dealership – comparing will help you find the most competitive deals for you.

Some finance providers will allow you to make a ‘soft search’ application to find out if you’re likely to be accepted before you apply properly. That’ll help prevent your credit record from being adversely affected by too many unsuccessful applications.

Frequently asked questions

  • What does APR mean?

    APR stands for ‘annual percentage rate’. You’ll see it when you’re looking at loans because it basically tells you how much interest you’ll pay in one year as a percentage of the loan.

    You’ll be shown either an actual APR or a representative APR. With an actual APR you will be offered that rate on acceptance. A representative APR is only offered to 51% of people who are accepted for the loan – so the APR you need to pay could be higher or lower than this.

  • Can I buy a used car on finance?

    Car finance can be used to buy a new or a used car. You might be offered different types of finance depending on whether you’re buying new or second hand. Just put in your number plate when you search to be shown the right deals for the car you’re buying.

  • Will I be able to get finance?

    You’ll need to be over the age of 18 and live in the UK. Apart from that, your chances of being accepted for finance products will depend on your details, credit history and the car you want to buy.

  • Will car finance be expensive?

    As with most things, there are a range of deals available. Some will be cheaper per month, while others will work out costing less over the entire life of the deal.

    Think carefully about what the priorities are for you when you choose the type of deal you want and if you choose car finance with a balloon payment think about how you would pay for this if you want to keep the car at the end of your finance agreement.

  • Will a good credit score help?

    Yes. A blemish-free credit history can unlock the most competitive deals. If you’ve had credit problems in the past, you can find out how to improve your credit score before applying. But it’s still worth comparing to see what might be available for you.

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[1] introduces customers to Runpath Regulated Services, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.’s relationship with Runpath Regulated Services is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us. Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites and by using the links stated to access these separate websites you will be subject to the terms of use applying to those sites

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