Am I Eligible For Car Finance?

Knowing if you're eligible for financing or loans is important if you're looking for an affordable way to buy a car.

There are several ways to check if you qualify for car financing, but it all begins with knowing your budget and whether you can afford the monthly payments on the car.

You can do this easily by using an online eligibility checker. This way, you can decide if financing a car is the best option for you.

Read on to learn more about checking your eligibility for car finance.   

Car Finance Eligibility: Requirements and Factors

When applying for car finance in the UK, you must meet certain requirements and provide specific documentation to lenders.

While these requirements can vary slightly among lenders, here are the common prerequisites when applying for car finance:


You must be at least 18 years old to apply for car finance in the UK.


You need to be a UK resident with a permanent address, although some lenders may have specific requirements regarding how long you've been living in the UK.

Valid Driving Licence

You should have a valid UK driving licence. Lenders often require that you have a full driving licence, but some may consider provisional licence holders, albeit with stricter criteria.

Income and Employment

Lenders want to ensure you have a stable source of income to make monthly payments. You'll need to provide proof of income, such as payslips or bank statements. Self-employed individuals may need to show business accounts or tax returns.

Credit History

Your credit history plays a significant role in the approval process. Lenders assess your creditworthiness through a credit check, so it's important to have an understanding of your credit score and history. 


Lenders will assess your ability to afford the car finance payments. They'll consider your income, expenses, and existing debts to determine the loan amount you can comfortably manage.


While not always required, a larger upfront deposit can improve your eligibility and potentially lead to more favourable loan terms.

Residential Stability

Having a stable residential address history can be viewed positively by lenders. Frequent address changes or a lack of a fixed address may affect your eligibility.


You'll need to provide proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence, as well as proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.


Lenders typically require that you have appropriate insurance coverage for the financed vehicle, so you may need to arrange insurance before finalising the car finance agreement.

Bank Account

You'll need a UK bank account for the loan funds to be deposited into and for making monthly payments.

It's important to note that specific lenders may have additional or slightly different requirements, so it's advisable to check with the lender directly or review their eligibility criteria before applying for car finance. 

How to Check Your Car Finance Eligibility Online

Am I qualified to get car finance? This is an important question to ask before you apply for financing. Nowadays, it's a lot easier and faster to check your eligibility.

To check online if you're eligible for car finance in the UK, you can follow these steps:

Gather Your Information

Before you begin the online eligibility check, collect all the necessary information and documents, including your personal details, income information, and employment history.

Choose a Lender or Comparison Website

Start by selecting a reputable lender or using a car finance comparison website. Many lenders and comparison sites in the UK offer online eligibility check tools.

Access the Online Eligibility Check Tool

Navigate to the lender's or comparison site's website and look for their car finance eligibility check tool. This tool may be labelled as "Check Eligibility," "Pre-Approval," or something similar.

Enter Your Information

Follow the prompts and enter the required information into the online form. This typically includes details such as your name, address, date of birth, employment status, income, and the type of car you're interested in financing.

Submit Your Details

After completing the form, submit your information for assessment. Some lenders provide an instant decision, while others may take some time to review your application.

Review the Results

Once you receive a response, the online tool will provide information about your eligibility. This may include whether you're likely to be approved for car finance, the loan amount you might qualify for, and the interest rate you could receive.

Compare Offers

If you receive positive results, take note of the offers and terms provided. If you're using a comparison website, you may receive multiple offers from different lenders. Compare these offers to find the one that best suits your needs.

Remember that an online eligibility check is not a guaranteed approval, but it can provide a preliminary assessment of your eligibility based on the information you provide.

Actual approval and loan terms will depend on a more thorough review of your financial situation by the lender.

How do I prepare for a car finance application?

Getting finance to purchase a new car can be intimidating for some people, especially since there’s no assurance that your application will be granted.

So before you start applying for one, remember there are certain requirements for getting car finance in the UK, and you have to be ready to undergo scrutiny of your financial position.

Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare for your car finance application:

Check Your Credit Score First

It is highly recommended to review your credit score before you apply. You can quickly check your credit score online, which may cost you little to nothing.

An excellent credit score is important because some low-priced deals are only available to those with great scores.

If your credit score is not that great, you can still secure credit, although you may have to shell out more for the deposit and be prepared for a higher interest rate.

Report Any Errors in Your Credit Report

Errors in your credit history can significantly affect your score and limit offers that may be available to you.

Errors and inconsistencies may lead you to high-priced deals or, worse, refusal of your application because of the incorrect entries in your report.

It is essential that you check your car finance eligibility to ensure that everything is correct before you begin applying for car finance.

What are the requirements for car finance?

The primary requirements for car finance are age, income, proof of identity and address, and affordability.

For most lenders, you will need to meet the following requirements in order to get car financing with them:

Stable Employment

Being employed full-time or part-time will give your application a higher chance of being accepted. Finance companies feel more confident lending money to employed people because they know they will be more able to afford and pay the monthly repayments.

Consistent Income 

Even if you’re not employed, you may still be eligible for car finance by showing proof of income. Those who are self-employed or retired may opt to follow this direction, as it may work with some lenders. 

Proof of Identity

Another essential requirement is proof of identity. You will need to present your driver’s licence when applying for car finance.

Non-UK nationalities can still apply for car finance as long as they are UK residents, already have a credit history in the UK, and fulfil the other requirements stated above. 

Car Finance Application Tips

Here are three tips you can use when applying for car finance. They may sound like obvious advice but remember that getting a loan for a car is a major commitment. These tips are here to help you avoid headaches down the road.  

Be Truthful

First, don’t make false statements and claims. Doing so is not a sensible move, as finance companies can easily detect fraudulent information.

You can be in trouble for fraud, and as a consequence, you can’t apply for car finance for several years.

Know the Application Process

Before applying for car finance, make sure you have done your research. You may contact the lender in advance and find out any specific requirements, as well as finance options available for you.

With Carmoola, you can simply apply for car finance using our app. It's easy and straightforward. The whole process only takes a few minutes, and you'll know the result instantly. You can buy the car you want within the same day. 

Curious how that's possible? Read more about how Carmoola works!

Read and Understand the Agreement

When you're done with all the steps mentioned above, it’s time to complete your application. It is important that you read everything carefully. Before you sign the agreement, ask questions if something is unclear to you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your lender. They'll be more than willing to assist you with your purchase.

Do I need to get a guarantor?

Depending on the lender, you may be able to get a guarantor for your car finance application. If your credit score is insufficient, you may include a guarantor to help you secure car financing.

Guarantors are people who have the financial capacity to assure finance companies that they will pay on your behalf in case you’re unable to. 

But remember that you can’t just get any guarantor. They should be at least 21 years old with a decent credit history.

Their credit history is important since they will be covering the cost of payment for you in the event that you miss payments. 

Do note that not all lenders offer guarantor car financing.  

Do I need a car finance broker?

Although a good credit score is important for getting a good finance deal, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't get access to funding. For example, you may have success with a specialist funder through a dealer or broker.

Specialist funders exclusively work with clients who have average to poor credit scores. The only downside here is you will have to pay a higher monthly fee or interest since you’ll be considered a greater risk.

But paying on time every time throughout your loan term will help improve your credit score and give you an advantage next time you apply for financing.

The Role of Credit History in Car Finance Approval

Your credit history plays a significant role when assessing your car finance application in the UK. Lenders use your credit history to evaluate your creditworthiness and assess the risk associated with lending you money.

Here's how credit history influences your car finance application process:

Credit Check

Lenders will typically conduct a credit check, also known as a credit reference check, to review your credit history.

This involves obtaining a copy of your credit report from one or more credit reference agencies, such as Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.

Credit Score

Your credit report contains information about your borrowing and payment history, including credit cards, loans, mortgages, and other financial accounts.

Based on this information, credit reference agencies calculate a credit score for you, which provides a quick summary of your creditworthiness.

Risk Assessment

Lenders use your credit score and credit report to assess the level of risk associated with lending to you.

A higher credit score indicates a lower-risk borrower, while a lower score suggests a higher risk. Lenders prefer lower-risk borrowers because they are more likely to make payments on time.

Approval Decision

Your credit history can directly impact whether your car finance application is approved or declined.

Lenders may have specific credit score thresholds that applicants must meet for approval. Those with excellent credit histories are more likely to be approved and offered more favourable terms.

Interest Rate

If you are approved for car finance, the interest rate you receive is often tied to your credit history.

Those with better credit scores are typically offered lower interest rates, while individuals with lower scores may receive higher rates.

Loan Terms

Your credit history can also influence the terms of the car finance agreement, such as the loan amount, repayment period, and any required deposit. A stronger credit history may lead to more flexible terms.

Affordability Assessment

Lenders consider your credit history when conducting an affordability assessment. They want to ensure that you can comfortably make the monthly payments alongside your existing financial commitments.

A strong credit history can improve your chances of getting approved for car finance in the UK and securing better loan terms.

Therefore, it's essential to maintain a good credit history by making payments on time, managing your debts responsibly, and regularly checking your credit report for accuracy.

Soft Credit Checks: Impact on Your Credit Score

A soft check, also known as a soft inquiry or soft pull, does not affect your credit score. Soft checks usually occur when a lender checks your credit report for informational purposes only.

Soft inquiries are typically made for background checks, pre-approval offers, or when you check your own credit report.

Here are some common examples of soft checks that do not impact your credit score:

  1. Checking your own credit report through a credit monitoring service or credit reporting website.
  2. Background checks by potential employers or landlords to assess your financial history and reliability.
  3. Pre-approval checks by lenders to determine whether you qualify for certain financial products. This is common with credit card pre-approval offers.
  4. Insurance companies reviewing your credit report as part of their underwriting process.
  5. Creditors or lenders reviewing your credit as part of an account review or account management process for existing customers.

Soft checks are different from hard checks (hard inquiries or hard pulls), which occur when you apply for credit, such as a loan, credit card, or mortgage.

Hard checks can have a minor negative impact on your credit score, typically by a few points. It's important to be aware of the type of inquiry being conducted to understand how it may affect your credit.

Don't worry about soft checks, as they are harmless to your credit score, whereas hard checks can have a temporary and minor impact on it.

Check If You Can Get Financing with Carmoola!

Check your budget using our car finance calculator and this car finance eligibility checker. Take advantage of a car finance credit checker to gauge your credit score and how you’ll fare on your car finance application.

Free credit checkers online are available, and you can use them without worrying about any obligation that ties you down immediately to a car finance application.

Another good thing about checking your eligibility through an online checker is it doesn’t affect your credit score and will give you an idea of what to expect for your car finance application. 

Did you know you can even apply to refinance your car if you feel your current interest rate and repayments are too high? Check out how you could refinance your existing loan with Carmoola and save ££££s! 😍

FAQs on Car Finance and Credit Scores

Can I Get Car Finance with Bad Credit?

Yes, it is possible to get car finance with bad credit, but it can be more challenging. Many lenders and specialist car finance companies in the UK offer options tailored to individuals with poor credit histories. 

However, individuals with bad credit may face higher interest rates, stricter eligibility criteria, and smaller loan amounts. 

To increase your chances, consider improving your credit score, making a larger deposit, or seeking the assistance of a co-signer or guarantor. 

Carefully assess your budget to ensure you can comfortably manage the payments, including insurance and other associated costs.

How Do I Increase My Credit Score?

To increase your credit score, start by paying all your bills and credit obligations on time, as payment history is a significant factor in your score. 

Reduce credit card balances to below 30% of your credit limit, as lower credit utilisation demonstrates responsible credit management. 

Avoid opening multiple new credit accounts in a short period, as this can lower your average account age. 

Keep older, well-managed accounts open to establish a longer credit history. Regularly review your credit report for errors and dispute inaccuracies. 

Finally, be patient, as improving your credit score takes time and consistent financial responsibility.

Is a Car Finance Broker the Right Option for Me?

A car finance broker can be a suitable option if you want assistance finding car finance deals that match your specific needs and financial situation. 

Brokers have access to multiple lenders and can help you compare offers, potentially saving you time and effort. 

They may also have expertise in navigating the car finance process, which can be especially beneficial if you have unique circumstances, such as poor credit or complex financial requirements. 

However, it's essential to carefully consider the broker's fees, as their services may come at a cost. 

If you have a good understanding of car finance and are willing to research and negotiate on your own, you might opt to approach lenders directly to secure a car finance deal.

Does Checking My Car Finance Eligibility Affect My Credit Score?

No, checking your car finance eligibility, often referred to as a soft inquiry or soft check, does not impact your credit score. 

Soft inquiries occur when you or a lender reviews your credit report for informational purposes, such as pre-approval offers or background checks. 

These inquiries are not associated with credit applications, and therefore, they have no effect on your credit score. 

However, it's essential to distinguish soft checks from hard inquiries, which occur when you apply for credit, such as a loan or credit card. 

Hard inquiries can have a minor negative impact on your credit score, typically by a few points.

How to Improve Your Car Finance Eligibility?

To improve your car finance eligibility, start by checking your credit report for errors and addressing any inaccuracies. 

Paying bills and existing debts on time will positively impact your credit score. Reducing credit card balances and maintaining a low credit utilisation rate (below 30%) is also crucial. 

Consider saving for a larger upfront deposit, as this can demonstrate commitment to the loan and reduce the risk for lenders. 

If your credit is poor, explore specialised lenders or consider adding a co-signer with good credit to your application. 

Additionally, improve your overall financial stability by maintaining a steady job and residence, which can boost your eligibility for car finance.

What Are the Key Factors Affecting Car Finance Eligibility?

The key factors affecting car finance eligibility include your credit history and credit score, as lenders use these to assess your creditworthiness and determine the level of risk in lending to you. 

Your income and employment status are crucial, as they demonstrate your ability to make monthly payments. 

Residential stability and a stable address history are often viewed positively by lenders. 

The type and amount of the loan, as well as the vehicle's age and value, can also influence eligibility. 

A larger deposit or down payment can improve your chances of approval. 

Ultimately, lenders evaluate your ability to repay the loan and manage the associated financial responsibilities.