How to get a car with bad credit

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Rates from 29% APR
(49.6% APR Representative)
Subject to status and affordability

Are you looking to buy a car but worried about your poor credit profile?

It might not seem possible to get a car with a bad credit history, but there could be a way to get approved for finance – and we are the experts who could help you do it.

Here at Go Car Credit, we specialise in helping drivers get behind the wheel. That’s because we look at more than just your credit rating. Whether you’ve had financial issues or CCJs in the past, we could consider you for hire purchase on a used car from one of the dealerships in our UK network.

To help you find out how more about how to get a car with a bad credit score, take a look at our guide.

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Representative example – Total amount of credit £4750, annual interest rate 25% (fixed), charge for credit £3572.48 (£3562.48 interest charged and £10 option to purchase fee), total amount payable £8322.48, 36 monthly instalments of £231.18. 49.6% APR Representative. – Subject to status & affordability.


Where does the credit score come from?

Before you look at your finance options and the cars available for people with bad credit, it’s worth taking the time to work out what a bad credit rating is. By doing this, you can see if it’s possible to improve your profile.

To begin, it’s important to know where your credit rating comes from. Also known as a credit score, your rating is the number that’s formed from your credit report. The credit report is a record of your credit history, listing every debt and form of credit you’ve had previously and how you’ve managed them. The three credit reference agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion (formerly known as CallCredit), hold the information about your credit history.


What is a bad credit rating?

According to Experian, based on a range of 300 to 850, a credit score that falls below 579 is classed as ‘very poor’ and anything between 580 and 669 is ‘fair’. Lenders use the score to decide how much of a risk it would be to loan you some money or give you credit, so if they see it’s below 579, they can quickly make a decision.

If you have a poor rating, you might find that you aren’t approved for credit at all. However, at Go Car Credit we take more than your credit history into account when you apply to us, making it possible for you to get a car even with a bad credit rating, subject to status and affordability checks.



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Why do I have a bad credit rating?

There are a few reasons why you may have a fair or poor credit score. These could include:

  • Failing to meet credit repayments and/or to sticking to the conditions of the credit agreement
  • Being the subject of a county court judgement (CCJ)
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Being the victim of identity theft

Once you know what your score is and the information the agencies have for you, you can make sure it all looks right. Sometimes information can be missed. For example, you might have paid off a credit card, but this hasn’t been updated on your credit report. For more information on what to do if your credit report is not correct, please visit


Why is my credit file important when choosing car finance?

Your credit report is made up of the different types of services, loans, and forms of credit you’ve signed up for. This includes car finance.

As financing a car is a service that requires repayments for something that you are buying in instalments, your credit file will be checked to see how you’ve managed payments in the past. So, as with other applications for credit, if you have a poor credit history it could affect whether you’re accepted for finance or not.


I think I’ve got a bad credit rating. Who’ll give me car finance?

Don’t let having a bad credit rating put you off applying for car finance if you really think you can afford the monthly payments and are in need of a new car. If you’ve checked your file, and it’s not where you want it to be, it’s still possible for you to speak to us about your options. Our aim is to make it possible for motorists to get a car, even with a bad credit history.

We won’t ever make a decision just based on your credit history. Instead, we’ll create a rounded view of who you are based on your income and how much you can afford to pay. Then we’ll discuss what type of repayment plan could work for you so that it’s achievable.

Although we can’t guarantee you’ll be accepted for car finance, we do offer hire purchase. This can be a good option if you’re trying to work out how to get a car with a bad credit file.


What’s hire purchase car finance?

If you choose hire purchase, you get to buy your car without paying in full before you can drive it. You’re hiring the car from us and your purchase is secured against the car itself.

This means that until you pay off the agreed amount, the car is legally owned by Go Car Credit, and you’re the registered keeper while you pay the fixed monthly instalments over the payment period. After you pay the agreed amount, which is the car’s value plus the amount of interest, in full, as well as the £10 option to purchase fee, the car is then yours.

If you find at any point that you can’t make the repayments, let us know as soon as possible. We’ll then take the time to work with you and potentially resolve the issue. As a last resort, we can repossess the car, but there are different options available we can take before we get to that point.


Can a car finance application harm my credit profile?

Almost every application for personal finance influences your credit file, and buying a car is one type of finance that can factor into how your credit profile looks. If you already have bad credit, applications for car loans may show up on your credit report when the company runs the initial credit check, but only if it is a hard search. This is because it shows you’re looking for a form of credit again.

However, if you’re accepted for car finance, and you keep up with the agreed repayments on the agreed date, the application could work in your favour. By paying off the hire purchase payments, your credit score could eventually move towards a higher number and away from the bad credit category. It could also help if your other credit commitments were up-to-date and repayments made on time.


How to get a car with bad credit and be accepted for car finance

Even if you have bad credit now, there are some simple ways to potentially improve your chances of getting accepted for car finance with us. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to help you do this. Some of these include:

  • Keep up to date with all your monthly repayments
  • Get yourself on the electoral register where you live
  • Check your credit profile(s) and correct any errors

You should remember that a lender won’t just use your credit score to make their decision. So, a high score isn’t necessarily to be all and end all. But it can certainly maximise your chances of being approved for car finance, or other products like a loan, credit card or mortgage.


Does Go Car Credit consider everyone?

While we can’t guarantee you’ll be accepted for car finance with us, we do have criteria that does need to be met, we will then work with you to see if it’s possible to approve your application. We look at your whole story, as we understand that there are plenty of reasons why someone might have a less than ideal rating.

Let’s take this example of the situation you might currently be in: if you’re looking for car loans and have a history of bad credit, ideally with no guarantor required, or if you are on benefits, once you have passed our initial checks, we will review your financial circumstances to see if we can help you get car finance.

If you had poor credit, and you’re on benefits, it doesn’t mean you can never get car finance. We’ll look at your circumstances and see how we could help get you a car.


I have bad credit. Why choose a car loan from Go Car Credit?

We understand that you are trying to work out how to get a car with a bad credit history. You may think it’s not possible to finance a motor right now. But we specialise in providing cars for people with bad credit and will talk to you about your circumstances.

Unlike other car finance providers, we may be able to help you get back on the road. Here’s what we could offer you:

  • Different lending criteria: Have you already been turned down for finance? We don’t have the same requirements as other car finance providers, and will look at more than just your credit score.
  • Upfront costs: We don’t spring any hidden costs on you. All terms and conditions are explained upfront, so you don’t need to worry about nasty extra charges being sprung on you.
  • Responsible lending: We’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Highly recommended: We have an ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot that’s based on hundreds of independent customer reviews.
  • Easy to apply: It’s easy to apply online. Just fill out our quick application form, and we will make a decision within 30 minutes.

As well as all of this, we’ve made it easy for you to see how much finance with us will cost. Use our car finance calculator to get an idea of how much repayments will be, plus a timetable, so you can see how long it will take to pay off.


Will I pay more because I have a bad credit score?

If you have a bad credit history and experienced issues with getting other forms of credit, you may be paying a higher interest rate.

Our interest rate may be perceived as high compared to other finance providers, but we would like you to consider that we serve a specific sector of the motor finance market in the UK who are usually excluded from getting finance elsewhere.

We have provided these customers with the opportunity to get behind the wheel and be independent.

There are no hidden fees or other small print, and we never try to sell anything else alongside the finance package.

Our APR’s are positioned in such a way that means we are able to sustain our position in the market that we operate and continue to help many customers that without our product would not have a viable alternative means of financing their car.

Your circumstances may be different to someone else who’s trying to get a car with a bad credit score, so how much you pay, and the repayment plan will depend on your own financial situation.

In a lot of cases, you’ll hear from our experienced team members who will assess your application and create a repayment plan that’s unique to you. This will look at your income and outgoings, so you have a personalised plan that suits your finances.

From there, you can take a look around one of our approved dealerships that will provide the vehicle to you. It’s important to note that your repayment plan will also look at the car you choose. The price of the car, along with the cost of insurance and fuel along with road tax and MOT will all affect how affordable it is.


Get in touch

Choose the car you want from of the dealerships in our UK network. You’ll find us at locations across the map, from Newcastle to Portsmouth. Call our team on 01925 696 373 to explore your options.