Autonomous cars, hybrids, electric cars, novel city driving concepts – the car industry has entered one of its most exciting eras.

Unfortunately, only few can participate in the excitement.

Economic prospects have changed for the worse for many households. And so, the need for affordable loans has increased. Unfortunately, most banks have let consumers down. Car finance for bad credit especially has turned into a rare resource.

If you, too, are being punished by finance institutes for not fulfilling their credit requirements, we’re here to help. Neither a previous refusal nor a bad credit rating mean you won’t ever be able to get a car loan.

In this report, we’ll fill you in on how to improve your chances. And we’ll explain why getting a car loan with Concept Car Credit is different from what you may have experienced with other lenders.

When you think of car finance for bad credit, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Let us guess – subprime lenders. You’re not alone. And as subprime has gone mainstream, problems have multiplied. Today, the car finance industry is in a constant state of constant emergency. And every day, the risk of a meltdown is getting bigger.

Truly black sheep are thankfully in the minority. Experts still feel compelled to warn against annual percentage rates of up to 50%. But these are now the exception. If you’re seriously considering agreeing to one of these exploitative deals because you couldn’t get a decent loan elsewhere, we urge you to reconsider. With premiums like this, the danger of defaulting on your loan and losing everything is simply too high.

It is worrying, therefore, that subprime lending has entered the realm of regular car sales. Many dealers are willing to award a loan to customers who can never be trusted to pay it back under the given contractual conditions. Don’t be one of them.

There is no such thing as a bad credit rating

The interesting thing about car finance for bad credit is that there is actually no such thing. Or to be more precise, you have many different credit ratings, some of which may be better or worse than others.

Credit ratings are calculated using the information from your credit history. It lists several criteria about how you’ve handled payments in the past. Each dealer or bank uses their own algorithm to weight these factors. So although each institution uses the same numbers, the outcome of these calculations can – and will – vary.

“Just because you’ve been judged too high a risk for one company, doesn’t mean all companies will reject your application,” carbuyer.co.uk agrees.

This means that things are rarely as bad as they seem after your first rejection.

What is your credit score based on?

Curiously, there is desperately little that UK lenders can actually get to know about your credit score. They can not see every instance where you’ve missed a payment or paid too late. They can not see every single default – only if the case has gone to court.

So, what is your credit score actually based on? The following data is available for potential lenders:

  • Any previous financial contact you’ve had with the lender. They’re allowed to keep records of this and can use it against you.
  • Credit card information. This one’s more interesting, depending on the company you’re with. They may include court records and various account data. This can merely include more or less vague information about how well you’ve behaved as a customer. But it can also be very concrete: How much you’ve borrowed and repaid, whether you have a promotional deal etc …
  • Limited information from energy/phone providers if you’ve changed your provider in the past.
  • Footprints about previous applications that may have failed.

Why would car finance companies want to know these things?


To improve your chances of finding car finance for bad credit, you first need to understand what most lenders actually base their decision on. Even though credit ratings differ, after all, they do make use of the same criteria.

Ultimately, financial institutions want to estimate the risk of you defaulting on your repayments. Or, as moneysavingexpert have put it, it is about “trying to predict your future behaviour”.

This is why having no credit history is almost as bad as having a bad one: because banks have nothing to base their predictions on.

There are typically obvious deal breakers like fraud or bankruptcy. And then there are less strict selection criteria, such as your credit card repayment history. It is the weighting of these factors that ultimately decides your chances of getting a car finance deal despite a less than perfect credit rating.

And there’s a little more …

All car financing companies will also ask you to fill out an application form. Although the information contained in it may not seem particularly revealing, it does provide them with some very important numbers.

These include your monthly income, family size and whether or not you own a home of your own.

This is why these numbers matter so much:

  • Your salary is the basis for your repayments.
  • The size of your family is an indication of your current financial obligations. The more children you have, the higher your monthly expenses.
  • Your home can be used as a collateral should you default on your loan.

Combined with the data mentioned in the previous paragraphs, these numbers give lenders a rough, but not entirely precise view of your current financial status.

How to improve your credit rating

As we’ve mentioned before, your credit rating is not the only factor deciding on your loan application. Car finance is possible with some dealers even if you have bad credit. So it is with us, for example. To decide whether or not we can assist you financially, we always try to bring monthly payments down to what you can really afford. (You can easily apply for car finance using our application form. You’ll typically get a reply within a few hours)

Still, you should do everything in your power to improve your credit rating, as it can significantly improve your chances of success.

These are the best options at your disposal:

  • If you don’t yet have a credit card, get one and use it as your priority payment instrument. Make sure to always pay for your purchases in full and as soon as possible. Don’t leave a balance on it at the end of the month.
  • If you already have a credit card, try to clean up the account as much possible. If there are open balances, pay off the small amounts first. Then, work your way forward towards the larger ones.
  • Prioritise payments to energy and phone providers just to keep your balance with them clean.
  • Don’t use your credit card for risky deals such as credit card cash advances.
  • If you’re not on electoral role, get on it now.
  • If you’re sharing a financial bill with someone with a bad credit rating, separate yourself from them financially.
  • Apply for only a few loans within a short span of time.

Car Finance for Bad Credit: Your Options

Some of these measures should be possible for just about everyone. Others are harder to realise. In the end, some may not be able to improve your credit score no matter how hard you try.

That’s the moment you should begin looking for car finance for bad credit.

As we’ve mentioned, subprime lending is not the way to go. PCPs are a possibility, since dealers are more than willing to offer them to just about everyone. However, they only apply to new cars. This makes them more expensive than some of the great deals you can get on used vehicles.

Below we’ve compiled some of the easy – and sometimes obvious – options how you can improve your chances of getting an auto loan.

Alternatives: Select cheaper models

One of the great things about the car industry these days is that there are hardly any bad options. Thanks to brands like Skoda and Dacia, even posh city cars and exciting SUVs can still be affordable. This has significantly reduced entry barriers.

If you’re pressed for cash, it is a wise decision to focus on these cheaper models rather than chasing your dream car. Even a three year old Dacia Duster can be a brilliant drive and give you many years of car joy.

Alternatives: Select cheaper colours

Hard to believe, but the colour of a second hand car can affect its price. Standard timbres like white, black and grey tend to be more popular and thus more expensive than leftfield colours such as orange or green.

The difference in price may not be particularly impressive, but it can be helpful to know that you can still make a dent in your costs.

Alternatives: Less extras

One of the biggest mistakes of many buyers – not just rookies – is to buy too many extras. It is sometimes shocking how quickly the overall price of a vehicle can rise only by adding a few treats. And we’re not talking about a few quid here, but several thousands of pounds.

Thankfully, many accessories considered a luxury item have today become a standard feature for many cars. This includes an air conditioning as well as vital safety features such as airbags and ABS. This allows you to really save in the extras department.

If there are items you would nonetheless love to add to your car, at least heed this recommendation: get them a few months after you’ve purchased your car. This will help you assess whether you really need them – and whether you can actually afford them.

Alternatives: Buying used at CCC


Obviously, the best thing you can do to keep costs down is to buy used. You should never consider this an inferior choice. After all, many second hand vehicles feel like new. And buying a late stage Mk7 Ford Fiesta can give you a car with less problems than an early adopter Mk8. Used cars come with a warranty and can run smoothly for many years.

Since we place a strong focus on car finance for bad credit, used cars are our priority. In our showroom, you can find new and exciting models every single day. These include some of the most popular models on the UK market. And they have all been extensively refurbished and cleaned.

Getting a loan with us is simple and fair. Simply fill in our application form and mail it to us. We’ll go over the information and decide within a few hours. We’ll also decide whether or not you will need to put down a car finance deposit.

Our approach is to focus on what you can afford and to tailor the loan to your needs and possibilities. This way, you can find yourself behind the wheel again without having to resort to extortionately bad credit finance deals.