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How long does it take for car finance to be approved?

Once you’ve applied for your car finance, it can take a short while to hear if you’ve been accepted

Car finance

It’ll normally take between 1-2 days for car finance to be approved in the UK, but some lenders will let you know their decision within 24 hours.

You’ll need to get approved for finance in order to get on the road in your new car, so the finance company will run some checks to see if you’re the right fit for the loan.

Sometimes you might have to wait a little bit longer to get your car finance approval, especially if there are errors in your application, so try and make sure that everything is right before sending it off.

How long does car finance approval take?

When your dream car feels like it’s within reach, the car finance application process can seem like the longest thing in the world. It’s much quicker now than it used to be, thanks to a more streamlined system.

The average car finance application will usually be approved in 1-2 business days, but our finance partners can usually get back to you within the first 24 hours.

You’ll then have five days to confirm your offer by doing a digital ID check, and your car will be reserved and waiting for you in the meantime.

What checks are done for car finance?

Applying for car finance (like Personal Contract Purchase or Hire Purchase) will see you go through a checking process. Usually, there’ll be a first-stage soft credit check that will see if you’re the right fit for the loan. This will scout out some general details from your credit report and won’t be recorded on your credit history. If your soft check goes through without any problems, you’ll usually then move on to a hard check.

A hard credit check is the type you should use sparingly – these leave marks on your credit report and too many might put future lenders off. This will take a look into your full credit history to make sure you’re a good fit for the car finance, and will see you get approved for your loan.

If your credit history is poor (or you’re just starting out and don’t have any credit history at all), you might struggle to be accepted through credit checks.

Is it hard to get accepted for car finance?

It’s usually not too hard to get accepted for car finance if you fit the criteria the lender wants. In most cases, you’ll need a good credit history and an application that’s correct and honest.

If you get caught out on the details, your lender might see this as a red flag and feel reluctant to give you the finance. You’ll need to check over your application to make sure all your addresses, employment history, and other details are correct.

Can I get car finance with bad credit?

There are a few ways you can get car finance with poor credit, and we’ve got a full poor credit finance guide that will give you the details.

You’ll usually still be able to get a finance deal but the amount of interest you’ll pay might be a lot higher, so it’s often a good idea to weigh this up before you go ahead. If the amount of interest still fits your budget, you might have no issues with going ahead.

Some lenders specialise in car finance for poor credit, or you might be able to put a guarantor on your agreement to give the lender some extra peace of mind.

There’s sometimes the option to offer a larger deposit, so the lender will feel like it’s taking less of a risk by giving you a smaller amount on finance. It’s usually best to just check through your options with a finance company to see what it can offer and what will suit your needs.

Learn more about car finance: