Car finance and leasing deals are becoming increasingly more popular in the UK.
Almost 90 per cent of all car purchases in Britain is made on finance, according to the Finance & Leasing Association.
The industry is worth around £44billion last year and it increased by 13 per cent in value from February 2018 compared to 2017.
New research by Admiral has found that a number of consumers are confused by this type of deal.
Motorists are confused by which car finance options are available, how and when to use them, where to access car finance or the implications of taking out a loan.
Scott Cargill, UK CEO of Admiral Loans, says: “More people are opting for car finance to get the car they really want, but it’s essential consumers are clear on the different finance options available.
“Most importantly they need to choose a deal that’s affordable and right for them in the long term.
“For lots of people, getting a car on credit will be their first experience of finance so understanding repayment terms, interest rates and running costs on top of what you might do with your new car in the future can be a lot to take in.
“To help give drivers a clearer understanding of the car finance industry and make informed decisions about the best deals for them, we’ve busted the top 8 myths and explained the facts clear up the confusion surrounding car finance.
“As with any financial arrangement, it’s always best to read all documentation through carefully before entering an agreement.
“If anything is unclear check with the provider before you sign up.”
1. You can’t pay off car finance earlier than agreed
Not true, you are allowed to you pay off the outstanding balance in full at any time during the course of the agreement and no lender can refuse this.
However as with other types of finance, this can incur some charges or penalties, so it’s best to check these before signing anything.
2. You can only get car finance from the dealer when you buy your car
This is a myth and common misconception and could result in customers taking out a loan which isn’t necessarily the best option for them.
Customers are free to shop around for car finance deals outside of the car dealership and get a quote without damaging their credit score before they even leave the house.
3. Shopping around for car finance ruins your credit score
Stick to ‘soft credit searches’ when shopping around for quotes until you’re sure the deal and provider is suited to you and you want to make a full application.
Once you go past this point you’ll incur a hard credit check against your credit profile.
There is no hard and fast rules but making full applications for finance from multiple lenders within a short period of time, whether car finance or otherwise, could set alarm bells ringing for providers and impact your credit score, even if your intention was simply to shop around.
4. PCPs are only available on new cars
No longer true. Whilst previously, PCP agreements were only available on new vehicles, some lenders (including Admiral Car Finance), now offer this on used vehicles too.
This gives customers greater flexibility on the type of car they can buy and how they can buy it.
5. Getting car finance is slow and you’ll miss the car you want having to wait
Some traditional finance providers or car dealers might need written personal details before finding a deal for you, which could take some time.
But these days you can do it all online. You could get a quote that online in less than 5 minutes and completing your application won’t take much longer.
6. With a PCP, you’ll get your deposit back at the end of the agreement
If you decide to hand back the car at the end of the PCP, you are not entitled to any money back. However, if you have paid a large deposit and the depreciation of the car has been low, the car could be worth more than the final balloon payment.
In that case, you could be better off keeping the car, selling it and paying off the balloon payment. You could use the money you make doing this as a deposit on your next car.
But, that’s a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’. Stick to your budget, understand what your balloon payment is likely to be, and only contribute a deposit you can afford.
7. You must have a deposit to get car finance
It ultimately depends on the individual lenders’ and their reasoning behind it.
Deposits are usually requested to ensure that customers borrow a sensible amount in relation to the value of the car, and to reduce the chances of negative equity in the future.
Any provider should give a thorough explanation, plus a list of options available to you, so you can make the choice that’s right for your circumstances.
8. Having car finance will give you a bad credit rating
This is a myth. Having a car finance deal in place and making your repayments on time can actually show other lenders you could be considered a ‘low credit risk’, compared to other people with no credit.
However missed or late payments could make you appear as a higher risk to other lenders, so it’s important to choose an affordable deal and to make payments on time.