Check your credit score and buy a car using a personal loan

If you’re not paying with cash, you’ll be using car finance or credit to buy your car. If you’re using credit, you’ll get access to the best deals if you have a good credit score.

You can check your credit score for free using these websites:

MoneySavingExpert Credit Club

Credit Karma


Be aware that just because your credit score is good and you’re allowed to borrow a larger amount, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford it. You need to work out all your outgoings and be confident that you can make all the repayments for the full term of the credit deal.If you get behind on your car payments, talk to your finance company or lender as soon as possible. You might be able to return the car or pay off the loan early.

Buying a car using a personal loan

Did you know?
If you can’t afford cash, a personal loan is usually the cheapest way to finance a car deal – but only if you have a good credit score

You can get a personal loan from a bank, building society or finance provider if your credit rating is good. You can spread the cost between one and seven years.

Make sure the loan isn’t secured against your home. Otherwise you’ll be putting your home at risk if you fail to keep up with repayments.

Shop around for the best interest rate by comparing the APR (or annual percentage rate, which includes other charges you have to pay on top of the interest).

Pros and cons


  1. You own the car outright from the start of your loan, and can sell the car if needed.
  2. Other than paying with cash, personal loans are probably the cheapest option in terms of the total cost.
  3. It can be arranged over the phone, online or face-to-face.
  4. It covers the whole cost of the car (but it doesn’t have to).
  5. You can get a competitive fixed interest rate if you shop around.


  1. You might have to wait for the funds to be paid into your bank account, but some lenders make funds available almost immediately.
  2. Other borrowing might be affected.
  3. Monthly costs can be higher than with other options.