Best bad credit car finance deals

Don't let a poor credit rating get you down. Take a look at our car finance deals specifically available for those with bad credit

BuyaCar team
Sep 29, 2021

Worried that a bad credit rating will prevent you gettting the car you've set your heart on? That needn't be the case, because it doesn't have be complicated to secure relatively affordable car finance deals if you do your homework - even if you have a poor credit score.

We've trawled through the thousands of cars available right now on BuyaCar to find 10 of the very best finance deals available for well under £300 per month - for those with a bad credit rating. In each case these are Hire Purchase (HP) deals - meaning you automatically own the car once you've made the final payment - with no deposit to pay upfront.

We've gone for relatively long 48 or 60-month contracts to help keep those monthly payments as low as possible. Put down a deposit and those monthly payments would drop further. While it is possible to get PCP finance with a poor credit rating, it's normally much easier to get a HP deal. Monthly payments are higher with HP than PCP - though there's no large optional final payment needed to buy the car as with PCP - and on the plus side you'll pay less interest overall with HP.

You'll also automatically own the car with HP once you've made the final monthly payment, so you're free to sell it at the end of the contract and pocket the full amount - as the car is yours, unlike at the end of a PCP deal, where you still have to make the large optional final payment to take ownership - or you can keep it with nothing left to pay.

Best cars for bad credit finance deals

Finally, it’s worth knowing that there are steps you can take to improve your credit score. Do these and you should find it easier and cheaper to get car finance in future. They include:

  • Reviewing your personal and financial situation, closing dormant accounts and surplus credit cards, paying off any existing loans, terminating unnecessary contracts where allowed and paying off any overdrafts.
  • Contacting the major credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) to check your credit record for errors, attaching notes clarifying your position.
  • When applying for a loan, have your financial details at your fingertips, so you’re ready to answer questions promptly and accurately.
  • Applying for finance on a low-value car will boost your chances of getting the finance you need - especially if you're a younger driver without much history of borrowing.

For more information check out whether your credit score is good enough to finance a car and have a look at our guide to how to maximise your chances of being approved for car finance.

Note that precise monthly payments will vary depending on your specific situation, and it is possible that you may be declined finance - however good or bad your credit rating - as lenders take a variety of considerations into account.

Even if your credit score isn't great, though, there are some great bad credit car finance options available. Check out the 10 best bad credit finance deals below, which could be more affordable than you might expect.

1. Volkswagen Up

Typical example 2015 VW Move Up 3dr, 40,000 miles
Cash price £4,995
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £152

With their cute looks, spacious interiors for their small exterior size, easy parking and low road tax, city cars are all the rage - especially when you take into account the low monthly payments available.

The VW Up is one of the best, and adds agile handling and a smooth ride, solid build quality and a decent sized boot to that list of attributes. Super-low running costs are another benefit with low fuel bills and affordable insurance. 

VW UP BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Ford Fiesta

Typical example 2016 Ford Fiesta Titanium 1.0 EcoBoost 100 5dr, 50,000 miles
Cash price £6,650
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £195

The Ford Fiesta is the supermini benchmark. A VW Polo may feel more grown-up and a Vauxhall Corsa is certainly popular and available at low prices, but no rival is as complete as the Fiesta - it's a great all-round car.

The cabin could be a bit roomier in the back but otherwise it’s a joy to drive and, in Zetec trim, well equipped. The turbocharged 1.0-litre 'EcoBoost' petrol engines are as eager as a puppy, too, making the Fiesta feel nippy and much more fun to drive than you might expect.

FORD FIESTA BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Ford Focus

Typical example 2016 Ford Focus Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 100, 60,000 miles
Cash price £6,480
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £189

Like the Fiesta, the larger Focus hatchback is a great all-rounder. Yes, it lacks the refinement and upmarket feel of the more expensive Volkswagen Golf but it’s more fun to drive than the slightly boring Vauxhall Astra.

It’s a well-developed model that’s also well built and comfortable. We’d prefer our example to have the more powerful 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125hp engine, as this offers slightly keener acceleration, but you can't have everything.

FORD FOCUS BUYERS' GUIDE

4. BMW 3 Series

Typical example 2014 BMW 320d SE, 63,000 miles
Cash price £9,990
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
60 monthly repayments of £256

The BMW 3 Series is one of the most complete and satisfying cars you can get and in this 2.0-litre diesel form, powerful, smooth and economical, too. All that said, it has its limitations. This is a saloon rather than a more practical estate for a start, and the rear seats are made a little cramped for a centre passenger by the presence of a bulky transmission tunnel, which limits the amount of footroom available.

Otherwise, it’s a fine car that should be easy to resell, as it's particularly desirable - something that's worth bearing in mind with Hire Purchase, as you'll own the car at the end of the contract, so you can sell it at that point and get something else if you wish.

BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Renault Captur

Typical example 2015 Renault Captur 1.5 dCi Dynamique Media Nav, 60,000 miles
Cash price £6,495
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £195

The Captur was an instant hit when it came out in 2013, with drivers drawn to it due to its smart styling, raised SUV-style driving position but car-like handling and good equipment levels.

It’s not the last word in driving fun as it's more focused on comfort than sportiness - though that's likely to suit most drivers - and the interior quality leaves a little to be desired, but it is smooth and has cute looks that make it particularly desirable for a car of this type and price.

RENAULT CAPTUR BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai Visia

Typical example 2014 Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Visia, 47,000 miles
Cash price £8,399
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £250

The car that created the present-day fashion for family SUVs - the Nissan Qashqai - is still among the best thanks to its blend of good looks, an improved interior over the previous generation model, and a smooth and quiet ride.

Newer rivals are more polished and some have more rear interior space but the Qashqai is more recognisable and when it comes to family SUVs, and very popular with used car buyers, meaning you should get plenty back when you come to sell or trade it in, which you can do once you've made the final Hire Purchase monthly payment.

NISSAN QASHQAI BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Vauxhall Astra GTC

Typical example 2015 Vauxhall Astra GTC 1.4T Sport, 30,000 miles
Cash price £6,445
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £193

The regular Vauxhall Astra hatchback was decent enough but couldn't hold a candle to this GTC coupe version with its great looks, composed ride and agile handling around corners.

When it comes to downsides, this three-door Astra does looks quite bulky at the rear and that styling does make visibility poor, which means that you're likely to want to find a model with parking sensors fitted.

VAUXHALL ASTRA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Suzuki Swift Sport

Typical example 2015 Suzuki Swift 1.6 Sport Nav 3 door, 33,000 miles
Cash price £7,449
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £224

A nippy rather than a rapid hatchback is the most accurate description of the Swift Sport - with plenty of power to make it fun, without being fast enough to worry about being caught speeding all the time or steep insurance costs.

Still, keen drivers should love its eager, non-turbocharged engine which offers more and more power the harder you work it - unlike most turbocharged equivalents - and its sharp, precise steering. It’s a tall car so headroom will never be an issue but for all that, it goes around corners brilliantly without leaning excessively. Add a good equipment level that includes a digital radio and sat-nav and what’s not to like?

SUZUKI SWIFT BUYERS' GUIDE

9. Skoda Octavia

Typical example 2015 Skoda Octavia 1.6 TDI SE, 55,000 miles
Cash price £8,799
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
60 monthly repayments of £226

The Skoda Octavia hatchback is already roomy, especially in the rear but go for the estate body (as pictured above) and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one before - it really is very spacious, so whatever you want to carry, you're likely to be able to fit it in the boot.

Not only is the Octavia Estate roomy and practical, it also handles corners tidily and this 1.6 'TDI' diesel engine is strong enough and very economical, if not the smoothest around.

SKODA OCTAVIA BUYERS' GUIDE

10. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Typical example 2014 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 HDi Exclusive, 68,000 miles
Cash price £7,890
Credit score Poor
Finance HP
Deposit £0
48 monthly repayments of £235

The appeal of this seven-seat people carrier is how it manages to inject fun and adventure into what is essentially a practicality-focused vehicle. The interior is light and airy and filled with smart storage ideas, and the dashboard is radical looking but well laid out.

The Grand C4 Picasso is very much a comfort-focused car so don't expect any driving thrills. Instead, with everybody aboard, just sit back and enjoy the ride - and the view through that large windscreen. 

CITROEN GRAND C4 PICASSO BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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