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

Simon Ostler John Evans
May 26, 2020

Worried that a bad credit rating will prevent you gettting the car you've set your heart on? Well that needn't be the case, because it needn't 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.

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.

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. 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.

Best cars for bad credit finance deals

1. VW Up

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

With their cheeky looks, spacious interiors for their size, easy parking and low road tax, city cars are all the rage. 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 5 door, 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. 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 EcoBoost engines are as eager as a puppy, too.

Ford Fiesta buyers' guide

3. Ford Focus

Typical example 2016 Ford Focus Zetec 1.0 EcoBoost 100 5 door, 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 maturity 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 EcoBoost 125hp engine 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 buy and in this 2.0-litre diesel form, powerful, smooth and economical into the bargain. All that said, it has its limitations. This is a saloon rather than a more practical hatchback for a start, and the rear seats is made a little cramped for a centre passenger by the presence of a bulky transmission tunnel. Otherwise, it’s a fine car that will always be easy to resell.

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 by its smart styling, raised SUV driving position but car-like handling and good equipment levels. It’s not the last word in driving fun and the interior quality leaves a little to be desired, but it is smooth and its looks will delight you every time you return to it.

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 is still among the best thanks to its blend of good looks, improved interior over the previous generation, and smooth and quiet ride. Later rivals are more polished and some have more rear interior space but the Qashqai is more recognisable and when it comes to family SUVs, as good as legal tender, meaning you should get plenty back when you come to sell or trade it in.

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. It looks quite bulky at the rear and visibility is poor, though, making parking sensors an essential requirement.

Vauxhall Astra buyers' guide

Vauxhall Astra GTC deals

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 warm rather than a hot hatch 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. Still, you’ll 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

Suzuki Swift Sport deals

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 add the estate body and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one before. But not only is it roomy and practical, it also handles tidily and this 1.6 TDI diesel engine is strong enough and 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. It’s a comfortable car so don't expect any driving thrills. Instead, with everybody aboard, just sit back and enjoy the ride – and the view. 

Citroen Grand C4 Picasso buyers' guide

 

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