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Other than a property, the car is one of the largest purchases you might ever make. Often an outright purchase simply isn’t affordable. Some people simply don't see the need to own the car they drive. But with a car a basic necessity for most people it means that an alternative method of funding it is required. This is where car finance steps in to fill the gap. It offers a purchase plan that makes buying a car affordable by breaking it down into smaller monthly payments.

90% of cars are purchased on finance

In the UK nine out of ten of us now purchase a car using car finance so it has become a very common, and simple, option for accessing the wheels you need. Using a broker – such as our preferred partner – has a number of advantages, no matter what kind of car you’re looking to own. There are many reasons why you might consider car finance, including:

  • If you have a less than perfect credit rating
  • The convenience of being able to pay for the car over a period of time, rather than having to find the cash up front.
  • Being able to avoid dealing direct with a dealer and relying on our smart online service instead.

How does Car Finance work? HP vs. PCP

There are two main types of car finance – Hire Purchase (HP) and Personal Contract Purchase (PCP). With both HP and PCP you won’t own the car until you have finished making the repayments towards ownership.

HP – you rent the car from the lender and then when you have finished making repayments you become the owner of the vehicle.

PCP – you lease the car from the lender for a set period of 2-3 years, pay a deposit and make monthly payments that allow you to drive the car. The big difference with PCP is that you have more options when the lease period of the PCP comes to and end. If you want to own the car then there is a single balloon payment to make that clears the rest of the finance. If you don’t, you can simply hand the car back or part exchange for a different vehicle.

It’s important to note with PCP that there are mileage restrictions and if you clock up more miles than the limit there are extra costs to pay.

What’s the difference?

You would need to obtain both PCP and HP quotes in order to see definitively which is the cheapest in terms of your budget but generally PCP car finance offers lower repayments and the deposit required may be lower too. This is simply due to the fact that the HP plan is designed to result in car ownership, whereas PCP will not unless you choose to make the final payment. In terms of the decision making, when you sign up for HP you make the decision at the start of the process that you want to end up owning the car, whereas when you opt for PCP you don’t need to make this decision until you come to the end of the lease period.

Who can you use Car Finance?

This type of lending is available to anyone, from people who already own their own car but need a second for family use, to those who are starting out and need to buy a car, motorbike or van for the first time. Car finance can be particularly useful if you don’t have a great credit rating as a result of previous financial issues – you may find that you get a better rate of interest by borrowing to fund a car purchase using car finance, rather than opting for a personal loan or guarantor loan. HP is especially well suited to anyone without a great credit rating.

If you’re a young driver or you don’t have much of a credit record yet but you still need a car to drive, car finance gives you options where other lenders may not be able, or willing, to do so. You may also be able to take advantage of tailored car finance and insurance packages so that you can start driving without having to buy an old model car to offset high insurance premiums younger drivers often have to pay.

Choosing your Car Finance

Using a specialist broker to help arrange your car finance is a simple way to make sure that you get the finance at a price you can afford. We work with a trusted broker who has access to a wide array of finance options. They are probably the most trusted brand in the car finance market. You’ll be able to discuss your budget and get quotes in advance of making any decisions about the type of finance to use. We don't charge fees and neither does our partner broker - so it will cost you nothing to find out your finance options. We offer a smart and efficient online service that is designed to be safe and secure and to give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re dealing with trusted professionals.

Video: PCP vs. HP


Representative Example

Loan Amount


Monthly Repayment


Loan Term

48 mnths

Total Repayment


Representative APR


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