Your credit score won’t matter if you are simply buying your car outright, but for car finance it will be taken into account. While it’s not always the case, a good credit score is generally preferred by lenders, and it will give you access to preferential rates.

What makes a good credit score depends on your credit report. You can check this at one of the three credit agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) or partner sites (ClearScore, MSEs Credit Club or Credit Karma).

However, there’s no golden score for getting approved for car finance. Lenders may have different criteria for what they want to see in someone’s credit report, so keep this in mind when you’re applying. Don’t let your credit score put you off from applying, or assume that your score is too good to be refused.

Bad credit doesn’t have to stop you from being approved for car finance. ChooseMyCar are experts in helping people with bad credit find the best car finance deals possible. Having bad credit may just change the interest rates or repayment terms 

If you have a county court judgement (CCJ) or an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) you may also struggle with being approved for car finance, but it may not stop you entirely.

For a full guide on your credit score, including what it is and how you can improve it, check out our guide to improving your credit score.

The average credit rating needed to buy a car

If you’re wondering what credit score is needed to buy a car, then you’ll also be wondering what a car finance deal looks like for all credit ratings. Generally, if you have your eyes on a particular car, then having an excellent or good credit rating is best. Many lenders will only offer car finance to people that have an excellent or good credit rating, or at the very least they’ll only offer their best rates to them.

This doesn’t mean you can’t still get good deals with a bad credit score. Bad credit car finance is actually something we specialise in at ChooseMyCar. We can help you get car finance even if your credit history is poor.

At ChooseMyCar we have car finance deals available and may accept you where other lenders would not. Another possibility for those looking for bad credit car finance is a guarantor loan. This is where someone acts as a guarantor for the borrower and will make any payments that the borrower misses. Lenders may provide better rates in these scenarios.

Best available interest rates for credit level

The below is a representative example of what the best available interest rate is for car finance depending on your credit score. These are the levels we use in our car finance calculator and are not guaranteed.

Credit Score Best Available Rate
Excellent 6.9%
Good 9.2%
Fair 13.2%
Poor 19.1%
Bad 25.4%