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How Long Does It Take to Get Car Finance Approved?

How Long Does It Take to Get Car Finance Approved

Typically, in the UK, car finance decisions are made within 1-2 business days but some of our finance partners at Carvine aim to give you a response within the initial 24 hours. It’s important to know that the duration for car finance approval will vary depending on the lender you’re working with, your own credit standing and individual circumstances, as well as how promptly you can provide the necessary documentation.

  • Immediate online pre-approvals: Some platforms offer online tools where, after filling in your details, you can get a near-immediate sense of your finance prospects. While this isn’t a final approval, it does give you an indication and can be a starting point.
  • Traditional banks: Generally, if you’re going down the more traditional route with high street banks, the process can span anywhere from 1-3 days. This is often due to their comprehensive checks and the volume of applications they handle.
  • Specialist lenders: These are entities that focus solely on car finance. Their processes are often more streamlined and can offer approvals within 24-48 hours. Again, this can depend on various factors like how busy they are and the complexity of your application.

Support For Finance Approvals

Carvine isn’t just another finance company; we’re a team of impartial vehicle finance experts dedicated to simplifying the complex world of car financing. We have successfully guided plenty of customers through the car finance application process to purchase their dream car. As such, we understand the intricacies and pitfalls that applicants might face so are well-placed to help you become well-informed and well-prepared so that you have the best chance of a speedy finance application and approval process. 

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Representative APR of 24.9%

Our car finance calculator helps you see how much your car loan repayments will be on a monthly basis.

Simply select how much you are looking to borrow and for how long.

Read on for a better understanding of the main factors that impact car finance approval times. 

The Car Finance Approval Process

There are several key checkpoints along the path to car finance approval.

Initial Application Submission

Filling Out the Form: Begin by completing the car finance application.

This typically requires:

  • Personal information: Name, address, date of birth.
  • Employment details: Job title, salary, length of employment.
  • Details of the vehicle you wish to finance.

Credit Checks

Soft Credit Check: An initial, non-committal perusal of your credit report. This doesn’t affect your credit score and serves to give lenders a brief overview of your financial standing.

Hard Credit Check: Post the soft check, if the indicators are positive, a detailed exploration of your credit report ensues. This ‘hard check’ can affect your credit score and is a standard procedure for most lenders.

Verification of Details

Documentation ReviewLenders will review all the required documents and necessary documents you provide, ensuring accuracy and legitimacy. This can include:

  • Proof of income: Payslips or tax returns.
  • Proof of address: Utility bill or bank statements.
  • Driving license.

Employment Verification

Some lenders might directly contact your employer for verification, ensuring that you genuinely hold the position you’ve declared and that the details you’ve provided align with their records.

Loan Offer & Terms

Decoding the OfferOnce the checks are completed and your application is successful, the lender will present you with a loan offer. This will outline:

  • The loan amount.
  • Interest rate.
  • Monthly repayment amount and tenure.
  • Any other terms and conditions.

Confirmation & Vehicle Acquisition

Accepting the OfferShould the terms be acceptable, you’ll be asked to confirm the loan offer, often requiring a digital ID check.

Driving AwayUpon confirmation, the finance company will handle the payment to the car dealership, ensuring a seamless process for you. All that’s left is for you to collect your keys and enjoy your new car!

Factors Influencing Approval Duration

When you’re eagerly anticipating the approval of your car finance, understanding what affects how long this will take can provide peace of mind. Here’s a breakdown of the major factors:

Your Credit Score’s Role

Your credit score is akin to a financial passport, revealing your history of borrowing and repayment. It tells lenders how risky or safe it might be to lend to you. In the UK, credit scores range, but typically:

  • Excellent Credit: This can lead to faster approvals, possibly better interest rates, and more favourable terms.
  • Good to Fair Credit: Approval may still be relatively swift, but the terms may vary.
  • Poor Credit: This can slow down the process. Lenders might take extra time evaluating your application, and you might face higher interest rates.

A proactive approach, like regularly checking your score and rectifying inaccuracies, can place you in a better position when seeking finance.

The Importance of Complete Documentation

Having all your ducks in a row, documentation-wise can keep the process swift. Lenders need various documents to verify your identity, assess your credit rating and your financial standing, and determine your eligibility. These often include proof of income, identity, address, and sometimes details of the vehicle you’re planning to finance.

Miss out on even one, and your application might be paused or, in worst-case scenarios, declined. It’s essential to have a checklist, ensure every document is current and legible, and double-check everything before submission.

Lender’s Processing Capacities

The lender you approach plays a considerable role in the timeline:

  • Big Banks: Renowned for their vast resources, they, however, deal with multitudes of applications daily. This volume can sometimes slow down individual processing times.
  • Local Credit Unions: They often offer a personal touch, leading to tailored solutions. However, their smaller scale might mean fewer resources dedicated to speedy processing.
  • Specialist Car Finance Firms: These entities focus solely on vehicle finance, making their processes often more streamlined and specific. Their niche focus can often lead to faster results, but it’s always good to confirm.

Can I Improve My Approval Chances?

Absolutely! The following simple steps can give you the best chance of being approved. 

  1. Review Your Credit Report: Regularly check your credit report for any discrepancies or old debts. Rectifying these can boost your score.
  2. Limit New Credit Applications: Multiple applications within a short period can be a red flag for lenders.
  3. Consider Pre-Approval: Some lenders offer pre-approvals that give you an idea of what you might qualify for, without affecting your credit score.
  4. Stable Employment and Income: Lenders value stability. If you’ve been in steady employment and have a consistent income, highlight this.

What If My Car Loan Finance Is Rejected?

Rejection can be disheartening, but it’s not the end of the road:

  1. Understand the Reason: Lenders are obligated to give a reason for rejection. Understanding this can help you address the issue.
  2. Consider Other Lenders: Different lenders have different criteria. Just because one rejected you doesn’t mean all will.
  3. Explore Alternative Financing: Look into other forms of car financing or consider saving for a larger down payment.
  4. Seek Expert Advice: Platforms like Carvine can provide guidance tailored to your circumstances, helping you find a path forward.

How Can I Speed Up My Application Process?

  1. Complete Documentation: Having all your necessary documents ready and in order speeds up the process.
  2. Use Online Platforms: Many lenders allow for online submissions, which can be quicker than traditional methods.
  3. Seek Expert Assistance: Engaging experts, like those at Carvine, ensures you’re not making common mistakes that could delay your application.
  4. Clear Outstanding Debts: If possible, pay off any lingering debts. It simplifies your financial picture and can expedite the process.

Apply for your car finance here.

Summarising Car Finance Approval Timelines

If you’re considering finance for the purchase of your next car, you will want to understand how long it takes to get car finance approved. While the time to get car finance approved can vary, typically, in the UK, car finance decisions are made within 1-2 business days but some of our finance partners at Carvine aim to give you a response within the initial 24 hours

Here is a quick recap of the key factors that affect how quickly the approval process is likely to take: 

  • Your credit score is paramount. A higher score can lead to quicker approvals and better terms.
  • Ensuring complete and accurate documentation is your best foot forward. This ensures that there are no unnecessary delays or pauses in the process.
  • Different lenders have varying processing times, with specialist car finance firms often being more streamlined.
  • Lastly, leveraging impartial expert advice, such as that offered by Carvine, can be a game-changer, providing clarity and expediting the process.

Carvine, aims to simplify the car finance journey for you. With our extensive network and expertise:

  • We expedite the process: Our partnered lenders often provide decisions within 24 hours.
  • Guidance at every step: From understanding credit checks to choosing the right vehicle, our team ensures you make informed choices.
  • Tailored Solutions: Whether you have a stellar credit history or face challenges with your score, we have solutions designed for every individual.

Frequently Asked Questions On Car Finance Approval 

I’ve applied for car finance; how long until I know the outcome?

Once you have applied for a car finance deal, you will typically get a response within 1-3 business days but in some cases same-day approval is possible. Once approved, there’s a five-day window for you to confirm the offer via a digital ID check. Rest assured, during this period, your chosen car is reserved exclusively for you.

What’s the distinction between soft and hard credit checks during the car finance process?

When you apply for car finance options like Personal Contract Purchase or Hire Purchase, lenders generally conduct two types of credit checks. The first stage is a “soft credit check”, which provides a snapshot of your credit report without leaving any footprints. 

If you pass this preliminary screening, the process progresses to the “hard credit check” phase. This is a detailed examination of your entire credit history and is recorded on your report. Excessive hard checks can be detrimental to your credit score and might deter future lenders.

 With a low credit score, is car finance still an option for me?

Yes, even with a poor credit score, car finance is attainable. Though the interest rates might be on the higher side, several lenders specialise in assisting those with less-than-perfect credit. Some solutions include having a guarantor, offering a more substantial deposit, or exploring specialised finance options. 

Marketing Director at Skyemotion Ltd
As marketing director, Paul is largely responsible for Carvine’s online presence and underwriting along FCA compliance.

At Carvine, we pride ourselves as a team of impartial vehicle finance experts that will direct you through the easy application process. As a result, our dedicated team put you in control of one of life’s biggest buying decisions. Consequently, we are all you need to finance your vehicle.

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Paul Thompson