Securing car finance relies on several factors, but the most significant has to be your credit score. Insurers will look closely at not only your financial history and how reliable you are when it comes to paying back loans, but perhaps surprisingly, where you live too.
Lenders will look at each applicant’s determined “risk factor.” Excellent or good credit scores will get the best deals around, whereas anyone with a poor or bad credit score may prevent you from getting accepted by certain lenders.
We’ve rounded up the best credit scores across the UK by area to determine if where you live impacts your credit score?
City of London and surrounding areas
Average Score: 877
Championing the highest and best credit score in the whole of the UK comes the capital. Considered to be the financial heart of the whole country, it’s no surprise that London holds the monopoly with an average score of 877.
Zooming out from the city, the surrounding areas such as Kingston upon Thames, Harrow, Slough, and Twickenham don’t shy away from sporting excellent credit scores either. When you think that most of London’s workforce probably live in the surrounding areas too, it really should come as no surprise!
Average Score: 864
Nestled in the heart of the Loddon Valley in Berkshire, you’ll find the bustling market town of Wokingham. Just 37 miles out from London, this area holds the highest credit score outside of the capital.
Boasting an affluent commuter population, Wokingham has become a popular commuter town over the years. With an average score of 864, residents are more likely to get accepted for the best car finance deals on the market.
Average Score: 862
This sought-after commuter town is set in the beautiful countryside and is home to one of the best credit scores in the country. Here you can expect a respectable 862 average score.
What’s more, Chiltern sits on the fringe of London’s Underground Network, ticking the desirable qualities of rural meets urban living, with enough distance between the hubbub of city life thrown into the mix.
Richmond upon Thames
Average Score: 860
One of London’s most thriving boroughs, Richmond upon Thames, was fully established as a borough in 1965. The only borough to straddle both sides of the River Thames, you will find the iconic Hampton Court Palace, impressive parkland, and rub shoulders with some of the most well-known celebrities around.
Average Score: 859
Not only does this respectable Surrey borough border Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames, but it also holds a respectable average credit score of 859.
Like others on this list, Elmbridge is home to several affluent, commuter-friendly towns such as Weybridge, Molesey, Walton on Thames, and Cobham. The area has perhaps gained notoriety over the years as home to Hollywood icon Kate Winslet, tennis star Andy Murray and of course, Sir Cliff Richard, to name a few.
Spotlight on regions
Now that you’ve seen the top 5 best credit scores in the country, it’s time to zoom in regionally. Below, you will find the top 10 UK regions alongside their respective average credit scores. Where does your area fare on the list?
- South East: 810
- South West: 801
- London: 798
- East of England: 796
- Northern Ireland: 786
- Scotland: 781
- East Midlands: 780
- West Midlands: 780
- Yorkshire & The Humber: 759
- North West: 758
How can I improve my credit score?
While it’s true that some UK areas perform better in the credit score stakes, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of being accepted for car finance:
Start building your credit history
The whole point of having a credit history is so that lenders and other companies can assess how well you can make reliable repayments. So if you have little or no credit history to speak of, you will automatically have a lower credit score.
Fortunately, you can do a few simple things to start building up your credit history, including each of the points below!
Provide proof of where you live
Simply register your current address on the electoral roll, and you’ll already add much-needed points to your credit score.
What’s more, this isn’t exclusive to homeowners! You can register regardless of if you rent, live in shared accommodation or live with your parents.
Be a reliable borrower
The easiest way to build your credit score is to be a reliable borrower. This means making repayments on time and in full each month and showing that you are more than capable of handling credit responsibly.
Try to stick to one, well-managed account where possible and cancel any unused credit cards as this may impact your overall score.
Low credit utilisation works in your favour
Put simply, credit utilisation is how much or the percentage you use of your agreed credit limit. So if your limit is £5,000 and you’ve used £2,500, then your credit utilisation is 50%.
Where possible, keeping your credit utilisation at 25% will increase your chances of improving your credit score, therefore increasing your chances with lenders.
But what if I have bad credit?
Just because you have “bad” credit or no credit history to speak of doesn’t mean that you will never be accepted for car finance. Although you may struggle to get accepted with many lenders out there, specialist lenders like ourselves can help.
Creating specialised credit packages that cater for:
- Those that have failed to make repayments on time
- Those who have experienced bankruptcy in the past
- The self-employed
- Those with a County Court Judgement (CCJ) or an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA)
Building a good credit score may seem like a challenge, but with the proper support from the specialists, you will have more access to the world of finance than ever before.
Did your area feature on our list? Regardless of where you live, securing credit doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Check out our helpful car finance calculator to see what your monthly repayment could be.