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Car finance calculator

Thinking about buying a car with a personal loan? To make sure you can afford it, it’s good to get an idea of how much your monthly repayments are likely to be and how much the total amount of interest will be by the time you’ve paid it off.

£1,000 £50,000
Slider increases by £1,000 each time.

£50 £1,000
Slider increases by £10 each time.

The longer the loan term, the less you pay each month - but you will end up paying more interest.

APR stands for annual percentage rate and shows the total cost of borrowing money over a year.
The APR you will get is determined by each lender's criteria, and your own financial circumstances.
3%
Excellent credit rating
40%
Poor credit rating

For simplicity, this slider increases by 1% each time.
Information about credit ratings.

This calculator has been designed to give you an idea of how much a loan would cost each month and the amount of interest that you would pay overall for the different loan terms. This is just an example and the actual interest rate you would get depends on your own personal circumstances and lender checks, the amount borrowed, and the terms of the loan.

See loans available to you

  • Find loans without impacting your credit score
  • Understand chance of approval before applying

See loans available to you

  • Find loans without impacting your credit score
  • Understand chance of approval before applying
This calculator has been designed to give you an idea of how much a loan would cost each month and the amount of interest that you would pay overall for the different loan terms. This is just an example and the actual interest rate you would get depends on your own personal circumstances and lender checks, the amount borrowed, and the terms of the loan.

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How to use our car loan calculator

Before you start, it’s worth knowing that this calculator will show you the results for a personal loan, but it won’t help with costs for Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) or hire purchase (HP). But, if you’re considering these types of car finance options, it will give you a handy figure to compare - so you can see if you’d be better off with a straightforward loan. 

You can work out how much you can borrow, to pay for your new set of wheels, based on what you can afford each month. Or, if you have an idea of how much your new car will cost, you can use the calculator to see how much your monthly payments would be – whether you’re buying a new or a used car.  

To see how much your car loan monthly repayments will be: 

  1. Make sure you’re on the ‘What are my repayments?’ tab. 
  2. Fill in how much you want to borrow – you can either enter it into the box or use the slider. 
  3. Decide how long you want to take to repay – just select the number of years. 
  4. The average APR (annual percentage rate) is shown, but ideally you should adjust this to whether you have a good or bad credit rating to get a more accurate result. If you’ve got a poor credit score, you’re more likely to have to pay a higher interest rate. 
  5. Check your result – you’ll be able to see how much your monthly repayments will be and how much you’ll pay overall in interest. 
  6. If you want to, you can then see what impact it has if, for example, you pay back your loan faster or over a longer period. You can also see how much more your payments will be if you have to pay a higher interest rate. 

When you’re working out how long you want to take to repay, don’t forget to think about how long you’re likely to keep the car for and –particularly if it’s second hand – how much life it’s got left in it. You don’t want to still be repaying a loan for a car that’s on the scrap heap. 

To see how much you can borrow: 

  1. Select the ‘What can I borrow?’ tab. 
  2. Enter the amount you can afford to repay every month or use the slider. 
  3. Select the number of years you want to take to pay back the car loan. 
  4. The average APR is shown but you can change this if you know your credit score or whether you have a good or bad credit rating. If you’ve got a poor credit score, you’ll typically have to pay a higher APR (more interest). 
  5. Check your result – you’ll be able to see what you could borrow based on the figures given, plus what you’re likely to pay in total interest. 
  6. If you want to, you can try changing some of the variables to see what happens to the totals if, for example, you paid a little more or less every month. 

In both cases, you can then see how likely you are to be accepted for this size of loan. Simply select the ‘Check your eligibility’ button, enter a few personal details and you’ll be able to see loans that you’re likely to be accepted for. This will also show you the likely APR (the interest) you’ll have to pay. Don’t worry, checking like this won’t have any impact on your credit score. 

If you’re happy with one of the loans you’re likely to be eligible for, you can then apply for one. The application will then most likely have an impact on your credit score. 

You should think carefully about whether you can afford to pay back a loan, regularly and on time for the length of the loan, before you take one out. 

How does the car finance calculator work?

The calculator uses different variables to work out the results including: 

  • amount borrowed
  • interest rate (APR)
  • length of the loan
  • monthly payments. 

Just change any of the variables to see what difference it makes – for example, if you want to see how the costs change if you increase the loan amount or take a car loan for a longer or shorter time. The calculator will do the sums for you. 

The car loan payment calculator will give you an approximate guide to what someone with a particular credit rating will get. However, when you apply for a loan, this will be based entirely on your particular circumstances, personal credit rating and the criteria of the loan provider – so your repayments may vary a little from the rough guide the calculator provides.  

We can help you see what your current credit score is for free, to help you get a more accurate idea of what APR you’re likely to pay on your loan. 

The calculator will show you how much you’ll pay in interest over the whole loan. This can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to work out whether you’re better off putting savings towards the cost of the car. 

Compare car loans

Buying a car can be one of the most expensive purchases we make, along with buying a home. If you’re buying a new car on credit, it can add thousands to the total cost you’ll end up paying. Making sure you get a good deal on your finance is important, as it can save you a lot. 

There are a variety of car loans and you’ll need to choose the one that’s right for you – as with some types you could end up not owning the car.  Options include: 

  • Personal loans an unsecured loan where you pay back monthly instalments over a fixed period.  
  • Hire purchase – you put down a deposit and pay back monthly over a set period of time. Once all repayments are made, you’ll then have to pay a final fee to buy the car outright – check how much this is before you sign the deal – after which you become the legal owner. The loan is secured against the car, so, if you don’t keep up with repayments, your vehicle may be repossessed. 
  • Personal Contract Purchase is a type of loan that allows you to buy a car without paying the full cost upfront. It’s based on the car’s depreciation (how much it loses value) rather than its total value. At the end of the agreement you can hand back the car, part-exchange in a new deal or buy the vehicle outright – but here the final payment can be quite large and can depend on the mileage you’ve done too. 

All of these offer differing advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to weigh up what’s best for you. We can help you see how much you’re likely to pay for a car loan, and this will enable you to see how the deals you’re being offered by a car dealer or manufacturer compare with a straightforward loan. 

Frequently asked questions

How much can I borrow to buy a car?

How much you can borrow will depend on your personal circumstances, including your income, your outgoings and what’s affordable for you. Lenders will also take into account other debts you have. Our calculator can give you an idea of how much you can borrow, based on how much you think you’ll be able to repay every month and your credit rating. 

How much will my monthly car loan repayments be?

The cost of your repayments will depend on how much you borrow, how long for and the rate of interest you’ll be charged. It may also depend on whether you can part-exchange your current vehicle towards the new one.  
 
Use the ‘What are my repayments?’ tab on our car finance calculator and you’ll easily be able to see what you could expect to pay. You are likely to have to pay a higher rate of interest – meaning higher monthly payments – if you’ve got a bad credit score. 
 
You can also use the calculator to see how your monthly payments will increase or decrease if you pay over a longer or shorter period of time, or if you have to pay a higher or lower interest rate.  

Can I get a car loan if I am self-employed?

Yes, but you might have fewer options to choose from, so it’s a good idea to get your finances in shape before you apply for a car loan quote of any kind. Check your credit record to make sure there are no mistakes, and make sure you pay your household bills and credit card payments on time. See what you can do to improve your credit score to give you the best chance of being accepted.  

You may need accounts and other financial records such as bank statements and tax returns to prove to a lender that you’re capable of paying back a loan.  

Am I eligible for a car loan?

The quickest way to see if you can get finance for your next car is to use our loan eligibility checker to find out. 

You will have to be aged over 18 and a UK resident.

Can I get a car loan with bad credit?

Yes, but you’ll probably have to pay a much higher rate of interest as you’ll be seen as a bigger risk. Your loan will cost you more, so make sure that you can afford to repay it. If you don’t, you’ll just make your credit score worse and it will be even harder to borrow money the next time you need to.  

If you continually miss payments, you might be issued with a default notice, which could result in your car being recovered and the use of a debt collection agency or county court judgement (CCJ).

If you know you will need to borrow money in a few months’ time, it’s a good idea to see what you can do to build your credit score in advance. 

Do I have to put down a deposit with a car loan?

One of the advantages of a car loan, as opposed to some of the other types of car finance, such as HP or PCP, is that there’s no need to put down a big deposit. Some dealers may ask you to make a small payment to reserve a vehicle while you sort out the loan, though.

The content written in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. If you require support on the products discussed here, please speak to your bank/lender or seek the advice of an independent professional financial advisor. We also have more information on our Customer Support Hub.

Compare the Market Limited acts as a credit broker, not a lender. To apply, you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over. Credit is subject to status and eligibility.

Page last reviewed on 08 JANUARY 2024
by Alex Hasty