How does AA Car Finance work?
Can I use any car dealership?
Yes, as long as it’s a reputable UK dealer. We can actually help you find a car from one of our Approved Dealers, if you’d rather make sure you’re in safe hands. These are dealers that have been vetted by AA Cars – they’ve had the required financial checks and hold the relevant trading licences. What’s more, all their cars come with a free history check and 12 months of AA Breakdown Cover. Find a car.
What if I don’t know which type of car I want to buy?
No problem. It’s very common for car buyers to source a loan before committing to a car. Check out our user car reviews to help you decide. Once you’ve decided on the right car for you, and found the perfect new set of wheels, you can then amend your loan amount and duration to suit, as long as it doesn’t go over five years.
Can I use AA Car Finance to buy a car privately?
Yes, we can offer you a personal loan for private car purchases.
Do I need to sort out car finance before going to the dealership?
It makes sense to sort finance beforehand, so you can walk into the showroom knowing exactly what you can afford in terms of purchase price and monthly repayments. It’s important to get pre-approval and understand your credit rating, as this determines the rate you qualify for. With a panel of 31 lenders, AA Car Finance can quickly determine what type of finance is available to you, based on your personal and financial circumstances. So you're in full control when you get to the forecourt.
Loan approval is a two-step process. First, you give some basic information to get pre-approval – this is like an agreement in principle to lend you an amount of money. A provisional green light. It’s a soft credit check that won’t affect your credit rating. If you then want to go ahead with borrowing, you then need to confirm some more details and get a hard credit check before gaining full approval. Use the eligibility check now.
How do I find out if I’m eligible for AA Car Finance?
Find out your eligibility in minutes. We just need some basic information so that the lenders can carry out a soft credit check. They’ll then confirm whether they can offer you a loan, and what the likely APR will be. This soft check will not affect your credit rating. Use the eligibility check now.
Will there be a credit search when I use the eligibility check?
We’ll run a soft credit search as part of the eligibility check – this will give you an indicative rate based on your desired loan amount and credit score, but it won’t leave a mark on your credit file. We don't run a hard credit check until you apply in full.
What's the difference between a soft credit search and a hard credit search?
The initial, soft, credit search using our eligibility check is a simple background check. Examples of these searches could be checking your own credit score, a background check, and pre-approved loan offers. None of these will affect your credit rating, they simply go on your credit file as a trace.
A hard credit search is only completed if you apply for a loan. Hard searches will show up on your credit profile and may affect your score, although in many cases only temporarily. AA Car Finance will only complete a hard credit search when absolutely necessary, and will request your explicit permission before doing so. Find out more.
If I have a bad credit history, can I still get car finance?
You may still be eligible for AA Car Finance even if you have a poor credit history. Our partner, Evolution Funding, will review your personal circumstances, such as employment status, age, income and loan size, alongside your credit history. You'll then find out the exact interest rates and payments they can offer you. Start by using our online eligibility check.
What does APR mean?
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate of Charge. This includes charges and arrangement fees.
What's the difference between representative and exact APR?
When you borrow money, you will often see an ‘APR' (Annual Percentage Rate) advertised. This is slightly different from the interest rate because it’s made up of the interest rate plus any fees that are automatically included in your loan (eg arrangement fees). The APR is particularly useful as it provides a benchmark so you can compare similar financial products. Where the term 'representative APR' is used, this means 51% of successful applicants will be given the advertised interest rate. For others it could be higher or lower. The AA Car Finance eligibility check will show what your likely APR will be, based on your credit score and desired loan amount.
Do I need to be an AA Member to apply for AA Car Finance?
Not at all. Everyone is welcome to buy a car or arrange finance with the AA.
Do I have to buy the car through AA Cars to use AA Car Finance?
No – you can buy from any reputable UK dealer. But remember that all AA Cars come with a free history check and 12 months of free AA Breakdown Cover. Find out more.
How long will it take to get the money?
Every lender differs. Some can get you the funds same day. However, it's usual for the money to come through in about three to five days. You can then arrange with the dealer to pick up your new car.
Do I need to be on the electoral roll to be approved for AA Car Finance?
Not necessarily, although it could affect your credit score if you're not.
How do I calculate my deposit?
Your deposit is the amount of money you have available to pay the dealership upfront. This could include savings and/or the value of a current vehicle as a part-exchange, and it’s taken off the total sum of the car you’re buying.
Can I use or part-exchange my old car, as a deposit?
Traditionally, most car dealers will take your old car as part-exchange for the new one. Part-exchanging online is different though. You'll need to actually sell your car in order to use it as a deposit for your new car. You can actually sell your car online with the AA, thanks to our partnership with Wizzle. Get a free car valuation and we can quickly help you find a reliable buyer.
What if I find a different car part-way through my application – can I change?
Yes, we can work with you to change your application to include a different car. Remember, though, that this may affect the rate and the lender we can offer you.
How do I apply for AA Car Finance?
If you’ve used the eligibility check and found a car to buy, you can apply online with a few important things to hand:
- Dealer's name and postcode
- The vehicle registration number
- Current mileage of the new car
- The price
- The amount of deposit you have
We'll also need to ask details about your finances, such as your monthly income, outgoings, and existing financial commitments.
What paperwork do I need?
Each lender has its own requirements for proof of identity. You’ll need your driving licence, as a minimum.
Is Car Insurance included as part of AA Car Finance?
Not currently. But if you want to know more about insuring your new car with us, visit AA Car Insurance.
Can I pay off the loan early?
Yes, you can pay off your loan at any time without incurring any early repayment charges. You will receive a rebate of interest if you pay off the loan early. You can also make overpayments with most of our lenders to help shorten the length of your loan.
How do I get started?
Use our eligibility checker, then work out what you can afford using our simple car finance calculator. If you wish to go ahead, you can then complete a full application in minutes. If you've already found a car to buy, enter the registration when you apply. But don't worry if you're still looking as this can easily be added later. We'll then complete an affordability assessment and, subject to your application being accepted, we'll find the most suitable product and lender and make you an offer. We'll then work with you and the dealer to finalise your purchase, and you'll soon be driving away in your new car.
Can I talk to someone about all the options instead of looking online?
Yes of course, if you prefer to speak to one of our personal advisers just call AA Car Finance on 01246 458809.
How do I contact AA Car Finance?
Call 01246 458809 or email [email protected]. The team is available from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 to 19:30, and Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00 to 17:30.