Can I get finance to buy a car or motorbike? And how much can I borrow?
We help lots of people in different circumstances to get vehicle finance. You'll need to live in our area, be able to show affordability for the repayments and be over aged 18. If that all sounds doable, there's a good chance we can help. The amount of finance is generally limited by two things: the value of the vehicle and affordability of repayments. Simple!
Are there any extra costs or arrangement fees?
In a word: "No".
No upfront fees, no arrangement fees, no documentation fees.
If you go ahead with the finance, there's the "option to purchase" fee of £100 with the last payment. But apart from that you just pay the monthly repayments, starting two months after the day you sign the Hire Purchase Agreement.
How quickly can the finance be sorted?
It's possible to do everything in one day. But that mostly depends on you. This is how it goes:
1. We process your application, making a "soft search" with the Credit Reference Agency (so the search doesn't leave a footprint), Then we put together some quote options and let you know what evidence we'll need for final approval, based on your individual circumstances.
2. We take a look at your evidence (eg driving licence, recent pay slip, recent 30 day bank statement) and complete the affordability assessment.
3. We prepare finance documentation and make an appointment to meet up with you to go through the paperwork, either at the car dealer premises or at our offices in Brockmoor.
4. When we've had the last bit of your evidence (comprehensive insurance), we pay the finance amount to the car dealer, using the Faster Payment Scheme.
Each step usually takes 1 to 2 hours working hours (we open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
I've heard about PCP. How is that different from HP? And what sort of finance do you provide?
Mostly we provide finance on regulated Hire Purchase agreements (HP). This is the traditional, tried and tested type of car finance. The repayments are fixed and at the end of the Agreement you will own the car.
But if it suits you better, we can offer you a Personal Contract Plan (PCP). The repayments on a PCP are lower because at the end there's a higher "balloon payment". Instead of paying the balloon payment, you can choose to hand the car back. We guarantee that we'll have the car back in return for covering the final big payment, provided that you return it on time and you've looked after it in accordance with the conditions (including mileage limit, service history, condition of the car - engine, bodywork and exterior, paperwork and accessories returned with the car).
So unless you can pay the big payment at the end of the Agreement, under a PCP you'll never own the car and you could have extra costs at the end if you've gone over the mileage limit or if the car isn't in satisfactory condition.
With both HP and PCP you can change your car at any time, provided that the finance gets paid off in the process although the settlement figure is likely to be higher with a PCP.
Can I pay off the debt early?
Absolutely. The interest for the whole term of the finance is added to the balance of the borrowing at the beginning of the Agreement. So if you want to settle early, just ask us for a settlement figure and we'll calculate your interest rebate (based on a formula used by all regulated lenders).
What if I struggle to make the repayments?
It's important that you let us know if you're having financial problems. We can help by agreeing to accept payments late. We are up front about late payment charges and additional interest, so we can work with you to keep the extra costs to a minimum. If a payment is late or a direct debit isn't paid, you'll get a text to ask you to get in touch so things can get sorted out as quickly as possible.
What if I've got negative equity?
"Negative equity" is when you owe more on the finance than the vehicle is worth. If you keep making the payments and look after the car, over time the negative equity will reduce and you'll reach the point that the vehicle is worth more than the finance. That's the benefit of a Hire Purchase Agreement. But if you have negative equity on your finance Agreement, this can be a problem if you want to change your car. We can't add the negative equity to your next car finance Agreement, so usually you'll need to raise the funds to cover the shortfall. But there is some good news. For some customers we can provide a personal loan to cover the negative equity, which can run alongside your a new Hire Purchase Agreement (subject to status and affordability). So please do get in touch to ask for more information and a quote.
Can I get finance if I've had financial problems in the past?
We can't promise to lend to everyone that applies for finance. That simply isn't possible. But we can promise that your application will be reviewed by an account manager, not a computer. So you can be sure that your individual circumstances will be taken into account. This means that if you've had problems in the past, but you're getting your life and your finances back on track, we put the emphasis on your current situation over your past problems.
I'm a learner driver. Can I take out finance to buy a car?
If you have a provisional licence, you won't be able to drive a car without someone's help. And it's the same with the finance. We'll need your finance application to be joint with the person that lives with you and will sit with you while you drive. You will also need to have comprehensive insurance in your name.
I'm retired or a student. Can I take out finance to buy a car?
The same lending criteria apply regardless of your circumstances. So as long as you can show that you can afford the repayments, without it affecting your ability to keep up with your other commitments, and you live in our area, there's a good chance we can approve your finance application.
Do you provide personal loans for other things?
If you're a new customer, we can provide a personal loan for negative equity, to run alongside a new Hire Purchase Agreement. If you're an existing or past customer, we can provide a personal loan for any purpose. Finance approval is always subject to criteria.
What do you do with my personal information?
Can I buy a car from any dealer?
We work with trusted car dealers in the West Midlands. But if you want to buy a car from a different supplier, we just ask that they are reputable and not too far away. We suggest a maximum of about 50 miles, because if there's a problem, you might need to take the car back to the dealer for them to repair.
If I have my car on finance with you, can I change my car before the finance is paid off?
Yes, you can. This is how it works with us:
Step 1: When you see a car that might suit you, ask the car dealer what they'll offer you for your car, as part exchange.
Step 2: Ask us for a settlement figure. On top of the usual interest rebate, we can offer you an extra saving if you return to us for further finance.
Step 3: Let us have your application details so we can put together a quote for finance on your new car.
If you go ahead with changing your car using finance from us, we'll make sure your old finance Agreement is paid off when the new Agreement starts.
We suggest that you wait until you're over half way through your existing Agreement, particularly if you had a low deposit. That way, you'll reduce the likelihood that you'll need to cover negative equity on your current car.
What does "responsible lending" and "treating customers fairly" mean?
These are very important principles that we take very seriously. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulator for Consumer Credit lenders and they set standards for lenders like us, including rules on "responsible lending" and "treating customers fairly".
The main requirement is that we take reasonable steps to show affordability. That means showing that you can afford the new finance repayments as well as your existing commitments and regular spending, even if your living expenses increase. This is why we need to know about your finances. And this is one of the main reasons we sometimes have to decline an application for finance. In addition, if you might be considered to be a "vulnerable" customer, we have to be even more careful.
Treating Customers Fairly
Transparency and forbearance are important factors in ensuring that we treat customers fairly.
We take the time to meet with you face to face, so we can be sure we've done more than most other lender to explain the terms of the finance Agreement. You get the chance to put questions directly to an account manager or Director, and you can take the paperwork away to think about your options. None of our staff are paid commission and we will never put pressure on you to take out finance.
"Forbearance" is our promise to work with you if you have financial difficulties. So if you struggle to make a payment one month, you can contact us and be sure that we'll be willing to help. And if your problems become more serious, we can talk to you about your options and suggest organisations that might be able to help you.
What if I'm not happy with the way I've been treated?
It's really important to us that you are happy with the service we provide.
But sometimes things go wrong and we need to know when we've fallen short of your expectations, so that we can put things right and make sure it doesn't happen again.
If you think you've not been treated fairly, we hope you'll get in touch.
You can email, phone, text or write to us to let us know how we fell short of your expectations and how that has affected you.
We'll initially get in touch with you to see if we can resolve your complaint straight away. This is usually best acheived by speaking on the phone.
Failing that, we'll respond formally within 6 weeks, but often within just a few days.
If you're still not happy with our response, you can escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. To find out more, click the link below