Lifestyle Guides

Car finance FAQs

Get your car finance questions answered with our FAQs

couple car shopping

We've collected our most frequently asked questions on car finance in the hope of shedding some light on the car finance process. Whether you're in the market for a new car or just want to find out more, we've got it covered. 


Will my credit score be impacted if I take a payment holiday or make a reduced payment?

If you've contacted us and we've agreed to give you a payment holiday or reduced payment, this will not be reported in your credit file. However, we can't confirm if this will impact your overall credit score, and lenders may consider alternative information when assessing future lending decisions in addition to your credit history.

You shouldn't cancel your direct debit without speaking to us first. Cancelling your direct debit and missing a payment will be reported on your credit file.

Will I suffer any consequences if I take a payment holiday or make a reduced payment?

If we agree to provide either a payment holiday or reduced payment for a short period, it’s important we advise you of the implications of doing so:

  • The length of your agreement will be extended in line with the number of deferred payments or reduced payments
  • You'll need to ensure the vehicle continues to be insured and has a valid MOT for this extended period at the end of your agreement
  • We'd suggest you consider any additional products you may hold outside of our agreement with us, including any service plans of warranties you've bought. These may not cover you for the full extended period.
  • Although we will not report this to credit reference agencies, lenders may consider other information, in addition to your credit history, therefore this could impact future lending decisions.

Your repayments will continue as normal after the agreed payment holiday or reduced payments. If you’re unable to resume with these payments it's important that you contact us, so we can reassess your situation.

For further information on how to manage your finances, or help you may be entitled to during this time, please visit the Money Advice Service

What help is available?

There are different types of financial support being offered to help individuals and businesses cope during the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out if you're eligible for any of the following, click here.

1. Universal Credit - a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly (or twice a month for some people in Scotland). You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.

2. Furlough - Your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you  to do because of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Your employer could pay 80% of your wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

3. Self-employment support scheme - This scheme could allow you to claim a taxable grant of 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months, up to a maximum of £7,500.

4. Avoid Coronavirus scams - Unfortunately, there have been reports of people trying to take advantage of the crisis and as a result various scams have been reported. To protect your finances it's important to remain vigilant.

5. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) - You could get £95.85 per week SSP if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

Information correct as of 7 May 2020.

How do I make an overpayment? We'll take your monthly Direct Debit payment as normal but if you would like to make an additional payment then please use the details below:

Admiral Financial Services Use your Agreement Number as your reference Account number: 10530557 Sort code: 20-18-23

What should I do if I’m unable to keep up with my repayments?

We want to do our best to support you if your circumstances change. There’s a few ways we can help if you’re struggling to make your usual monthly payments. Firstly, we’d like to understand your current circumstances and what you’re able to afford. Our phone lines are currently closed, however please go here to complete our contact form. We’ll aim to get back to you within 3-4 working days.

How do I find out if I'm eligible for a payment holiday?

If you wish to enquire about a payment holiday as a result of being financially affected by COVID-19, please go here to complete our contact form. We’ll aim to get back to you within 3-4 working days.

All payment holiday requests will be reviewed on an individual basis. Please note, we may request evidence to ensure that we provide you with the best level of support.

Before applying for car finance

Will I qualify for car finance?

To be eligible for a loan you must:

  • Be a permanent resident of England, Wales or Scotland
  • Have lived in the UK for at least three years
  • Be aged between 18 and 74 and won't be 75 or over at the end of the loan term
  • Be in employment, or retired and have a minimum annual income of £10,000
  • Not have had any County Court Judgements (CCJs) in the last three years
  • Not have been made bankrupt, had any Debt Relief Orders or gone through Individual Voluntary Arrangements in the last six years
  • Have a UK bank account in your name
  • Not be using the car for commercial purposes.

Please note, if you meet the above criteria this doesn't guarantee your application will be accepted.

Can I get car finance if I'm self-employed?

Yes, Admiral offers car finance to self-employed people as long as you meet our other criteria, and pass our credit and affordability checks.

What's the difference between PCP, HP and a personal loan?

PCP and HP are both finance options that are secured against your car. A personal loan is unsecured. For more information about these, read our guide to car finance types.

Will a car finance application have an impact on my credit rating?

Before you make a full application, you can get a car finance quote. This is a soft search which is only visible by you and won't affect your credit history. You can edit your quote while you're shopping around for your new car, without affecting your credit rating. Once you've found the car you want, and apply for Admiral Car Finance, we'll then run a full credit check on you which will leave a hard footprint on your credit file.

Can I get car finance if I have bad credit?

We're currently only able to offer car finance to those with a good, current credit rating. However, there are other lenders in the market who may be able to offer car finance to those with bad credit.

What is APR?

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate. This is the total charge for the loan including fees and interest expressed as a percentage. The APR you're offered may differ from the representative example displayed. This is because each loan application is assessed on an individual basis and on a number of factors, including the information you have provided in your application and data obtained from credit reference agencies. Read more about what is APR.

Why was the APR I was offered different to the representative APR?

The representative APR advertised is the APR that 51% of customers get offered. The actual APR offered depends on the amount you want to borrow along with your personal circumstances, financial circumstances and credit history.

Do I need to know the car reg I'm buying before getting a car finance quote?

If you're unsure what car you're going to buy, you can get an indicative car finance quote which will confirm if you're eligible for Admiral Car Finance (subject to affordability, fraud and vehicle checks). Once you know which car you're going to buy, and you can give us the car registration number, we can give you a fully accurate quote.

Can I part-exchange my current car?

We don't currently offer part exchange as part of Admiral Car Finance. However, if you speak with the dealership you're getting your new car from they may be able to part-exchange your car. You can then enter that amount into the 'deposit' section.

Does car finance include insurance?

We don't currently offer a bundled product for both car finance and insurance but you can buy car insurance separately.

What car can I get on finance?

We offer finance for used cars and nearly new cars, including hybrid cars, valued up to £35,000. We don’t offer car finance for brand new cars, electric cars, vans, commercial vehicles, motorbikes, caravans or motorhomes.

Can I buy a car from any dealership using Admiral Car Finance?

We work with the majority of UK dealerships.

Can I get car finance for an electric car?

We don’t currently offer finance for full electric cars but we can offer finance for hybrid cars.

What's the difference between a hybrid car and an electric car?

A hybrid car uses both a traditional petrol engine and an electric motor as power sources, whereas an electric car is fully powered by electrical sources.

Can I get car finance for a van?

Sorry, we don't currently offer finance for vans.

I'm a car dealer, can you help my customers with car finance?

We'd love to! Admiral Car Finance is only available directly to customers; we don't sell it through car dealers, so please direct your customers to our car finance web page.

What is AFSL: Admiral Financial Services Ltd?

Admiral Loans and Car Finance are administered and arranged by a new company called AFSL which stands for Admiral Financial Services Ltd. This is still a part of Admiral but a separate trading company to EUI Ltd. Admiral Financial Services Limited is registered in England and Wales at Tŷ Admiral, David Street, Cardiff, CF10 2EH (Reg. No. 10255225). Admiral Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm reference number: 771862).

During application

How long does it take for car finance to be approved?

We try and give an instant decision, but sometimes your application might be referred to our Underwriting team. Once you've been approved, we may be able to pay the dealer on the same day (working days only).

What number do I call to discuss my car finance application?

To get a quote or to speak to one of our friendly members of staff please contact 0333 234 9917.

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday: 8am - 8pm Friday: 8am - 6pm Saturday: 9am - 5pm Sunday: Closed

Why do you need the dealership's information?

We complete dealership checks as part of the application process to confirm if the dealership is a VAT-registered company, to prevent fraud and to make sure your car purchase runs as smoothly as possible. If you're approved, we also use this information to transfer the funds straight to the dealership.

How long does Admiral take to pay the dealership for my car?

If you choose our PCP or HP options, we pay the dealer directly. As soon you give us the dealership details we will contact them, verify their details and pay them – this usually takes a couple of hours but can take as long as one working day. Please note, we don't currently pay out on weekends.

I've chosen the Admiral Car Finance unsecured personal loan option – how long does it take to come through?

The money will go into your bank account, just after lunch time, on the third working day.

What 'personal circumstances' could affect the finance rate I'm offered?

The APR and the interest rate we offer are determined by the personal and financial details you supply, along with an independent verification of your credit and repayment history, using information held by credit reference agencies such as Experian, Call credit and Equifax.

Why have I been declined for car finance?

All applications are assessed using your personal details and information provided by a Credit Reference Agency. Unfortunately, not every application will meet our business criteria. Below are a few potential reasons we may be unable to offer you car finance;

  1. Credit rating – your application might have been unsuccessful due to information on your credit file held by credit reference agencies
  2. Affordability – as a responsible lender we need to make sure that if we're lending money, customers can afford to pay it back; so maybe you haven't met our affordability rules
  3. Business rules – loan companies use rules known as 'underwriting criteria' based on risk and business strategy to help decide whether to offer a loan; so, you may not have met our underwriting criteria at this time

If you would like to know what information is held by the credit reference agencies you can contact them directly:


TransUnion International UK Limited

Existing Customer 

Can I log in online to view my car finance agreement?

We're planning to launch an online portal soon. Watch this space...

Can I change my mileage on PCP?

Unfortunately, no. You need to estimate your annual mileage as accurately as possible before signing your agreement. If you go over your annual mileage allowance you'll be charged a fee per mile at the end of your agreement.

Can I change the car on my finance agreement?

Unfortunately, you are unable to change your car mid-agreement. The only way this will be possible is to settle the existing car finance and open a new agreement.

Do I have to get my car serviced with the dealership?

No, you're not obliged to get your car serviced by a franchise dealer. Instead, you can choose to use an independent garage. If you chose not to get your vehicle serviced, this could reduce the value of your car.

Do I have to pay an early settlement fee?

You can repay the outstanding balance in full at any time under this agreement. We'll give you a settlement figure which will take into account any interest rebate you may be entitled to.

Will voluntary termination affect my credit rating?

You're within your rights to voluntarily terminate once you've repaid 50%, or more, of the amount owed; this includes your loan amount, deposit and interest. This won't affect your credit rating.

Can I give my car back to the finance company?

Once you've repaid 50% or more of the total amount owed (including your loan amount, deposit and interest) you're within your rights to hand the car back to us.

If you've paid less than 50% you still have options to hand the vehicle back, please call us on 0333 234 9917 to discuss. Please note, excess mileage charges may apply if you cover more than your agreed mileage allowance. Damage charges may apply if the vehicle isn't in good condition.

Can I sell a car on finance?

You'd need to settle your credit agreement before selling the car.

Can I refinance my balloon payment?

Admiral isn't currently offering the option to refinance your balloon payment with another PCP, but you could look at taking out an unsecured personal loan with Admiral to settle the balloon payment. Read more about refinancing your car.