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Student car finance

Everything you need to know about car finance for students

When you’re a student, you’ve got a whole host of things to think about — from your Friday night plans, to your latest assignment — so you won’t want to worry about funding your new car.

If you’re curious about car finance for students but aren’t sure where to start, then this handy guide has all the information you need to make sure your car costs are covered!

How to get car finance as a student

Many lenders understand that a car is essential for students and so the best way to find which car finance options work for you is to compare your options online.


What is student car finance?

Car financing is a way to purchase a car without having to worry about making a large upfront payment. It often comes in the form of a loan or lease that you pay off over time.


What student car loans are available?

When it comes to car finance, many students opt for a personal loan — where you borrow a lump sum from a lender to purchase your car, and then repay the money over time, plus interest.

Some students might prefer a Hire Purchase (HP) or Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) plan. Both require you to make a first deposit, and then pay monthly instalments while you use your car. At the end of an HP plan, the car is yours, but a PCP plan will require you to return the car to the dealership, or pay more to keep it.


How do I know I’m eligible for student car finance?

In the UK, you must be at least 18 years old to use car finance. You will also need to prove you’re a UK resident, and that you have a stable income — or that you have a guarantor who can take on the debt if you can no longer pay.


Is it harder to get a car loan as a student?

It can be harder for younger drivers to secure car finance. This is because many lenders expect you to have a stable income and some credit history before they offer you funding.

To make the application process easier, consider taking on a guarantor loan, or paying a higher deposit towards your HP or PCP plan. This reassures your lender that they’ll be repaid, and can boost your application’s chance of success.


What are the alternatives to car financing?

If you’re ineligible for car finance, there are a few alternatives to consider.

You could use a credit card to pay for your car — as long as it offers you an interest-free repayment period, and you clear the debt during this time. You may also want to consider a loan from a friend or family member — but make sure all parties agree on the repayment terms first.

No matter which approach you choose, always do your research to avoid getting caught out.


Can I get car finance if I’m an international student?

Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely you’ll be given car finance as an international student in the UK.

If you set up a UK bank account, you may be eligible to take out a personal loan for a car, but this can depend on your situation.


What other costs should I consider as a student driver?

As a student driver, you’ll need to be prepared for annual MOT and car tax charges, in addition to a monthly insurance payment. You should also consider the cost of car maintenance, fuel, and potentially the cost of renting a parking space.

If you’ll be travelling often, paying for breakdown cover can give you peace of mind and save you money in the long term.

*Representative Example – Personal Contract Purchase: Cash Price £15,000.00, Deposit £500.00, borrowing £14,500.00 over 4 years at 8.9% Representative APR (fixed). 47 monthly payments of £228.99 followed by a final payment of £7,560.00. Total cost of credit of £3,832.53 and total amount payable of £18,832.53. Based on 8,000 miles per annum, excess mileage charges will apply if this is exceeded. Finance subject to status 18+ only. We are a credit broker and not a lender. Magnitude Finance is a trading style of DSG Financial Services Ltd. DSG Financial Services Ltd is a company registered in England & Wales with a company number 02313903. Our VAT registration number is 511678843. DSG Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 649675

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