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Can you get car finance with an EU licence?

Have you been wondering if you can get car finance with an EU licence? You have seen the criteria spread across countless car dealer websites – ‘must hold a full UK driving licence’. Is that true? And what does that mean for EU licence holders seeking car finance?

It’s amazing news for EU licence holders.

With Refused Car Finance you can get car finance with an EU licence. Despite there being many car dealerships and providers declining to accept applications from European licenced applicants, we have ensured that we have lenders on board that say yes. Whether you have been refused before, or you had reservations about the impact of your licence, then we can help.

I’ve been declined before

If you went straight to a dealership or provider with just one or very few finance options, you may have not been given an option of a lender who accepts European licences. One of the benefits of a car finance broker is we can match you up with a huge range of lenders, specialising in various areas.

If you did choose a car finance broker then having an EU licence is unlikely to have been the sole reason you got declined for car finance. Each finance lender has its own criteria. Here are some of the reasons your application may have been declined:

Address history

Many require that you have at least three years UK address history. Therefore, if you have moved to the UK within that time or have had a residential address outside of the UK then that will cause a lender to decline your application. Please note, address history is treated differently for members of the military seeking car finance. This advice applies to non-military personnel.  


If you have a full 3-year address history and still struggled, then it may have come down to your affordability. All finance providers have a moral responsibility to ensure they are ethically lending. If there are concerns that your income and outgoings do not leave enough to meet the repayments, then unfortunately they would not approve your application. Remember when applying for finance you can include all of your income, including any top-ups and benefits you receive.

Credit Score

Another common reason is due to a credit score. Sometimes a request for your credit score turns up false and no data can be collected. This can cause an automatic decline as the lender can’t find you on the information provided. Ensure you have registered on the electoral role so you can be found.

Similarly, you may not have taken out much credit within the UK. If your credit file looks ‘thin’ and there is little information to go off, you may also see your application declined. This can be frustrating as the ability not to need credit can be seen as a positive. However, a finance lender is seeking reassurance that if they lend you the monies for a car they will receive that money back. Without evidence, you have done that before you can see your application rejected.  

If it’s not a lack of credit it may be a poor credit score causing the problem. Customers seeking a car with bad credit find it difficult to get a finance package that meets their needs. We specialise in this very problem and have developed a lending panel that offers flexible options to suit your situation.

It is often a combination of these factors that cause an application to be declined, rather than one single one.

Should you change your European licence to a UK one?

 This is a personal decision and not something we would recommend either way. However, when it comes to car finance lenders, it is true that there are more options available when holding a full UK licence than a European one. However, there are still options out there for you either way.  

Applying for car finance with a European Driving Licence

Have you lived in the UK for at least 3 years?

Can you prove your affordability with bank statements and/or wage slips?

Are you 18 or older?

Are you free from bankruptcy?


If you said yes to all of the above then we could get you the approval you’re looking for.