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You’ve been refused car finance, leaving you confused and wondering why! Find out the most probable reasons you got declined and which steps to take next.

There’s still hope! Just because you’ve been rejected for car finance, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to get a car finance policy. Each provider has its criteria and because you don’t meet one company’s requirements doesn’t mean you won’t meet another.

We help people who have been refused car finance get approved!

Reasons you have been refused car finance:

There are a few reasons car finance applications get declined. Avoid the following points and you will drastically increase your chances of being approved.

1. Affordability

The biggest reason you’ve been refused car finance is due to your affordability. A responsible lender ensures you can afford to make the repayments on the finance package. If they don’t believe you can, then you will be declined.

Your income must be verified prior to the loan paying out. Bank statements are most often used to do this.

If you’re sure your affordability is strong and you have bank statements that can validate this, you may have been declined for one of the reasons below.

Related – Does being declined car finance affect your credit score?


2. Bad Credit

A bad credit score is one of the most common reasons for a car finance application being declined. If you have County Court Judgements (CCJ’s) or have missed credit repayments this will negatively affect your credit score. Missed payments will be recorded on your credit report for 3 years and any CCJs, defaults or bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 6 years


If you have applied for car finance with a provider that doesn’t specialise in bad credit car finance, you’re not likely to be matched up with suitable lenders. As a result, you’ll almost certainly feel the sting of being refused finance for a car. It can be tempting to go for the car finance provider with the lowest interest rate, but this only works if you know you won’t be declined. If you are aware your credit is less than perfect, you don’t want to waste your time with prime lenders as this will only lead to you being turned down and make it even harder to get approved further down the line.

Related – Increase chances of being approved for car finance


“Dan was absolutely amazing! I have bad credit and was refused elsewhere. Dan talked me through everything and was so helpful and funny. I would recommend him to anyone!”

– Jade from Nottingham
Source: Reviews.io

3. Good Credit Rating But Refused Loan

Do you have a good credit rating but have been refused car finance? It is likely because of one of the following reasons:

Too many searches on your credit file

When a lender performs a credit check, a footprint will be left. Too many of these and lenders will assume you can’t manage your money well. This is a big problem when it comes to applying for car finance as people want to get the best rate possible, resulting in too many applications. Although this is tempting, please avoid doing so as it’s one of the top reasons for car finance applications to be declined.

You don’t meet the car finance qualifying criteria

It’s not all about good credit scores and affordability. Some lenders have age cut-offs, employment requirements, and licence requirements. These requirements are unique to each lender resulting in one declining you whilst another approves. 

4. Employment status

Firstly, it’s a myth that you can’t get car finance on benefits but your employment status does play a part in getting approved for finance. You might indeed find it more difficult if you are not in full-time work. As long as you can prove you can afford car finance though, then you don’t need to worry.

5. No full driving licence

Are you looking to get your car finance sorted out before passing your test? It is hard to get approved with a provisional licence, and we recommend waiting until you pass your test. But if waiting is not an option, then considering a joint application can be a fantastic solution.

6. Not on the Electoral Register

Your chances of being approved drop off you are not on the electoral roll. This might sound odd, but it helps lenders determine your identity and trace your address. By registering on the electoral register you make this information accessible to lenders who can use it to determine your suitability. It’s just a small thing but if a lender can’t find you then it’s a popular reason to be declined car finance.


Richard Saints @ refused car finance has been fantastic from start to finish. I had no idea it could go so smoothly after struggling with other companies. I’ve had a great experience with them and would highly recommend them to anyone I speak to who’s looking for a car and will put it on my socials. Thanks again, I can’t wait to get the car I’ve wanted next week and also at a price that suits my budget perfectly 😊”

- Kari Fraser

7. No history of borrowing

You buy everything with cash and are new to this credit thing. Although you may be thinking this is great, it shows solid affordability after all. However, a lender wants to ensure they will get their money back, and a lack of borrowing history calls that into question. A credit file is a report card on how likely you are to pay the money back in full and on time. Without that proof, some lenders won’t take the risk.

Don’t worry. Refused Car Finance provides no credit car finance for people in this situation.

“Dealt with Sean who was excellent from the start and confident could source me a deal. Was refused other places however these sorted me a car deal at better rates than others proposed and all within 24 hours. So do not hesitate to give them a call.”
- Daniel B

8. Age

Age plays a factor in getting car finance, sometimes due to cut-offs in the lender’s criteria, credit laws, or its impact on other factors.

You can’t get car finance if you are under the age of 18. Although you can of course drive at 17, there are credit laws in place which permit anyone under the age of 18 from signing a credit agreement. If that is you, you could consider a joint car finance application with a parent or guardian.

You may also struggle to get car finance if you are over the age of 70 due to many lenders’ criteria having an upper age cut-off. That said, this is not all lenders and we are happy to say we have some lenders on our panel who do of course still accept applicants well into retirement.

What happens if you’re between 18 – 70, all good right? In theory yes, but the younger you are the less credit history you tend to have, which can play a part. Read Point 6. No history of borrowing for more information on this.

9. Credit cards

Credit utilisation impacts your credit scores. Your credit utilisation is how much of your available credit you use. You should use under 50% of your credit limit.

Also, if you have any unused credit cards or credit accounts, which you have paid off, you should consider closing them. Potential lenders review your available credit, and using too much can cause affordability concerns.


Do you qualify for car finance?

We can’t guarantee a car finance deal to everyone who applies but as a basic set of guidance, we ask all applications to be able to say yes to the following:

✓ At least 18 years old.
✓ Have lived in the UK for a minimum of 3 years.
✓ Can prove you can afford the finance.
✓ Not currently bankrupt.
✓ £1,000+ Gross Monthly Income.
✓ No recent CCJs or Defaults.

If you feel you fit this criteria, make a free, no-obligation application with us and we will see if any of our lending panel wishes to offer you a finance deal.


“Very efficient service and excellent service. I got finance on a new car. From start to finish, excellent communication and I was kept up to date all the way. I would highly recommend this company, they helped where everyone else said no because I was on benefits.”
- David Sutton

two people celebrating getting car finance

Now you know why you have been declined, the next step is to look at what steps you can take to either improve your chances. Quick fixes you can make include registering on the electoral register and paying off any outstanding credit cards where possible. If you have no credit history at all, get a credit card to build up your credit before applying for finance again.

If you have bad credit and your file shows missed payments, CCJs, defaults or arrears then it isn’t going to be possible to change your credit score overnight. So, presuming you want your car sooner rather than later you will most likely have to approach a bad credit car finance specialist.

We have compiled a list of easy-to-follow tips to improve your credit rating that we recommend you take a look at. Follow these steps and you’ll improve your chances of being accepted.

Can I still get car finance if I’ve been refused elsewhere?

You can get car finance after being declined elsewhere. Every finance lender has its criteria and a red flag for one company is not a problem for another.

At Refused Car Finance, we arrange car finance deals for bad credit customers, using a panel of specialist lenders across the UK. We can send your application on to lenders where you match their criteria giving you the best chance of being approved. We work harder than anyone else to get you that ‘yes’.

Don't be refused car finance any longer

We will match you up with the most suitable car finance lender.  You can then find a car from a huge variety of trusted FCA-approved dealerships in the country. What are you waiting for? Let’s get you that approval.