How do I get a loan for a car when I’ve got poor credit history?

Simon lives in the country. No, he’s not a farmer. He doesn’t ‘do’ game keeping. He hung up his Deer Stalker hat long ago. And he’s not the Head of Maintenance on a sprawling country estate. He still lives in the country, though – working in north London all day and returning to rural Hertfordshire at night.

A while ago Simon had a problem. A BIG problem. His Land Rover Freelander (the one the dealer told him would, “never let him down”) broke down. The repair costs were prohibitive. They still are. So, what was Simon to do, especially when you consider that he’s got a poor credit record and raising the cash to buy a new or used car outright was (and still is) simply a non-starter?

A village in England

The answer was to purchase another land vehicle over time, on finance. Until a colleague told him about Albion Car Finance and their specialist lending services, Simon didn’t even realise that option was open to him.

I was sitting at my desk at work with my head in my hands. I mean, without a strong car, I couldn’t see at all how I could get to the office,” explains Simon.”The public transport options where I live out in the sticks aren’t good, with buses being infrequent or even sometimes non-existent. I, of course, thought about getting a loan from the bank or other type of lender, but said to myself: how do I get a car loan with poor credit history?

“Taxi fares were costing us a bomb”

Claire’s situation was different to Simon’s, but only through also taking advantage of the car finance option could she overcome a problem that threatened to put her rural Hertfordshire-based gardening and floristry company out of business. The business was in the red. They needed to replace their vehicles, or face closure. The option of buying three used vans wasn’t a viable option; all they could do was hope to get a loan, but to be honest, they felt they had little chance of getting vehicle finance approved.

Talking of remote, how far out in the countryside is Claire’s business based?

Well, we’re four of miles east of Apsley train station, meaning that we could at least get into London to see clients etc. by rail, whenever meetings were scheduled. But even getting to the station was a nightmare, not having a car or van. It was costing us a bomb in taxi fares (adding to our overdraft), and we were unable to do deliveries on longstanding contracts. I’m glad (and mightily relieved!) to say that now, despite having poor credit, we were able to secure a car loan, getting us back on the road again fairly quickly.

Advice for country drivers

Anyone residing in a rural area will appreciate and recognise the importance of having transport. But, sadly, so many country-living motorists with a poor credit record fail to realise that bad credit need not be a barrier to replacing a family car, land vehicle or van, on finance.

Forewarned is forearmed. The first thing to do is to access your credit report. Then set a budget. Be strict with yourself and opt for a sensible vehicle: the right one to meet your particular needs, rather than your ‘dream car’. Also, don’t agree to lots of supposedly “essential” extras – some dealers will try to talk you into this, to bump up the price/repayment costs. Don’t fall for it. Shop around for the best deals, and just focus upon getting a reliable car: one you can definitely afford to meet the monthly repayments for, preferably on a three-year deal rather than over five years – and one that will be tough enough to withstand country driving, in all weathers! Then (and only then) look for your lender, check them out, review what others say about them – and once you’re ready, make your finance application based on what you know you can afford.