Bad Credit Car Finance

Applying for a Car on Finance With a Bad Credit History

We specialise in bad credit car finance, and financing cars for people with a bad credit history, a thin credit file and those that have been declined for finance by other finance companies. Most of our customers apply for finance with us, due to issues on their credit report. If you have a bad credit history and need finance for a car – we believe your credit history shouldn’t hurt you when you need a new car.

You may have a bad credit file because you’ve missed a few payments on household bills or fell behind on a finance payments in the past. You may have previously been made bankrupt, had CCJs and are looking for a car finance solution to rebuild your credit file and get back on the road. You may even have been declined for finance, due to your employment status - such as van finance because your self-employed and its more difficult to prove your earnings.

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Representative 29.9% APR

We've Financed Over 200,000 Customers Who Have Previous Credit Problems or Poor Credit Histories

Having given over 200,000 customers car finance during the last 20 odd years, we try our best to get to know your application on a personal level – minimising the difficulties and stress you may have already experienced whilst trying to get a vehicle on finance previously.

There are several reasons that may have impacted your credit file and has resulted in you having ‘bad credit’, 'poor credit' or a ‘thin credit file’, these can vary in a range of circumstances, but here are a few possible examples:

  • Have a thin credit file, which means you never taken out a substantial loan or credit agreement previously or always paid in cash, meaning you have little or no credit history

  • Shared credit or finance agreements with another person who had/has bad credit issues, and now your file is associated with theirs

  • Made some bad financial decisions, such as taking out large credit agreements and being overwhelmed with repayments you cannot afford

  • A build-up of missed payments across many accounts, which may have led to your account defaulting or then escalating to CCJ’s – which can remain on your credit file for up to six years.

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First Response Finance Specialise in Helping Those With Bad Credit Histories

Being in the dark about your bad credit history, and how it may affect your ability to get any kind of finance can be a difficult situation to find yourself in. It can be hard for banks, finance companies and lenders to trust you as your credit file only displays how you have handled the last 6 years of you finances, despite knowing yourself you're in a better financial position now to keep repayments up.

If you have been declined for finance previously and suspect that it maybe because you have bad credit history or a thin credit file, it may be worth investigating the information on your credit report which is available through various credit agencies. There are numerous credit agencies that finance companies use to access your credit file when you apply for finance. The good news is that you can also access your credit report through companies such as; Experian, Equifax and Credit Karma to name a few. If you want to learn more on how you can build and maintain a healthy credit score and the financial benefits that comes with doing so - take a look at our blog on improving your credit file.

When it comes to our poor credit car loans, rest assured knowing we deal with each application individually. In addition to your credit file we consider the personal circumstances which may have lead to any previous credit issues, and aim to discuss your application with you over the phone if we feel we need to - we want to say ‘Yes’. 

No matter your circumstances, we will carry out realistic affordability checks to ensure the finance agreement we offer is reasonable and affordable for you to repay across an agreed term. 
Please note: some customers are automatically accepted and refused.

Take care of your finances with First Response FinanceBad credit car finance could be a great chance for you to improve your credit score. Since we started financing bad credit car finance in 1998, we've helped a large amount of customers finance a vehicle that they’ve needed for their job, family, or general use. If we accept you for finance and you have a bad credit history or a thin credit file and you pay your agreement with us on time throughout the duration of the agreement and you keep on top of your other credit agreements, it can be a fantastic way to improve your credit file. Improving your credit file, can grant you access to higher credit limits and cheaper interest rates in the future.

We believe the reason many customers with a bad credit history choose us for bad credit car finance, is because we don't just use customers credit scores to decide if we are going to approve them for finance. We speak to most customers and listen to their situation, please note: some people are automatically refused.

We like to talk to applicants to try and understand their circumstances. This approach has made us the UK’s number car loan company on Review Centre (as voted by our customers). We have also been voted the "Best Car Finance Provider" in the 2021 Consumer Credit Awards, based on reviews by our customers on Smart Money Peoples website.

About Hire Purchase Finance

How Do I Apply for Car Finance for Bad Credit?

Bad credit car finance could be for youBad credit car finance may be for you. Use our finance calculator to decide if a bad credit car finance agreement with First Response Finance is right for you.

The finance calculator allows you to enter your credit rating, finance amount and term to see an estimate of costs.  Please be aware this quote could change depending on the information you tell us at interview.

Applications take around 5 minutes, but remember: be as honest as possible as we’re here to help you finance your next car, and not judge you personally. The more information we have about your current and past finance situation, will allow us to help you when it comes to deciding whether we can finance your next vehicle.


Can I Get Car Finance With a Bad Credit History?

This will all depend on your current circumstances. We’d love to say ‘yes, absolutely!’ but unfortunately, it’s a little more complex than that. With any form of finance there are always going to be people who we cannot assist. We will always try our best to approve you for finance if you have a bad credit history, and if it is the right thing to do for you and us.

Every day at First Response Finance we talk to people who are looking to get a poor credit car finance due to their bad credit histories or thin credit files. We always try our best to help, however, we will never agree to finance if we believe it will put you in more financial difficulty.

Finance Calculator

Hire Purchase Pros and Cons

  • Simple to arrange
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Flexible term lengths 18-60 months
  • Vehicle belongs to you after final payment
  • Deposits not required
  • No annual mileage restrictions
  • You are protected under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • The vehicle is at risk of repossession if you do not keep up repayments
  • You do not own the vehicle until your final payment
  • Hire Purchase is not suitable if you plan on paying off your loan within 6 months
  • Finance is subject to status and not guaranteed

If you're interested in finance make sure you read our application process to understand how your application will be dealt with.


  • are regularly missing payments
  • are on a special arrangement
  • do not bank your income

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Customer Reviews

Below you will find a selection of our latest reviews from customers. To date we have over 3,700 independent reviews, 98% of who would recommend us for bad credit car finance.  We are also rated the number one car loan company on the site with a rating of 4.9/5.0.

Please be aware that we have made slight amendments to the punctuation and capitalisation of the following reviews in order to make them easier to read. You can view the original review by clicking the relevant link.

Fantastic company to deal with. No issues completely hassle free. I've had bad credit and this company was able to offer me finance even though my credit history hasn't been great. I'd thoroughly recommend this company to anybody. Great customer service skills, very prompt and thorough throughout the whole process (and considerably cheaper compared to the first finance company I went to). Thanks First Response Finance for all your help!View original
“Excellent from start to finish, no fuss, no hassle, no mountains of paper work AND accepted me while others wouldn't! I now, not only have the car I wanted, I have it at a price I can easily afford. Would have no hesitation in recommending First Response Finance to anyone wishing to finance the purchase of a car.” View original

Get independent advice on money, finance products, debt management and budgeting through Citizens Advice and Money Helper.

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Data correct as of 10/03/2022.