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How to finance a car

From saving up to taking out a personal loan or leasing – there are many ways to finance a car.

The best option for you will depend on your financial situation, whether you want to own the vehicle and the type of car you’re interested in.

Car finance options

Buying a car with savings

If you can pay the whole price upfront – you’ll own the car outright. You won’t have to worry about monthly repayments and can sell the car anytime. Cars can be expensive, so you might find your choice is limited, depending on what you can afford. 

The more you can save before you buy the car, the better off you’ll be. Even if you don’t have the full amount, saving some of it will reduce the amount you have to borrow, including interest.

Buying a car using a personal loan

A personal car loan enables you to buy a car and then make repayments over a set period. You’ll own the car from the start and once you’re finished making repayments, there’s nothing else you need to do. You can also sell the car if needed. 

The interest rate will depend on the loan provider, your credit history, and the type of loan you choose.

Use our car finance calculator to estimate your repayments (based on the amount you want to borrow and how long you’d like to borrow for). 

Loans are subject to status and eligibility criteria apply.

Hire purchase (HP)

A hire purchase is a way of buying a car (typically a brand new vehicle) on finance, where the loan is secured against the car. You pay a deposit and then pay off the balance and interest throughout the loan period.

Once you’re finished making your loan repayments, you own the car. Until then, the car belongs to the finance company. They can choose to repossess it if you miss any payments.

Please note – HSBC doesn’t offer HP finance.

Personal contract purchase (PCP)

With PCP, you pay a deposit followed by monthly payments for a fixed period. You don’t take out a loan for the full cost of the car – like you do with a hire purchase. Instead, you get a loan for the difference between its price brand new and the predicted value at the end of the loan agreement. 

After this, you have a few options:

  • give the car back
  • pay the outstanding balance to keep the car
  • start another personal contract purchase with a different car

Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. Some car dealers may charge for damage, excessive wear and tear, or if you exceed the mileage limit – affecting the amount you end up spending.

Please note – HSBC doesn’t offer PCP finance.

Personal car leasing or personal contract hire (PCH)

Personal car leasing is similar to renting a car, as you don't get to keep it at the end of the contract. You'll usually have to pay some rental costs in advance and then regular monthly payments. These may be higher, but you may get non-fuel running costs such as road tax or servicing included.

Please note – HSBC doesn’t offer personal car leasing.

Things to consider

As with any loan, you must be able to afford the monthly payments before you enter into the agreement.

Also consider ongoing costs such as:

  • insurance
  • servicing
  • maintenance
  • fuel

These can make a big difference to your budget and may impact how much you want to borrow and how you would like to borrow it.

If you’re interested in a personal loan, take a look at the different types of loans available to understand your options.