What is car finance?

What is car finance?
 

The subject of car finance comprises the different financial products which allows someone to acquire a car with any arrangement other than a single lump payment. The provision of car finance by a third party supplier allows the acquirer to provide for and raise the funds to compensate the initial owner, either a dealer or manufacturer.

Car finance has become big business. A huge number of new and used car buyers in the all over the world are making their vehicle purchase on finance of some sort. It might be in the form of a bank loan, finance from the dealership, leasing, credit card, the trusty ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’, or myriad other forms of finance, but relatively few people actually buy a car with their own cash anymore

Car finance is required by both private individuals and businesses. All types of finance products are available to either sector, however the market share by finance type for each sector differs, partly because business contract hire can provide tax and cashflow benefits to businesses.

How does a car finance work?

In direct lending, you get a loan directly from a bank, finance company, or credit union. You agree to pay, over a period of time, the amount financed, plus a finance charge. Once you enter into a contract with a dealership to buy a vehicle, you use the loan from the direct lender to pay for the vehicle.

Financing through the dealership

For many people, financing the car through the dealership where you are buying the car is very convenient. There are also often national offers and programs which can make financing the car through the dealer an attractive option.

This blog will focus on the two main types of car finance offered by car dealers for private car buyers: the Hire Purchase (HP) and the Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), with a brief mention of a third, the Lease Purchase (LP). Leasing contracts will be discussed in another blog coming soon.

Personal Car Finance

Personal Car Finance is a complete subsector of personal finance, with numerous different products available. These include a straightforward car loan, hire purchase, personal contract hire (car leasing) and Personal Contract Purchase. Therefore, car finance includes but is not limited to vehicle leasing. These different types of car finance are possible because of the high residual value of cars and the second hand car market, which enables other forms of financing beyond pure unsecured loans.