Choosing the right car with bad credit

Owning a car can often be a necessity, many of us need them to travel to work and for our day-to-day lives. However not so many of us can afford to buy a new car outright, and if you have a poor credit score, getting any kind of finance can be a challenge. You will want to make sure that the car you choose won’t put further strain on your finances. But with thousands of different cars on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. You need to balance affordability with your lifestyle and practicality.

To help choose the right car for you, we have put together some of the things that you should consider if you’re looking for a car and have bad credit.

Make sure you can afford it!

Some car finance lenders who cater for people with bad credit base their decision on your affordability, rather than your credit score. You should work out what you can put towards a new car each month and base your decision around this. Our car finance calculator can help you work out how much a finance agreement arranged through Red Potato will cost you.

You should also look at how much you can afford to spend on other car running costs. This includes fuel, insurance, MOTs, servicing and tax. So when choosing your car you should also factor these costs into your budget. This tool on the Money Advice Service website lets you see how much you’re likely to spend on the car you’re looking at buying.

Choose a used car over a new one

Although it’s tempting to look for finance on a brand new car, they will almost always cost you more. With bad credit it’s also unlikely that you will get finance approval on a new car. If you do, you might be required to put down a large deposit to secure it.

Choosing a finance option on a used car is likely to give you a better chance of being approved. A second hand car will have already depreciated in value, sometimes by up to 50% in the first three years. So this essentially means that you will save this amount when you purchase the car.

…But don’t opt for an old car either

On the other hand, you should also avoid looking at older cars. These can also end up costing you more in mechanical repairs and general maintenance. Problems with older cars are also likely to occur out of the blue when you haven’t budgeted for them, forcing you to find the funds for a garage to fix the problems.

We would recommend looking for something that is no older than 5 years. This way you get the best of both worlds by getting a nearly new car that’s lost its initial value but is still unlikely to regularly need maintenance. All of the cars we supply through Red Potato meet these criteria.

Pick something that meets your needs

As well as being affordable to buy and run, the car you choose should be suitable for your lifestyle. If you have a family then you need to make sure the car you’re considering has enough space and a good safety rating. If you drive a lot of miles then you will want something that has a good MPG or if you’re someone who only drives short journeys then you might want something smaller and more economic.

With over 9,000 used and approved cars, Red Potato we can help you find an affordable car that fits your daily lifestyle.

Search our cars

This website is operated by Premium Plan Limited. Red Potato is a trading name of Premium Plan Limited, which is registered in England with Company No 05977118. Registered office: Kempton House, Kempton Way, PO Box 9562, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 0EA. Premium Plan Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The Red Potato name and logo are trademarks of Totemic Limited. Premium Plan Limited is a member of the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).