Can I get car finance if I’ve just moved to the UK?

Written by:
Verity Hogan
Content Manager

Welcome to the UK! Whether you’ve moved to the country from abroad for the first time or you’re an expat returning home, you might be considering applying for car finance to buy a new set of wheels.

The good news is that your nationality doesn’t matter when applying for a car loan. Instead, lenders will assess your eligibility based on several factors, including your credit history, affordability, and circumstances.

However, if you’ve been a UK resident for less than three years, you might find it more difficult to secure a loan. It’s all about risk; if you’ve not been in the country for long and started to put down roots, lenders may worry that you might not stay in the UK for the duration of your loan agreement.

Proving that you’ve lived in the UK for three years and having evidence of things like rent payments, household bills, and a mobile phone contract can all help you build a credit history and put lenders’ minds at ease.

Can I get car finance as an expat?

If you’re an expat returning to the UK after time spent living abroad or someone new to the country, you might be able to get car finance.

Your ability to find a loan and avoid being refused will depend on your personal situation and credit history. Most lenders will require that you have at least three years of address history in the UK.

Unfortunately, at Autedia, we aren’t currently able to help people who live outside of the UK. To qualify for car finance with the lenders on our partner’s panel, you must be a UK resident. You won’t be able to take out finance through us if you’re a Brit who has moved to Europe or even further afield.

Can I get car finance with an EU driving licence?

Yes, it’s possible to get car finance with an EU or European driving licence. Not all lenders will accept this as proof of ID, but some will. That’s why applying for a car loan through an online finance broker like Autedia could help.

As well as proof of ID, you’ll usually be asked to supply proof of income and proof of address.This might include recent bank statements, payslips, utility bills, or a Council Tax statement.

If you’ve lived in the UK for a while and still have your EU driving licence, you might want to consider converting it to a UK licence. This isn’t required, but having a full UK driving licence could increase the number of lenders willing to offer you a loan

Will I have a credit history in the UK as an expat?

When you move to the UK from abroad for the first time, your credit history will usually become a blank slate. Unfortunately, even if you have a fantastic score in your home country, it won’t transfer over. Similarly, if you’re a UK resident, but you’ve been living abroad for a few years, any credit history you’ve built overseas won’t be considered.

While it can be frustrating to start over from scratch, especially if you had an excellent credit score in the past, a lack of credit history doesn’t have to prevent you from securing a car loan. There are lenders on our partner’s panel who specialise in helping people with a poor or no credit history get car finance. You may also be eligible for alternative options like a guarantor loan.

If you can afford to wait a while before applying for car finance, taking steps to build your credit score could improve your eligibility. Consider registering on the electoral roll, taking out another form of credit such as a credit card or mobile phone, making the payment on time, and ensuring you keep the number of hard credit checks on your file to a minimum.

Published: 1st of January 2024
Updated: 1st of January 2024