Car Finance Options Explained

When buying a new or used car there are so many options now available. From personal loans to more specialist finance such as Personal Contract Purchase it leaves a lot of options for which to choose from. So what are all the options and which one is right for you.

Personal Contract Purchase

PCP is fast becoming a very popular method of car finance. You pay a monthly amount towards the purchase of the car and at the end of a pre-defined purchase period you can then choose pay a lump sum to buy the car or just return the car with no obligation. This style of finance is great for those people who like to change their car on a regular basis but do not want to pay the full amount for a new car.

Hire Purchase

This is the more traditional way to buy a car. You enter into a contract to buy the car over a certain period of time during which pay the car off in monthly instalments. At the end of this period the car is paid for and legally becomes yours. As a Hire Purchase is effectively a secured loan if you miss any payments then the seller has a right to repossess the car.

Lease Purchase

Lease / Credit Purchase is similar to a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) in that a lump sum amount pcp car finance is deferred to the end of the agreement. This lump sum reduces the regular monthly payments and allows you to purchase a more expensive care than you thought possible.

Unlike PCP a lease Purchase offers no option to return the vehicle to the finance company at the end of the agreed contract period. It is up to the customer to settle the final balloon payment through additional finance, cash or part-exchange with the finance company.

Contract Hire

This is an agreement where a rental is paid in return for the vehicle over a period of 1, 2, 3 or 4 years. It is ideal if your business prefers to reduce its financial risk by not owning the vehicle and having to deal with the administration with new cars and also worrying about the value of the car over time.

As a business you may also be able to apportion some of the rentals towards tax relief if you are VAT registered. Contract Hire is also deemed to be an operating and is regarded differently to purchase contracts. As a result your business may benefit from other tax advantages.

Contract Hire payments are specific to the car you buy and are also dependent on the amount of mileage the car will do each year. A deposit will have to be paid and this normally amounts to 3 months of the contract hire payment.

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