Can I reduce my car finance payments?

Roman Danaev

07 September 2023

Are you wondering, "Can I reduce my car finance payments?" If you're an experienced driver or a student considering acquiring a used car, the answer is a resounding yes! Car finance payments can indeed be managed and lowered through strategic manoeuvres. Let's delve into some actionable tips that can help you navigate the world of car finance and drive away with a purse-friendly deal.

1.Extend your car finance loan

Ever thought about extending your car finance loan? This move can give you quick relief by stretching out paying interest on your payments over a longer time. It means smaller monthly payments, but there's a catch – you might end up paying more interest in the end. Be sure to take a close look at the new terms. Talking it out with your lender and checking the details will help you decide if this is the right path. Negotiating smartly here could really make a difference in how much you pay every month for your car. And remember, the Consumer Credit Act has a say in this new finance deal too.

2.Refinance your car loan

Thinking about refinancing your car loan? It's a clever move to bring down your monthly car payments too. How? You swap your existing loan for a new one with a friendlier interest rate, which saves you cash in the long haul. Getting this done depends on your credit score and your current loan terms. Dig into the refinancing path, haggle like a champ, and mull over what it might do to your credit history. Playing it smart here could seriously help your wallet. And remember, the Consumer Credit Act has a hand in this car finance agreement too.

3.Overpay your car finance

Surprisingly, making extra payments towards your car finance can work wonders. These additional payments directly tackle your loan's principal, leading to a faster loan payoff and reduced interest costs. Inquire with your finance company or provider about prepayment options, and weave this approach into your financial planning. Budgeting for overpayments might just be your ticket to shedding financial burden sooner than you think.

4.Put a larger deposit down

Considering purchasing a used car? Contemplate starting with a cheaper car and a larger down payment. This initial deposit can significantly lower your loan amount, paving the way for lower monthly payments and decreased interest accumulation. Strategic negotiation with dealerships, based on your higher down payment, can set the stage for a financially prudent journey.

5.Trade-In or sell the car

Thinking of swapping or selling your current car? This move could be a big deal. If your car's worth more than what's left on your loan, selling it off could wipe out your loan, and you'd be done with monthly car payments for good. Take a look at trade-in deals from dealerships, and figure out if it makes financial sense to get new car or say goodbye to your current wheels.

6.Consider prepayment

Prepayment, or making extra car finance payments, is a powerhouse move to trim down your car finance obligations. These extra payments go straight at the main amount, which means you pay less in interest. Have a chat with your lender to see if they're up for prepayments and what the best deal is. Shuffling around your monthly payment budget to fit these extra payments in might just help you zoom towards being free of debt.

7.Downgrade your vehicle

Downsizing to a more budget-friendly vehicle is a savvy choice. Smaller loans equal lower monthly payments and could even slash insurance costs. Take an honest look at what you really need, then decide if downsizing is the way to go. Making the right choice can put you on a clever financial track.

For example, if you're currently driving a larger SUV that comes with monthly payments of £350 and you switch to a smaller, economical sedan with monthly payments of £250, you could save £100 each month. This decision not only leads to immediate lower monthly payments but can also have a ripple effect on reduced insurance costs and improved fuel efficiency.

8. Try to round up your payments

Have you ever considered rounding up your car finance payments? It might sound simple, but it's a savvy trick. Adding a bit more to each payment might not seem like much, but over time, it can make a difference. This extra money goes straight toward chipping away at your loan's balance. It's like giving your loan a little push towards the finish line. This strategy is especially useful if you can manage it without straining your budget. So, why not give it a shot? Your future self might thank you for it.

For instance, if your monthly car finance payment is £225, consider rounding it up to £250. That extra £25 might not seem like a lot, but over a year, it adds up to £300. Over the course of a five-year loan, that's a significant £1500 extra you've put towards paying off your car.

9.Voluntary termination of car finance

Did you know about the option of voluntary termination? If you've paid at least half of the total amount, you might be able to return the car and end the finance agreement early. This step requires a thorough understanding, including the necessary paperwork and potential credit score implications. Voluntary termination could be the exit ramp you've been searching for.

Final words

When it comes to car money, you have ways to lower your monthly payments. Each way has its good sides and things to think about. Your own situation, credit score, and money goals are what you need to think about. From making loans longer to ending them early, the journey to less money going out each month is about making smart choices and being money-wise. As you get ready for your next car, just know that saving starts with learning, doing, and picking the right money moves. Keep driving towards saving!