Can you get car finance without a license?

Obtaining one’s driving licence is practically a rite of passage in the UK; for many people, it doesn’t just represent a step into the right to drive a car legally, but also into wider adulthood. Indeed, it is possible to apply for a provisional driving licence from as young as 15 years and nine months old.

But of course, here at Car Finance Genie, we also realise that many of you reading this might be much older than that, and might simply have ‘not got round’ to applying for a driving licence until a much later stage of life. Maybe you’re in your twenties, thirties, or older, and simply didn’t need to get a driving licence until a change in your personal or professional circumstances?

Whatever the situation, we recognise that a lot of you out there might be in a position where you are seeking to get approved for car finance in order to buy a car, even if you don’t actually have a licence yet. So, is it possible to apply for and be granted car finance even if you lack a driving licence, and what else do you need to know on this subject?

Technically, yes, you can get car finance without a licence

To answer the question posed by this blog article in just a sentence: yes, it is absolutely possible to be approved for car finance if you don’t have a licence yet.

But the question of whether you are likely to be successful with an application for car finance if you don’t presently have a licence… well, that’s a very different matter. Yes, car finance is available for people without a licence – including potentially from the lenders that we represent here at Car Finance Genie – but most lenders out there will still expect you to have a full driving licence when you apply for car finance.

The reasons for that are simple; it provides proof of your identity as an applicant, and gives the lender reassurance that you are actually legally allowed to drive.

Why would you want car finance if you don’t have a licence, anyway?

This is a question that some of you reading this may understandably have. After all, you might reason, the whole point of car finance is to give you a means of buying a car, and if you aren’t even legally entitled to drive a car yet, why would you want to do that?

But of course, it’s important to acknowledge that ‘life happens’, and people’s circumstances and requirements can change in a very short space of time.

You might not have needed to drive a car in your life so far, but maybe you’re about to get a job where you won’t be able to depend solely on public transport in order to get to your place of work, or perhaps you’re even about to welcome a new addition to the family? In such circumstances, having a car can quickly go from “nice-to-have” to “essential”. You may therefore be looking to obtain your licence, car, and the associated car finance as soon as possible.

Then, there’s the possibility that you might already have a provisional licence, and may have taken a fair few driving lessons already. Maybe you’ve fallen in love with a particular car and would really like to own one in preparation for passing your test, or perhaps you like the idea of buying a car while you are still on your provisional licence, so that you can practise in your own car while being supervised by a suitably qualified passenger?

On the latter point, the GOV.UK website provides more information. But basically, you can have a friend or family member supervise you while you drive, as long as they are over 21 years of old, are qualified to drive the type of vehicle you wish to learn in, and have had their full driving licence for a minimum of three years. The supervisor’s driving licence must come from the UK, the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein.

Anyway, you hopefully get the idea. The point we’re making, is that there are circumstances in which someone might conceivably wish to apply for car finance even if they are only presently on a provisional licence, or don’t have a licence at all.

Do people without a full driving licence have much chance of getting approved for car finance?

As we set out above, it can definitely be difficult to secure car finance if you don’t yet have a licence; however, it’s not impossible. There are some lenders out there that do make available car loans to people who don’t have a full licence at the time of their application.

However, it’s important to understand why lenders tend to hesitate to approve the applications of people who lack a full driving licence. They will want to be reassured that you have a genuine reason for wishing to take out the loan in the first place, and if you are a young driver, you might also have little or no credit history. This would make you a riskier person to lend to in the eyes of lenders, as it would be a lot more difficult for them to be confident that you will pay back the money.

How can you boost your chances of obtaining car finance?

Applying to Car Finance Genie for car finance could be one powerful move to increase your chances of being accepted for a loan. This is because we very much build our services around helping people who might have been rejected for car finance by other lenders. We maintain an extensive panel of lenders, and some of these may be able to offer you a car finance quote even if you don’t presently have a full driver’s licence.

However, there are further steps that you might take to bolster your attractiveness to would-be lenders. We’ve written previously on what some of those steps could be, such as working to improve your credit score. You could also increase your chances of a successful car finance application by:

  • Agreeing to have a guarantor. A guarantor is a third party – typically a trusted friend or relative – who, as part of your car finance application, might agree to step in to make repayments on your loan if you find yourself unable to do so. As we stated above, a lot of people without a driving licence are young people who lack a credit history, so this move alone could do a lot to reassure a potential lender when they are considering your application.
  • Applying for joint car finance. As the term suggests, joint car finance entails having two people on one car finance deal. The potential relevance of this if you don’t have a driving licence is that making a joint application with someone who holds a full driving licence could strengthen your application overall. Again, it can be a way of reassuring a would-be lender. However, joint liability for the deal also means that in the event of you failing to keep up with repayments, both of your credit scores would be adversely impacted.

Could age also affect your prospects when you apply for car finance?

Not all the factors affecting your ability to get approved for car finance will necessarily be ones you can easily help. While, for example, we mentioned above that you can apply for a provisional driving licence before your 16th birthday, you won’t be eligible to apply for any kind of credit – such as car finance – until you turn 18.

Age, then, might turn out to be your biggest barrier to accessing car finance, especially given that some lenders set the minimum age requirement at 21.

Other than simply waiting to reach an eligible age before applying for car finance, there isn’t much you can do to get around this. Lenders are simply very nervous about extending credit to people who have little or no credit history, and if you also lack a regular income – as is often the case for young people – an already-tough task of getting car finance will be made even harder.

Allow our team at Car Finance Genie to set out your options

Nothing can be guaranteed when it comes to trying to obtain credit, and we can’t say in this blog post that we will definitely be able to arrange car finance for you if you don’t have a licence.

However, as a well-respected broker here at Car Finance Genie, we have an excellent track record of achieving acceptance for car finance for people who may have been turned down for a loan elsewhere. This includes people who might have lacked a full driving licence at the time of their application.

To learn more about how we might be able to assist you, why not give us a call today, on 01277 583 046? It is also possible to apply online for car finance from us in minutes, with no obligation to accept whatever quote we present to you. We wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of the best possible car finance deal for your needs!