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Can You Buy A Car With A Credit Card?

Jul 17, 2023

Today, we’re tackling a question that has been doing rounds in our automotive community: ‘Can You Buy A Car With A Credit Card?’ It’s a query that provokes a multifaceted examination, given its financial implications. Here, we seek to answer this question in the most thorough way possible.

Understanding Your Credit Card’s Limits

A pivotal starting point when considering buying a car with a credit card is understanding your card’s limits. Credit card limits aren’t a uniform concept; they vary greatly depending on your lender’s policies, your income, and your credit history. Therefore, before thinking about buying a car with a credit card, you need to know your card’s limit.

Consider this scenario: your credit card limit is £10,000, but the car you want to buy costs £15,000. It’s evident that your card limit will fall short of the required amount. Moreover, even if your limit can comfortably accommodate the car’s price, maxing out your card has its own set of complications, which we discuss next.

How Utilising Your Credit Card Impacts Your Credit Score

When addressing the question, ‘Can You Buy A Car With A Credit Card?’, the impact on your credit score can’t be ignored. Credit utilisation, which is the ratio of your credit card balance to the credit limit, plays a significant role in your credit score. A high credit utilisation can lower your score as it portrays you as a high-risk borrower. So, a large purchase like a car can have a negative impact on your credit score.

The Dealership’s Policies on Credit Card Payments

Not all car dealerships are created equal, especially when it comes to payment methods. Some dealerships may not accept credit cards at all, while others may have restrictions on the amount that can be paid via a credit card. Therefore, it’s crucial to discuss payment options with the dealership before you plan to buy a car with a credit card.

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Car With A Credit Card

When exploring the question ‘Can You Buy A Car With A Credit Card?’, it’s essential to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages.


  1. Reward Points: Using a credit card can lead to a considerable accumulation of rewards or cash back points, depending on your card’s policy.
  2. Consumer Protection: Credit cards offer a level of consumer protection, including the ability to dispute charges if the car purchase goes awry.
  3. Convenience: If your card has a high enough limit, it might be easier to simply use it rather than seeking out an auto loan.


  1. Interest Rates: Credit cards typically carry higher interest rates than auto loans, which could result in higher costs over time.
  2. Credit Score Impact: As highlighted earlier, maxing out your card may lead to a lower credit score.
  3. Limited Acceptance: Despite the convenience, many dealerships still do not accept credit cards for car purchases or have restrictive policies in place.

Final Thoughts

To answer the question, ‘Can You Buy A Car With A Credit Card?’ – the response is a conditional yes. It depends on several factors, including your personal financial situation, your credit card limit and terms, and the dealership’s policies.

Although using a credit card might seem enticing due to potential reward points or cash back, remember that the drawbacks, such as high interest rates and potential negative impact on your credit score, might outweigh these benefits. Therefore, it’s always recommended to consider all available options and consult with a financial advisor before making such a substantial financial decision.

Common FAQs About Car Buying and Financing

As we wrap up this discussion, let’s answer some commonly asked questions related to car buying and financing:

What’s the difference between buying and leasing a car? Buying a car means you’ll own it outright once any loans are paid off. Leasing is like renting for a specific period, usually 2-3 years, then you return the car to the dealer.

Can I get a car loan if I have a bad credit score? Yes, but you may face higher interest rates. Some lenders specialise in bad credit car loans.

How much should I budget for car maintenance? A good rule of thumb is to set aside around £50 to £100 a month for regular maintenance and unexpected repairs.

What should I look for when buying a used car? Check the car’s history, maintenance records, physical condition, and take it for a test drive. Consider getting it inspected by a trusted mechanic.

How do I decide between a new car and a used one? Consider your budget, the car’s depreciation, cost of insurance, and your personal preferences. New cars have the latest features but depreciate faster. Used cars can be more affordable but may require more maintenance.

We hope this post provides clarity on this complex issue. Keep checking in for more in-depth discussions on car buying and financial planning. And don’t forget to share this information with others in your network who may also be navigating the car buying process.


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