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Reviews: Capital One Auto Finance

Capital One auto financing loans can only be used to purchase a vehicle from a company-participating dealership, though thousands are available. But if you have a particular dealership in mind that isn't on their list or there are a limited number of participating dealers in your area, a Capital One financing loan may not be the best option for you.

You can apply for pre-qualification and shop online for a car

Capital One Auto Navigator is an online tool that makes it easy to apply for prequalification for a new or used car loan and search for vehicles within your budget, all in one place.

Capital One Auto Finance completes a flexible loan application and then notifies you if you pre-qualify within minutes. From there, you can use Auto Navigator to search for cars based on a number of factors, such as make, model, mileage, and distance from you. In the results, you can see the estimated annual percentage rate, or APR, and payment terms you can get for each vehicle.

If you qualify, you can bring the pre-qualification offer to your chosen dealership within 30 days to begin the vehicle purchase process. Please note that this offer is not a loan approval, so the final price and terms are subject to change.

For refinancing, you can apply for prequalification online and you can usually get a response within 24 hours.

You will not know the final terms of the loan until you are at the agency

Your final Capital One Auto Finance loan offer may differ from the loan terms for which you were pre-qualified. This means your monthly payment could be different than what you expect - but you won't know until you get to the dealership and are ready to buy a car.

At the merchant, you will be asked to fill out a formal loan application, which may lead to one or more hard inquiries on your credit reports. According to Capital One, a dealer typically applies for financing for you by sending your application to several financial institutions, including Capital One Auto Finance. If the information you provide to the agency is different than what you provided for Capital One Auto Prequalification Financing, Capital One may offer you different loan terms.

A closer look at Capital One auto loans

Here are some other things you should know if you're thinking about getting an auto loan from Capital One.

Loans are not available in Hawaii or Alaska.

Depending on your balance, you should have a minimum monthly income of $1,500 to $1,800.

You may need to make a down payment on your car loan.

The minimum loan amount for a new or used car - $4,000 - is lower than the minimum for some other lenders. For refinancing, the minimum is $7,500.

The vehicle you choose must usually be no more than 10 years old and have less than 120,000 miles. For refinancing, the vehicle must be no more than 7 years old.

You cannot use a Capital One Auto Finance loan to purchase or refinance certain makes or types of vehicles, including Oldsmobiles, Daewoo, Saab, Suzuki and Isuzu, as well as commercial vehicles, motorcycles or recreational vehicles.

Is Capital One the right car loan for you?

If you have a steady monthly income and don't mind being limited to participating merchants, Capital One can be a good car loan option.

It is possible to get pre-qualified through an easy credit check. Auto-navigator can be useful if you are on a tight budget. The tool allows you to find cars that meet your preferences and adjust the price, helping you find a car that fits your monthly budget.

How to Apply for a Capital One Auto Finance Loan

To apply for pre-qualification with Capital One Auto Finance, keep in mind that you must plan to use the vehicle for personal use only. You must also be at least 18 years of age and have a valid contiguous United States street address, military post office, or fleet post office address.

You can apply to pre-qualify for a new or used car loan online, but you'll need to submit your final loan application to a participating dealer.

Before you submit your final loan application, it's best to check your balance and compare other loan offers. Understanding your credit can help set expectations—in general, lower credit scores will lead to higher interest rates. And shopping around can help you find the best loan rate and terms for your needs. Read our article on how to get a car loan to learn more about the process.