The BBC recently reported that some car buyers are being overcharged by more than £1,000 when they take out a loan to buy a car, based on a report by the UK’s financial watchdog.
The Financial Conduct Authority has warned that the industry practice of allowing dealers to set their own interest rates was costing consumers £300m a year, reporting that some dealers will overcharge to boost their commission.
The regulator launched its investigation into the car finance market in April 2017 after there was a rapid surge in consumer credit led by car dealership finance. At the time, it said it was concerned about a lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest.
In its final findings on motor finance, the FCA concluded that the widespread use of commission models, which allow brokers discretion to set the customer’s interest rate and thus earn higher commission, can lead to conflicts of interest that are not controlled adequately by lenders. It said the practice can lead to customers paying significantly more for their motor finance.
The Finance and Leasing Association, a UK trade body for asset finance, consumer finance and motor finance, said that the FCA’s survey work was “based largely on out-of-date information, and therefore does not reflect the very considerable progress the market has already made in moving away from such structures”.
Either way, it’s a complex situation that can be daunting for many people as they make what is often their second biggest purchase after a house. With so many different payment options and financial jargon, it’s very easy to end up with a deal lasting 3 to 4 years that isn’t the right one for you.
That’s why we would always suggest speaking to an independent asset finance company first before you commit. Here at Credo we work with multiple lenders, including many of the major national players, which enables us to look at a range of solutions, and remove the jargon, to find the option that you feel is right for you.