Can I finance a car for someone else? 

You can buy a car for somebody else or contribute towards their car fund, even if they are looking to purchase using car finance. However, it is illegal to apply for either Hire Purchase or PCP finance on behalf of someone else. This is known as fronting and is classed as fraud.

5 min read
Couple taking out new car finance

Can you buy a car and put it in someone else's name? 

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to buy a car using car finance in your name and give it to somebody else to drive. As mentioned above, this is called fronting and is illegal. Your finance agreement will be dependent on your financial history as well as other personal factors, so if you take out an agreement in somebody else’s name, the information that the finance company have will be incorrect. 

You are well within your rights to buy a car for somebody else – just as long as the car finance is in the driver’s name. Your options are to either: 

  • co-sign the car finance agreement with the individual that you are buying for  
  • set up a direct debit for the monthly amount that they need to pay for their car finance into their account  
  • or give them the money to buy the car outright

Can I finance a car for my partner or child?  

Some lenders may let you take out car finance for your spouse or partner, but usually only as long as the car is being used by both parties. It might also be possible for you to buy a car on finance for your child, since they may not be able to get the finance themselves yet. But you will need to find a specialist lender who allows this.  

As the person who is taking out the finance, you will probably need to be the registered keeper of the car. You might even be required to be the main driver and have your child, partner or spouse as a named driver only.

Whatever the terms and conditions are, they will be in your credit agreement. So, make sure you read them carefully and ask the car finance company to explain anything that you are unsure of.  

How to co-sign for a car  

There are four steps to co-signing for a car, follow them carefully to make sure you don’t accidentally do something you shouldn’t.  

1. Find the right companies 

Not all car finance companies will accept co-singing, so you will need to find those that do. You can do some research using comparison websites, contacting well-known brands who offer car finance, or simply typing a phrase like, ‘how to co-sign for a car’ into a search engine. 

2. Compare your findings 

Now you’ve found some companies who offer co-signing deals, you need to compare them. Make sure you think about which type of deal you’re most likely to get accepted for, as well as which one you want. There’s no point in applying for car finance if you’re definitely going to get rejected.  

3. Complete your application 

Sit down with the person who is co-signing with you and complete the application together. You will need to provide information like your personal details, credit history, bank account details and proof of driving licence.  

4. Read the terms carefully 

If your application gets accepted, you will be sent a formal credit agreement. Make sure you read the terms and conditions on this thoroughly because once you sign it, there is no going back. If there is anything that you or your co-signer do not understand, make sure you contact the finance provider to clarify.  

Can I get car finance with a guarantor?  

No – you can’t directly take out car finance by using a guarantor. A guarantor is somebody who agrees (under a legally binding contract) to pay the money owed if you are unwilling or unable to. This means that if you stop paying, the lender can chase you both equally. It can be risky and has ruined many relationships between people before.

Unlike loans and credit cards, car finance companies don’t offer options with guarantors. However, you can take out a guarantor car finance loan instead and use this to pay for your car finance.

If you have a limited or bad credit history and are struggling to get accepted for car finance, a guarantor loan might help you get accepted. Car finance companies might be more willing to offer you car finance if you have a loan that is specifically designed to pay for it. There are a range of car finance loans available from different companies, so make sure you do your research before applying for one.

What is fronting in finance? 

Fronting in car finance is where somebody pretends to be the main driver of a car in order to take out finance for somebody else. It can be tempting to do this if you are struggling to get approved for car finance, or if you simply want to access it for cheaper. This is because interest rates for car finance vary based on your credit rating. So, if you have a poor or sparse credit history you may only be able to access high interest rates, or struggle to get accepted at all.  

The reason that fronting is illegal is because, essentially you are pretending to be somebody else on a legal document, which is classed as fraud. Car finance companies require the person they are lending to be the one who takes out the deal, so that they can give them a fair price based on risk assessments and their credit history.

If you are caught fronting, you may end up in court. This could lead to: 

  • a fine  
  • six points on your license  
  • a criminal record 

Just make sure that all of the information you provide on the car finance application form is honest, accurate and in the name of the person who is mainly driving the car. 

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*Representative example: Borrowing £6,500 over 5 years with a representative APR of 20.7%, an annual interest rate of 20.7% (Fixed) and a deposit of £0.00, the amount payable would be £168.48 per month, with a total cost of credit of £3,608.67 and a total amount payable of £10,108.67. Rates may differ as they are dependent on individual circumstances. Subject to status. We're a credit broker, not a lender.