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How a bad credit score can cost drivers dear

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Having a poor credit score could end up costing you as much as £8,000 extra when financing one of the UK’s most popular cars, according to new research by Uswitch.com.

For instance, the best-selling Ford Fiesta costs £16,645 to buy outright. However, when bought on finance with a four-year repayment period, the total for someone with an excellent credit rating is £20,014 – or a staggering £7,059 more (£27,073 total) for a driver with a bad credit score.

The data was obtained by the comparison and switching service using a car finance calculator to determine the cost of 10 cars bought on finance for motorists with different levels of credit score.

Cost to finance the UK’s 10 most popular cars

Popularity rankCar ModelList PriceFinance cost with excellent credit ratingFinance cost with fair credit ratingFinance cost with bad credit ratingDifference between excellent and bad credit score
1Ford Fiesta£16,645£20,014£23,673£27,073£7,059
2Ford Focus£22,215£26,778£31,672£36,221£9,443
3Vauxhall Corsa£16,815£20,269£23,974£27,417£7,149
4Volkswagen Golf£23,360£28,158£33,305£38,089£9,931
5Vauxhall Astra£19,185£23,125£27,352£31,281£8,156
6Volkswagen Polo£17,355£20,920£24,743£28,298£7,378
7BMW 3 Series£32,595£39,290£46,471£53,147£13,857
8Nissan Qashqai£23,555£28,393£33,583£38,407£10,014
9Toyota Yaris£19,915£24,005£28,393£32,472£8,466
10Mini Cooper£27,115£32,684£38,658£44,211£11,527
Source: Uswitch.com – All prices correct as of April 2021

Plan ahead for a better credit score

James Andrews, personal finance expert at Uswitch.com, reveals how to improve your credit score to help you get the best deal when purchasing a car on finance: “Registering to vote, having bills in your name, keeping to 30% or less of your total available credit (per account) and not having a credit history can all impact your credit score.

“When financing a car, first check your credit report to see what your score is. Secondly, check what’s in there and that the information is accurate. Lastly, start taking steps to improve your score.

“Providing you make your payments on time, don’t apply for many new products in a short period (e.g six months), and keep a stable address, your credit rating should improve. In as little as four months you should see your scores start to improve and after a year you should be in a far stronger position.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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