Capital One Auto Finance Review: Features, Services, & Benefits

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Updated: 8th Jul 2021
Written by Justin Estes
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Buying a car is one of the most significant transactions most people will make outside of purchasing a home.

Cars enable us to get to work, go on vacation, and provide liberty for our daily lives.

Auto loans help consumers finance the purchase of a new or used vehicle, and Capital One is one of the most prominent names in the lending industry.

Capital One Auto Loans offer prequalification, flexible terms, and convenient access without charging lender fees.

However, if you want to use Capital One for your next auto loan, it’s essential to know that you have to purchase a car from a dealership within the Capital One Network.

Read on to see how Capital One operates their auto lending arm to see if they may be a good choice for you and your next car purchase.

Feature(s):Details:
Estimated APR:2.99% - 24.99%
Minimum Credit Score:N/A
Loan Amounts:$4,000 - $75,000

What Auto Loan Services Does Capital One Offer?

Capital One offers a variety of loan options to customers who want to purchase a new or used car.

Although there are some restrictions on make and model, most customers will be able to finance a car with ease.

Loan amounts ranged from $7,500 to $50,000 as long as applicants have a minimum income of $1,500 per month, depending on their credit.

Capital One is a great choice for customers who want to see what rates they may qualify for but do not want to take a hit on their credit score.

Capital One offers a prequalification service with a soft credit check so customers can see what rates they may qualify for without a hard inquiry on their credit.

The prequalification service makes it easy to shop around for rates without any repercussions.

Capital One also offers a service called Auto Navigator® that helps locate vehicles within Capital One’s dealer Network that can save time and money as consumers shop for a new car.

>> Learn More: How to Refinance Your Auto Loan

Capital One Auto Loans Rates

Borrowing through Capital One means you will have access to some of the lower rates for auto loans from a large financial institution.

New car loans can start as low as 2.99% for consumers with excellent credit, and Loans for used cars start at 3.39% APR.

Competitive auto loan rates coupled with low minimum purchases can be a powerful tool for shoppers who want to buy a new vehicle but do not want to break the bank.

Customers can also refinance existing auto loans at a minimum if you are up 4.07% up to 24.99%. Refinancing loans start at $7,500 and max out at $50,000.

Capital One Auto Financing Options

Capital One offers a variety of auto financing options, including loans for new cars and used cars, but they do not finance lease buyouts or cash-out refinancing.

  • New Car Loans: New car loans start at 2.99% for customers with excellent credit.
  • Used Car Loans: Used car loans startup 3.39% with minimum loan requirements of $4,000.
  • Auto Refinance: Auto refinance loans start at 4.07% and go up to 24.99%, with minimum loans starting at $7,500.

How Capital One Auto Finance Works

Capital One Auto Finance is a versatile auto lender that offers new car loans, used car loans, and refinances of existing all alone.

Capital One is very accessible to many consumers because they will work with applicants with credit scores as low as 540, but those with lower credit scores will usually have to pay a higher interest rate.

Customers who are familiar with Capital One will enjoy the simple and straightforward application process online, but the ultimate interest rates will not be available until they submit a formal application at the auto dealership.

Using Capital One Auto Navigator®

Auto Navigator® is a useful tool that helps check for pre-qualifying eligibility, and it helps find cars that are within your budget and desired make and model.

Customers can search for cars they may be interested in test-driving and purchasing by inputting specifications such as make, model, and mileage so that they can see their options.

Auto Navigator® also provides estimated monthly payments and interest rates using the data compiled for loan prequalification, which enables customers to see what types of cars are in their budget and an accurate depiction of their monthly payments if they choose that vehicle.

See If You Are Pre-Qualified

A large component of taking out an auto loan is getting the most favorable interest rates so that your overall interest expense is as low as possible.

Capital One wants to match its customers with interest rates that are fair and affordable, and to help them accomplish this goal; they offer prequalification services which use soft credit inquiries that do not impact credit scores.

Customers who are interested in seeing what rates they may qualify for can use the online prequalification tool that Capital One offers to get a general estimation of the interest rates that they will most likely receive once they submit a formal application.

And knowing your interest rates upfront will help most consumers shop around for the best rates because many people do not know what they qualify for until they are ready to buy a car at the dealership.

Finalize Details at Dealership

Although the prequalification tool can be very helpful, customers will not receive their final loan terms until they are at the dealership and submit a full application to Capital One.

Although the final loan terms are usually similar to the prequalification terms, they may change slightly once you submit the application and Capital One performs a hard credit inquiry.

Must Buy A Car from a Participating Dealer

Capital One only finances auto loans with participating dealers in its car dealership network.

Although there are over 12,000 eligible dealerships across the country, this may be a limiting factor for customers who prefer to shop at dealerships that fall outside of the Capital One Network.

However, there are benefits to shopping within the Capital One Network because you know that you will be working with one of the most reputable banks on the market since the dealership has an existing relationship with them.

Capital One Auto Loans Features and Benefits

Working with Capital One for an auto loan provides other benefits, including prequalification, convenience, and lack of fees.

No Lender Fees

Many lenders charge Application fees to take out a new loan, but Capital One does not charge any excess lender fees.

Customers may pay origination fees, but they will not pay lender fees or prepayment fees.

Flexible Terms

Working with Capital One is easy because they offer flexible terms with loans starting at 12 months, going up to 84 months.

Easy Prequalification

Capital One makes it easy to apply for loans with their online prequalification tool.

Since interest rates depend on credit scores, having access to a prequalification tool that does not impact your credit score is invaluable because it allows you to shop around for the best interest rates and prepares you for negotiating with the dealership.

Super Convenient and Easy

Capital One brings the convenience of its online credit cards and banking to its Auto Loan program.

Applicants can search for cars, shop around for interest rates and apply for a loan, all in the same place on the Capital One auto loan website.

Competitive Interest Rates

Interest rates for the Capital One Lending program are very competitive, as low as 2.99% for customers purchasing new cars with excellent credit and as low as 4.07% for used car loans.

Loans as small as $4,000

Many banks have more extensive minimum loan requirements, the Capital One enables lenders to borrow as little as $4,000 to purchase a new or used car.

Lower minimums enable customers to purchase affordable vehicles at Fair financing rates.

12,000 Participating Dealerships

Financing the new or used vehicle through Capital One requires applicants to shop at one of capital one’s 12,000 participating affiliate dealerships.

Capital One Auto Loan Restrictions

There are many benefits to using Capital One auto loans; however, there are a few restrictions and limitations for applicants to be aware of.

Individual Requirements

Capital One financing is not available in Hawaii or Alaska, and depending on your credit score, there is a minimum monthly income requirement ranging from $1,500 to $1,800 to be eligible for Capital One Auto Loans.

Vehicle Restrictions

Although Capital One Auto Finance offers many flexible terms and benefits, it’s important to know that they have certain exclusions on vehicles purchased with their financing.

For example, you cannot finance Oldsmobiles, Daewoo, SAAB, Suzuki, or Isuzu cars. Commercial vehicles, RVs, and motorcycles are also excluded from Capital One Auto Finance.

Additionally, Capital One will only finance Vehicles 10 years old or newer.

How to Apply for a Loan from Capital One Auto Finance

Applying for an auto loan from Capital One Auto Finance is simple and straightforward.

You can go directly to the Capital One website and fill out the online application if you are ready to take out a loan, and if you want to check your possible interest rates, you can use the free pre-qualifying tool.

Capital One Auto Finance Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Low minimum loan amount of $4,000.
  • Works with a variety of credit scores ranging from bad to excellent.
  • Flexible terms and pre-qualifier tools help applicants check their rates without an impact on their credit score.

Cons:

  • You must purchase a car through one of Capital One’s dealers. They partner with over 12,000 dealerships, but they will not finance the vehicle if you want to work with a dealership off of their list.

How Does Capital One Auto Finance Compare?

#1. MotoRefi vs. Capital One Auto Refinance

MotoRefi is exclusively a refinancing company offering to refinance loans from $5,000 to $50,000.

If you are on the market for auto loan refinance, then this marketplace should be at the top of your list. In a matter of minutes, you can compare various auto loan rates from verified lenders.


Moreover, MotoRefi will also help you transfer over the title, and will help you lock in the best rates.

>> Learn More: MotoRefi Review

#2. Capital One Auto Finance vs. Tresl

Tresl offers lease buyouts and company vehicle purchases, whereas Capital One does not.

Both lenders have similar rates and offer credit to those with bad credit up to excellent.

If you want to buy out a current lease or purchase a company car, you will need to use Tresl, but Capital One is a better choice if you want a lower loan amount.

>> Learn More: Tresl Auto Loans Review

#3. LightStream vs. Capital One Auto Finance

LightStream offers higher loan amounts with limits up to $100,000 while Capital One maxes out at $50,000.

Customers who want a more expensive car will most likely have better luck with LightStream.

However, customers who want lower loans will prefer Capital One because they offer loans as low as $4,000.

>> Learn More: LightStream Review

#4. Auto Approve vs. Capital One Auto Loans

Auto Approve is an auto loan refinancing company that offers rates as low as 1.9% ranging from $7,500 to $150,000.

Customers who want to refinance a large auto loan will enjoy the high limits and low rates.

However, Capital One offers lower refinancing limits starting at $4,000 up to $50,000, which may make it a better choice for lower refinancing amounts.

>> Learn More: Auto Approve Review

Additional Capital One Finance Products

Although Capital One has a robust auto financing program, they are also one of the largest banks in America. They offer checking accounts, credit cards, and more, all accessible online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Capital One Good for Car Loans?

Overall, Capital One is a great auto loan provider because they do not charge lender fees, enable applicants to see if they pre-qualify without a hard credit inquiry, and offer low loan minimums.

What Credit Score Do You Need for Capital One Auto Loan?

Capital One requires a minimum credit score of 540, but the higher your score, the lower your interest rate will be.

How Do I Qualify for a Capital One Auto Loan?

Qualifying for an auto loan from Capital One requires a valid U.S. ID along with a minimum income of $1,500-$1,800 depending on creditworthiness.

Can I Pay Off My Capital One Auto Loan Early?

Yes. You can pay your auto loan off early with no early payment fee or penalty.

Bottom Line: Capital One Auto Loans Review

If you are on the market for a new or used car, do not ignore Capital One’s auto financing program.

They make the lending and shopping process easy because you can browse new listings, receive funding, and find a dealership all in one location.

Justin Estes
Justin Estes
Justin is an experienced personal finance writer, blogger, and author. His background in accounting and finance led to a passion for helping people make the most of their money and matching them with financial products that enhance their lifestyle. When he's not working, he enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and drinking coffee.