2024 Capital One Auto Loan Review
Capital One auto loans at a glance
|New auto loans
|Used auto loans
|Refinance auto loans
|Starting annual percentage rate (APR)
|36 to 72 months
|Starting at $4,000
|See Auto Loan Rates
|See Auto Loan Rates
|See Refinance Rates
Capital One offers its borrowers new and used car loans, as well as the opportunity to refinance an existing loan. Of all its features, its starting annual percentage rate (APR) is the breakout star because it’s so much lower than the competition, making it an excellent choice for those with strong credit scores.
Still, if your credit needs work, the bank’s prequalification tool can make it easier to determine if you’ll qualify. Once you know if Capital One might be a good fit, its Auto Navigator tool simplifies the car-buying experience by allowing you to shop online before heading to the dealership. Capital One Auto Finance loans are best for:
- Borrowers who are interested in prequalification: Capital One offers the opportunity to prequalify for one of its loans without impacting your credit score.
- Borrowers who want to shop for a car online: Capital One’s Auto Navigator tool makes it easy to find your next car from the comfort of your home.
- Borrowers with existing Capital One accounts: Current Capital One account holders may find it easier to manage their auto loans using the same methods they use to manage other accounts.
- Borrowers who want to be able to change their payment date: Capital One allows you to move your payment due date by as many as 15 days.
- Borrowers who want to customize their loan terms: The Auto Navigator tool lets you customize loan terms like down payment and term length before sending you offers.
Capital One pros and cons
Like any financial decision, securing auto financing through Capital One has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a look at what you should consider when weighing your options.
Provides the ability to customize loan terms
Lets you shop for a car online
Doesn’t disclose many of its loan terms or qualification requirements
Doesn’t offer special financing or lease buyouts
Imposes restrictions on the vehicles it will finance
If you’re looking for a streamlined car-buying experience, Capital One may be a good fit. To start, the company lets you prequalify for a loan, which can make it easier to tell if you can qualify without impacting your credit score. Once you know if you’re a good candidate, Capital One lets you customize your loan offers by choosing your desired down payment and loan term.
Then, when you’re ready to shop, the Capital One Auto Navigator tool helps you find your next car online so that you don’t have to head to the dealership until you’ve found your perfect match.
Still, Capital One auto financing may not be for everyone. For one, Capital One doesn’t disclose most of its available loan terms or eligibility information, such as an available interest rate range or minimum credit score. That can make it hard to tell if you’ll qualify. Capital One also imposes strict limits on the types, makes, models and mileage of the cars it will finance. (More on that below.) You’ll also have to buy through a participating dealer.
A closer look at Capital One auto loans
Capital One offers financing for new and used vehicles through its network of partner dealerships, while auto loan refinancing is available directly through the company website.
However, there are a few key details that you should be aware of before applying:
Capital One eligibility requirements
Capital One chooses not to disclose many of its eligibility requirements, including its minimum credit score requirement. Still, if you read the fine print, the company does offer up a few details. In order to receive prequalification, you must:
- Be age 18 years of age or older
- Have a valid street address
- Have a minimum monthly income of at least $1,500
- Not be located in Alaska or Hawaii
Capital One financing restrictions
In general, Capital One agrees to finance cars that:
- Were manufactured for personal use
- Have fewer than 120,000 miles
- Have a model year within the last 10 years
- Are available from a participating dealer
That said, it also places restrictions on certain car makes, including Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Saab, Suzuki and Isuzu.
Additionally, the company doesn’t offer special financing. They note that the following types of vehicles are ineligible:
- Commercial vehicles
- Lease buyouts
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
- Camper vans
- Motor homes
- Vehicles with a history of chronic malfunctions
- Vehicles repurchased by the manufacturer or dealer under state lemon laws
- Branded title vehicles
- Vehicles without a vehicle identification number (VIN) or title issued.
Tools and convenience
Restrictions aside, if your vehicle qualifies, Capital One can be a very convenient way to buy a car. As mentioned above, the Auto Navigator tool makes it easy to shop for a car online in addition to securing financing.
Borrowers will also be able to reap the benefits of working with a large financial institution. For instance, Capital One boasts long customer service hours, along with hundreds of brick-and-mortar branches that you can visit if you would rather apply in person.
Plus, because Capital One also offers credit cards and other banking products, existing account holders can manage all their banking and borrowing in the same place.
How to get an auto loan with Capital One
The process of obtaining a loan with Capital One will vary, depending on whether you want to purchase a car or refinance your existing auto loan. In either case, here’s an overview of what to expect:
Capital One auto purchase loans
The first step is to find a car that you love. Capital One’s Auto Navigator tool lets you pick the type of car you would like to buy, as well as the make. Then, its search feature gathers all of the options available from participating dealers in your area.
Once you find your perfect match, you can fill out a form with your name and contact information to be connected to the dealership.
Once you have all your questions answered, the next step is to get prequalified for an auto loan. While this step is optional, prequalification can give you a better idea of whether you’ll qualify. It can also help you estimate your monthly payments.
If you decide to move forward with prequalification, you’ll need to provide Capital One with the following:
- Personal details: You’ll need to provide your full name, email address and phone number.
- Residence details: You’ll need to share your street address, the length of time you’ve lived at your residence and the amount of your monthly housing payment.
- Employment details: You’ll also need to supply the name of your employer and your work address.
One unique feature of the Capital One auto finance program is that it allows you to customize some of your loan terms. You can set preferences like your desired down payment or monthly payment amount and be shown offers based on those criteria.
When you’re ready to move forward with your purchase, you’ll head to the dealership. While you’re there, you can take a test drive and formally apply for the loan.
If needed, you’ll submit supplemental documentation and wait for approval. Then, it will be time to carefully read over your loan agreement and sign on the dotted line.
Capital One auto refinance loans
Capital One also allows you to prequalify for one of its refinance loans. Just like for purchase loans, you’ll need to fill out a form with your personal, residence and employment information. However, this time, you’ll also need to include information about your vehicle.
Next, you’ll pick the loan offer that best suits your needs and finish filling out your application. In some cases, you may need to provide Capital One with supplemental documentation, as well.
Once you’re approved for the loan, read over your loan agreement and sign it. Capital One will take care of paying off your old loan and helping you to transfer title.
How Capital One auto loans compare
Compared to other large banking chains, Capital One seems to be a solid choice, especially if you have a strong credit profile. Its starting APR is much lower than some of its competitors, and its loan terms are on par.
|Fifth Third Bank
|36 to 72 months
|12 to 75 months
|Up to 72 months
|Starting at $4,000
|$2,000 to $80,000
|Up to $100,000
|Minimum credit score
Is a Capital One auto loan right for you?
While it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best rates, Capital One makes the process easier by offering the opportunity for prequalification. The addition of the company’s Auto Navigator tool makes the bank a decent choice for those looking for a streamlined car-buying experience. In addition, Capital One’s advertised rates for new car loans are lower than some of its competitors, which may make a good fit if you have good or excellent credit.
Still, the company is not very forthcoming when it comes to sharing its rate and term information, especially where used car and refinance loans are concerned. If you’re looking for one of those products, it may be worth shopping around for another lender who can provide you with a fuller picture of what to expect.
Additionally, the company’s customer service reviews leave something to be desired. Capital One Auto Finance earned just 1.11 stars out of 5 with the Better Business Bureau and did not fare much better with Trustpilot. On that site, Capital One has 1.3 stars out of 5.