2023 Capital One Auto Loan Review
One size doesn’t fit all with auto financing, but Capital One car loans can fit most. Despite having just an OK starting auto loan rate, Capital One auto loans had one of the lowest average APRs provided to borrowers on the LendingTree platform in the first half of 2022. Drivers with poor to excellent credit found relatively great interest rates. Capital One is an auto lender worth considering if you’re buying a car from a dealership or if you’re looking to refinance.
Capital One loans at a glance
Capital One offers new and used car loans, which are available at over 12,000 partner dealerships across the U.S. You can find such a participating dealer near you via the Capital One Auto Navigator program, which also features prequalifications — financing estimates that you can apply for before you head to the car lot.
If you’re refinancing a car loan, you don’t need to see a salesperson; you can apply directly on Capital One’s website.
|Loan type||Starting APR||Terms||Amount||Min. credit score|
|New||5.99%||36-72 months||From $4,000||Not disclosed|
|Used (dealers)||Not disclosed||36-72 months||From $4,000||Not disclosed|
|Refinance||Not disclosed||Up to 12-month extension||$7,500-$50,000||Not disclosed|
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Capital One auto loans pros and cons
Low average APR and national availability are two of the biggest pros for Capital One car loans, but there are a few cons. Capital One doesn’t work with every dealership, and you won’t know the exact APR you qualify for until you get there because Capital One only offers prequalifications, not preapprovals.
A closer look at Capital One auto loans
Capital One offers new and used car loans through its dealership partners, but auto refinancing is available directly to borrowers on its website.
Capital One auto loan requirements
Capital One doesn’t share the minimum credit score you need to qualify for an auto loan, but you will need to have an income of at least $1,500 a month. The vehicle you want to finance also needs to be less than 10 years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles.
Capital One Auto Navigator prequalification
A prequalification isn’t necessary but estimates your monthly payment and lets you know how much you could borrow. It doesn’t ding your credit because it’s a soft inquiry. Official car loan preapprovals (which are often available from other lenders) provide hard numbers and can give you a leg up in negotiations, letting you act like a cash buyer.
In general, Capital One offers consumer banking accounts, credit cards and other services. As a large financial institution, it has long customer service hours and hundreds of branches. You could potentially do all your banking and borrowing in the same place.
How to apply for a Capital One auto loan
Capital One auto purchase
Pick a car
Decide what you’re looking for in your new set of wheels. Auto Navigator’s search feature pulls inventory from Capital One partner dealerships near you. With a car (or five) in mind, you can get prequalified and head to the car lot.
If you want to get a prequalification (you don’t need one for purchases), you can apply on your phone or computer for the Capital One Auto Navigator program. You’ll need:
- Personal details: Name and email address
- Residence: Home address, length of time at residence and your rent or mortgage payment
- Employment: Your employer’s name and address
Apply at the dealership
Once at the dealership, you’ll go for a test drive or two, finalize which car you want and apply for financing. Even if you received a prequalification, you’ll need to complete the final application paperwork with the salesperson.
If you’re a first-time car buyer or you’d like a refresher on the overall process of purchasing a vehicle, here’s our car-buyer guide.
Capital One auto refinance
Like in step two above, you’ll need to gather and input information, including your personal details, residence and employment data. Capital One will then let you know if you prequalify and show you different auto loan options.
Finalize your application
Pick one of the options as your official loan request. You’ll likely be able to choose from a few different loan terms with various monthly payments.
Provide any documents and sign the papers
If requested, you may have to upload documents, such as photos of pay stubs, to prove your income. If your loan application is approved, you’ll review the contract and sign on the dotted line.
How Capital One auto loans compare
Capital One’s auto loan offerings are on par with competitors. Its starting rate is average and its terms are a bit limited, as other lenders offer auto loan terms from 12 to 84 months, but Capital One is a solid choice for many car buyers.
|Capital One||Fifth Third Bank||LendingClub|
|Terms||36 to 72 months||Up to 75 months||24 to 84 months|
|Amount||From $4,000||$2,000-$80,000||$4,000 to $55,000|
|Min. credit score||Not disclosed||Varies||510 FICO Auto Score|
Is a Capital One loan right for you?
Capital One offers some of the lowest average auto loan rates across different credit categories on the LendingTree platform. However, it’s always a good idea to compare offers from multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting the best rate for you. By filling out a single form at LendingTree, you may receive up to five auto loan offers from top lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.
Get a preapproval directly from a lender of your choice, such as a bank, credit union or online lender, then visit one of Capital One’s partner dealerships and ask them to beat the APR offer you already have in your pocket.