Capital One auto loans review 2022

Capital One

Overview: best for finding a car-financing deal, using a bank service.

Negotiating for a car loan is a complex and lengthy process, especially as is typical if it starts through a bank. However, Capital One is a bank that allows you to search for different cars and loan options available at the same time. Capital One Auto Finance, a diramation of the homonymous bank, provides you an “Auto Navigator” tech tool, that allows you to pre-qualify for both new and used car financing. You can also refinance your current auto loan through a different process.

The first pre-qualifying application will not cause any adverse effect on your credit score: the service makes it convenient for the person seeking a car loan to check if they qualify. Additionally, the service is set up so that you can resume a previous application, to ensure they are on the right track.

Capital One focuses on changing the banking sector to make it more accessible and easier for customers. Currently headquartered in Virginia, the business started 25 years ago and has reached the rank of America’s 5th largest consumer bank, and it is the nation’s 8th largest bank overall. It boasts a great real-time banking experience to the clients, using online financial technology. The main products of the company include different forms of credit cards and financing options. Amongst them, auto financing is highly acclaimed.

The company currently doesn’t serve auto loans to residents of Alaska and Hawaii.

What vehicles can you finance through Capital One?

The bank provides multiple products to its clients to help them with auto purchase financing.

  • New cars: you will have a wide selection of autos makes and models, for which you can borrow as little as $4,000 and up to $40,000.
  • Used cars: your vehicle must be dated to 2010, or newer, with less than 120,000 miles.
  • Minivans, SUVs, and light trucks.

Lease buyout is not available.

As concerns car loan refinancing, it is available for cars aged 7 years, or newer. You can refi from a minimum of $7,500 to a maximum of $50,000.

The cars you can obtain loans for can be exclusively the ones available from the partnering dealerships.

And here are the key facts about Capital One auto loans:

  •  To know which dealerships accept Capital One financing, you can use the “Search cars” tool; also, there is a “Dealer Locator” bar for inputting ZIP code, to find what is available in your area.
  • The Auto Navigator is a tool that you use to check for different cars’ financing options; it helps you ensure that you can be pre-approved for the loan as well. Applying through the Navigator to see your offers will not adversely impact your credit score, making the usage extremely beneficial: not only you can check the loan terms, but also judge the features of the vehicle you are interested in financing. This means that Capital One allows you to personalize your selection: you will get pre-qualified offers with an estimate of the financing terms you could qualify for when you will be in front of the dealer.
  • The preapproval code system allows the client to use the code they have generated during the Auto Navigator application to fast track the auto-financing process.
  • You can refinance an existing car loan from other providers. Capital One claims that its rates help the customers to save $75/ month on average, by getting a lower interest rate. The refinancing option is easy to explore, with some simple steps that the customer has to follow. First, you need to take the pre-qualification test to check if your vehicle and financing are eligible. Then, you need to confirm your personal and financial details. Finally, there is the agreement, and you get entitled to the new auto loan financing. The best part is that Capital One takes care of paying your previous loan and transferring your title.

Apart from car loans, Capital One as a bank can provide a full spectrum of financial services.

You can select between 5 different types of credit cards: travel, reward, credit building, cashback, and business rewards. Each type of card has different credit requirements. The online card finding tool can help customers find the right card based on their qualifications and needs.

Why choose an auto loan from Capital One?

There are a few reasons Capital One stands out: the main advantage is the convenience of using a bank to help you find both a financing solution for your car and the vehicle itself; with a pre-approved offer on hand, you are empowered for negotiation at the dealership. Plus, the closing process and management of payments will be only a question among you, the dealer, and the bank, removing the additional party of a lending company: in fact, Capital One is the lender and the payments processor at the same time. Another edge is the pre-approval system without impacting your credit score, whereas banks typically apply a hard check for a customer’s credit report. Lastly, Capital One is quite unique about not considering a minimum credit requirement for qualifying, but it claims to look at a bunch of 200 factors taken together.

What are Capital One conditions for an auto loan?

At a glance, here is what Capital One can offer:

Borrowable amounts
As little as $4,000, the maximum depending on the vehicle
24 to 84 months
Starting at 2.99%
Interest Type
Existing Capital One account in good standing, 18+ years old, proof of residence in the U.S., an income of $1,500- $1,800+ per month (depending on credit), holding a car insurance policy with full coverage
Credit score
Not disclosed
Car requirements
2011 model or newer with less than 120,000 miles for used vehicles, in most cases
The APR varies based on each vehicle, term, and participant dealer chosen by the client. Borrowable amounts are determined on your personal finances such as the income, on the car selected, and the term in consideration. Capital One doesn’t disclose its fees, but we can safely assume that there will be various charges for originating the loan and its initial management; some may be included in APR, others are separate and will be due upfront. However, you may be able to get very competitive loan terms, since they can include the vehicle’s price plus tax, title, and most of the fees: this means potentially saving on the overall cost of your loan.

Is Capital One worth it?

We found the following benefits of using Capital One’s auto financing loans.

The benefits of Capital One are worth considering. In the US, your credit score is an important thing that defines financial institutions’ willingness to risk their money to you. This bank is able to skip this requirement in favor of other assessment criteria.

Besides, the real-time rates and the excellent methodology allow the customer instant access to the best options available: you know exactly what you will pay for and how much will it cost you. If wanted, a co-borrower can join your application, with the role of sharing your loan amount and repayments.

The limited options can result in people not being able to get their dream car. Additionally, participant dealers may still be offering higher rates than the rest of the market. And you must have a current account with the bank to benefit from such loans. The fact Capital One provides minimal information about its rates might ward off some prospective borrowers.

How do you apply for a car loan through Capital One?

The application process will be different if it is for a standard auto loan or refinancing. Anyway, it can be completed in a few minutes.

For a traditional auto loan, the steps are very simple:

  1. Search for cars using the auto-navigation tool on the website.
  2. Once you select the car, check the different financing options, and apply for a pre-approval code.
  3. Your pre-approval code will then be used when you finally proceed with the car purchase.
  4. After having used the code, provide the official documents for verification. You need to provide information about employment and where you live.
  5. Once verified, usually within 15 days, you’ll get your loan funded.

Repayments are made through logging into your Capital One online account, or its mobile app: from the dashboard, you can easily manage the transactions, for instance setting up automatic payments or adding extra installments, and you can even change the due date. Of course, it will also be possible to make direct manual payments.

How is Capital One rated?

Strong of its name, the bank is accredited by Better Business Bureau that gives the company an A rating: in essence, this means a near-top level of commitment to customer support and ability to deal with potential complaints. While there are lots of reports about Capital One as a bank, not many reviews concern the bank’s auto loans. Indeed, we don’t lie by saying that on the Trustpilot website it has an overall bad reputation, in particular about disservices of the varied kind, and disappointments about credit card accounts.

So, why we still recommend it as a possible choice? Well, if you already are a Capital One’s customer who is happy with its experience, the bank service will be greatly useful for the ease to find a loan suitable to your desired car, and there are feedbacks from people with bad credit getting an affordable rate. Most people find their easy pre-qualification process to be the most important benefit. Finally, customers generally prefer that they can complete the entire process online without having to visit the officers in person.

However, the numerous restrictions on which cars they can get a loan for, and how to refinance are the most important issues faced by most customers; plus, there are pre-qualification requirements that some customers find hard to meet.

Bottom line

Capital One reveals to be a good fit if you have an existing bank account with it, and like to comfort of doing the research of a car and its purchase financing options in the same place. If you were to refinance a current auto loan, you may be able to qualify for a low competitive interest rate as well. And you might get qualified even with bad credit, whereas other banks couldn’t. However, you have to stand the several limitations of cars financeable and dealerships available. If your priority is transparency about rates, more freedom of choice, and a top, customer-friendly service, we recommend taking your time and shop around. For ease, check our selection of lenders.