This is quite a dividing subject and a lot of people look upon this kind of bad credit car finance negatively. The way it works is that a black box is placed into your newly purchased car and once a month, when your payment has been received, you get a code from your finance company that allows your car to keep running.

Of course, this means that if you miss a payment or it’s late, your car will be immobilised.

Unlike the insurance black box, these boxes don’t monitor your driving, their only purpose is to immobilise the car if a payment is missed. Not only is this an extra incentive to make payments on time but it also gives the finance companies the peace of mind that customers – ones whose credit history doesn’t paint them in the best light – will pay.

Clearway Car Finance is one of the first companies in the UK to offer this kind of bad credit car finance, something that’s been popular in the US for a number of years.

Giving everyone a chance

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I’ve bought cars on finance (most people do…) and without it, I wouldn’t be able to get the car I wanted. For people with bad credit, they are even less likely to be able to get the car they want. In fact, this isn’t just about getting a desirable car, it’s about being able to afford a vehicle to get you to work, or to pick up the kids, or to get to a shop to buy food!

Black box finance allows people with bad credit or low income the chance to get a car that could improve job prospects or just make like that little bit easier. This can only be a good thing.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic and while these black boxes aren’t ideal, I’ve read a lot of stories about how they enable someone to buy a car that’s required to get by on a day-to-day basis. I’ve seen forum posts from more than one person saying they’d be in a lot of trouble if they couldn’t afford a car because it would mean losing their jobs.

The horror stories

road rage

With anything there are a number of horror stories out there. Cars being stopped on motorways, getting stranded or mistakes being made with immobilisation codes. There’s no doubt that you should be careful before jumping into anything like this but if you know you can afford the payment, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

If you are considering black box finance, do your research and read the horror stories but understand that all the problems you hear about are down to late or missed payments.

Consider this as you would any large purchase

If you’re thinking about car finance then you need to think carefully about whether or not you can afford the payments. You might have bad credit for a number of reasons but one of them could be missing payments in the past, if this is the case you need to be sure that your situation has improved. Otherwise you might be left out of pocket with a car you can’t use.

Spend some time looking at the different finance packages available then sit down to look at your own income. Just because a lender is happy to finance your car purchase, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to afford it.

It’s down to you to make sure you can afford repayments. You should do your own affordability calculations, don’t just rely on those done by your finance company. Look at how much the finance will be per month (or per week) and factor that into your other expenses. Once you’ve paid your rent/mortgage, any other loans, food, bills etc. can you still afford that car payment with a little left over for emergencies?

Don’t forget to factor in tax, insurance, repair bills, MOTs and servicing too. Cars are expensive!

And remember, just because you can get finance doesn’t mean you should.

Buy a car you can afford

Not this...

Not this…

Once you’ve decided that you really need a car and that black box finance is for you, think about the kind of car you’re going to buy. It’s so tempting to look at higher end vehicles because, of course, we all want to drive around in something really swish but sometimes it pays off to have something a little more modest.

Don’t go above and beyond your budget just to get the car you really want. Instead, go for something just below your budget that you know is going to be reliable and economical. It might not be cool and it might not be a status symbol but you’ll be happy for that when you make those payments every month.

Black box finance for people with bad credit is a good thing as it allows all sorts of people to get a car to help them with day-to-day errands and the daily commute. If you’re considering this, make sure you can afford the repayments otherwise you’ll be stuck without a car and you’ll be damaging your credit history even more.

Lead photo: The Car From Antananarivo via photopin (license)