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Investigation highlights £1.4bn used car finance 'rip-off'

An investigation into finance in the automotive sector has slammed used car dealers for a “£1.4 billion a year rip-off” after comparing the deals offered by 100 retailers across the UK.

The Daily Mail teamed up with for the investigation which is sure to heap further pressure onto the finance sector after the FCA announced that it would be launching an investigation into “irresponsible” loans for cars in its 2017/18 Business Plan.

Data gathered by the loans comparison site found that the average car finance interest rate offered at dealerships is 9.4%, compared to a 3.2% best price widely available online.

Some 2.3million cars were bought on finance last year, and projected the additional cost to motorists as a result of the inconsistency could be up to £1.4billion a year.

The Daily Mail has also identified that motorists with poor credit records were being lured by online brokers offering high interest loans to buy cars.

One firm highlighted by the newspaper,, stated that even those with bad records should be able to ‘buy any car you want’ with an offer provided within the hour and a typical rate of 36.99% over three years.

The Daily Mail kept the subjects of its investigation, in partnership with, anonymous but said that many of those included were “big name independent firms and companies approved by car manufacturers”.

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  • R Wilson - 29/04/2017 12:53

    The FCA would be more justifiably employed investigating companies like 118 118 at 99% APR and other television advertised lenders who get up to the dizzy heights of 1200% APR in some cases. I believe comparisons seldom if ever arrange loans at their advertised lead rates, which may only be for Saints who own their own Bank. Most legitimate franchised operators are competitive and transparent with rates which are actually achievable if you have a tendency to pay your bills on a regular basis.