Non-deposit car finance – does it exist?

  • Can you really drive a new car away without paying a penny?
  • Top tips on finding a good deal revealed
  • A selection of our favourite non-deposit offers for March

In today’s world, credit and finance packages form a huge part of the way we pay for a lot of our big household expenditures.   

Having set payments each month makes it easy to manage your finances, whether its paying for your sofa, TV, mobile phone or even your car.

But because we all get into the habit of paying for our possessions each month, it can sometimes make saving money difficult.

If you’ve been trying to save a deposit for a new car and not had much luck, here’s some good news: it is possible to buy a new car on a personal contract purchase deal (PCP) and drive away from a dealership without paying a penny up front.

Deals like this need a little digging to find, so to help here are our top five tips to consider and some of our favourite non-deposit deals this month.

It’s important to remember that all PCP finance deals come with a final optional payment at the end of the term. You can either choose to pay this balloon payment to take ownership of the car, exchange for a new car and start a new PCP contract or simply hand the keys back and walk away.

For more on car finance and the pros and cons of each method, click here to read our guide. 

Top tips for buying a car on finance

1. Manage your expectations: If you’ve not got a healthy deposit sitting in your bank account for your next car purchase, it’s going to make finding zero APR offers and other money-off deals much more difficult. You also need to consider that a lot of premium car manufacturers like BMW and Audi don’t really offer zero-deposit deals so if you’ve had your eye on the latest Audi A4 or BMW X1, you may need to rethink.

2. Set a realistic budget: It’s very easy when you’re walking around the dealership admiring the leather seats or flashy paint jobs to try and squeeze another £10 or £20 a month into your monthly finances. But it’s best to set a budget before you go into the dealership and try not to get befuddled with heated steering wheels and self-parking systems that you don’t really need.

3. Overstate your mileage: There will be limitations and terms you’ll need to abide by as part of your finance deal. Mileage is one of the biggest stipulations and it’s better to overstate at the beginning of your finance agreement than go over and be hit by charges as a result. Some penalties can be as high as 10p per mile if you go over, which could get very expensive.

4. Shop around: Head straight to the manufacturers’ websites and you’ll see lots of offers and deals available. Even if you know the car you want to buy, check out its rivals and see what other car makers are offering; it might give you a little extra haggling power in the dealership. Every week we scan the web and pick our favourite deals – check out our latest weekly deal watch here.

5. Remember you can walk away: Salesman can be very persuasive. Most still get commission-based pay and have tough sales targets to hit. They will use many tricks to make the deal, so remember they are not your friend and if you’re not 100 percent sure the car or finance is right for you, walk (or run) away.

Our favourite non-deposit deals*

  • Fiat is currently offering a three-month payment holiday at the start of selected 48-month PCP deals for its award-winning 500 hatchback until March 31. This offer also includes a £500 contribution from the dealer and 3.3 percent APR with monthly payments starting at £169. For more on this deal click here.
  • Renault is offering you the chance to pay no deposit on a selection of its cars, including the recently revised Clio hatchback which can be had on a 49-month PCP contract for as little as £169 a month on a 5.9 percent APR deal. More on this offer click here.
  • As we explained above, it’s pretty rare to find a zero-percent APR non-deposit deal, but Mazda is the exception to the rule this month. You could drive away its stylish 2 hatchback on a 37-month PCP deal and you’ll pay from £212.81 each month. For more on this deal click here.
  • Small coupes like the Hyundai i20 are something of a novelty these days and to make the car even more appealing the Korean car maker will give you a £750 deposit so you don’t have to pay a thing at the dealership. Monthly payments on the 49-month deal will set you back at least £254.74 based on 6.9 percent APR. To view more on this deal click here. 
  • The Suzuki Swift has built a reputation as a fun to drive, well-built and reliable alternative to the infamous Ford Fiesta.  Here we’ve managed to find another zero-percent APR deal with nil deposit. You pay from £168 for 43 months – for more on this deal click here. 

If you’re considering buying a new car on finance, make sure you visit our finance section for a quote - we work with over 20 lenders to give our customers access to more than 100 different lending options.

Need more help finding the right car on finance? These articles may help…

Conditional sale vs PCP

Car finance: which option is right for you

Top 10 cars for £100 a month

New vs three-year old cars for £10k

*Deals are correct at time of publication. Everyone’s financial circumstances are different and credit is not always available – Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. These deals are indicative examples of some packages available this week.