Payment holiday advice for car finance

  • List of what carmakers in the UK are offering
  • Best advice is to contact them
  • Small manufacturers want customers to contact banks directly

2018 Volkswagen Touareg

Car manufacturers up and down the country are urging customers to contact them if they are struggling to keep up car payments amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Now that the term 'payment holiday' is in the lexicon of the general public, following the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement that there will be a three-month payment holiday for mortgages, some car manufacturers are considering this form of financial relief for customers too.

Volkswagen is leading the way with payment holiday help. The firm is now offering a number of options for customers in need, chief of which is a payment holiday of up to 60 days.

Ford, the maker of the bestselling car in the UK, the Fiesta, told Parkers that its plans include extended payment arrangements, payment holidays, cancellation of late fees and charges, and flexibility on payment methods.

Hyundai said that relief for customers may include a payment holiday. Kia says the same.

While Honda says it isn't strictly offering this at the moment, Parkers has learned that the Japanese car manufacturer, that builds the Civic hatchback at its assembly plant in Swindon, would consider a car payment holiday if the virus progresses.

Want to know about your personal situation? Skip to see what individual car makers are saying about car finance payment holidays below:

Abarth
Alfa Romeo
Alpine
Audi
Bentley
BMW
Citroen
Cupra
Dacia
DS
Ford
Honda
Hyundai
Jaguar

Jeep
Kia
Land Rover

Lexus
Maserati
Mazda
Mercedes-Benz
MG

MINI
Mitsubishi

Nissan
Peugeot
Porsche
Renault
SEAT
Skoda
Smart
Suzuki

Tesla
Toyota
Vauxhall
Volkswagen
Volvo

What is a car payment holiday?

It's a term borrowed from the mortgage market. A car payment holiday works in the same way as a mortgage payment holiday.

It essentially involves customers temporarily stopping car payments. At the end of the holiday, the finance company will recalculate your monthly payments to make up for the shortfall.

What the Financial Conduct Authority says

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial regulatory body for the UK, has said that while it's not ready to comment on specific industries, it expects firms to 'provide strong support to customers during this period.'

What this means for you

This is a step in the right direction for the thousands and thousands of people who are in Personal Contract Purchase or Hire Purchase agreements on a car via a car manufacturer.

Several companies are now at least considering payment holidays, which means financial breaks could be available for thousands of people in need.

The blanket advice, as at any time with these types of agreement, is to contact the provider of the finance if you are struggling to pay.

However. Individual car dealers are made up of individual and independent businesses, who are free to offer financial products from other organisations. And manufacturers won't be able to help you with these repayments.

Read on to discover what individual car companies are saying about car finance payment holidays.

What car companies are offering payment holidays?

2019 BMW 1 Series

BMW payment holiday:

(BMW, MINI)

BMW says: 'BMW Group Financial Services will treat each case individually and work with customers to support where we can, based on their individual circumstances. For customers experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19, we recommend they contact BMW Group Financial Services at their earliest opportunity.'

Parkers says: No specific advice about payment holidays, yet. Contact BMW for more advice.

Fiat payment holiday:

(Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati)

Fiat says: 'We ask those customers who are experiencing payment issues to please contact our customer support team. We will look at the individual circumstances and address them on a case by case basis.'

Parkers says: Standard response. No specifics as of yet.

Ford payment holiday:

Ford says: 'With customers always a top priority, Ford offers a number of tools to help vulnerable customers regardless of the situation. These differ slightly country by country but currently include reduced payments, payment extensions, payment holidays and pre-arrears forbearance. Plans include extended payment arrangements, payment holidays for all markets, cancellation of late fees and charges, and flexibility on payment methods.'

Parkers says: Payment holidays aren't quite definite yet.

Honda payment holiday:

Honda says: 'As a responsible lender authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, we are watching the current situation closely and understand that many of our customers will be directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19. We encourage all customers to make early contact with us and any other lenders if they are experiencing financial difficulty so that a suitable solution can be discussed which is appropriately tailored to your circumstances.'

Parkers says: No specific mention of payment holidays. Although, a source at Honda tells us it's on the cards if things get more serious.

Hyundai payment holiday:

(Hyundai, Kia)

Hyundai says: '(We) have in place a number of measures to assist customers in repaying their finance agreements should they experience financial difficulty. Whilst this may include a payment holiday, each customer's individual circumstances will be considered at all times.'

Parkers says: Payment holidays are on the cards, dependent on your individual circumstances.

Jaguar payment holiday:

(Jaguar, Land Rover)

Jaguar says: 'As the impact of coronavirus is felt across the UK, customers may have concerns. We've put in place some additional support to help. If customers' income has been affected by the disruption from the coronavirus, we have a range of options to help, which include payment deferrals on finance agreements, with additional support provided when they need it. Our key priorities are to keep essential workers mobile and to support customers in need of a payment deferral where their payment is due within 7 days.'

Parkers says: Payment deferrals are available for people whose income has been affected - but only when their payment is due within seven days. Once again, contact Jaguar for specifics.

Mazda payment holiday:

Mazda says: 'Each case will be treated as an individual case and depends on a number of factors. While each case will warrant its own outcome, customers will be able to discuss things like rescheduling their monthly payments and/or payment holidays.'

Parkers says: Although on an individual basis, payment holidays are available. Ring Mazda as soon as possible.

Mercedes-Benz payment holiday:

(Mercedes-Benz, Smart)

Mercedes-Benz says: 'Mercedes-Benz Financial Services will be working closely with customers facing financial difficulty – reviewing each request on a case-by-case basis and ensuring the best possible outcomes for them.'

Parkers says: Standard answer here from Mercedes. Get requests in as early as possible.

MG payment holiday:

MG says: 'Not being a lender, it would be inappropriate to comment on customer repayments. Advice for MG owners is to contact Santander directly.

Parkers says: Robust wording from MG. Clearly not in any rush to help customers. Advice is to contact MG's finance provider.

Mitsubishi payment holiday:

Mitsubishi says: 'Obviously this is a fast-changing situation. Right now we're advising customers to contact their lease or finance companies, and that includes our own, and explain the situation to them. Most are willing to work with customers in genuine distress.'

Parkers says: Not much specifically here. But, Mitsubishi sells a lot of pickups. If you're after van or pickup related information specifically, read What to do if you need a payment holiday on your van or pickup finance.

Nissan payment holiday:

Nissan says: 'In these challenging times, our customers remain our top priority. As a responsible lender, Nissan Finance understands that a number of customers may be affected by the impact of COVID-19 Coronavirus. If any of our customers have been impacted, we will be here to support them. Customers can contact us via our customer portal, email or telephone to discuss any concerns they may have.'

Parkers says: Nothing specific about holiday payments. We will update when we hear more.

Peugeot payment holiday:

(Citroen, DS, Peugeot)

Peugeot says: 'If you are experiencing issues such as financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic then please contact us as early as you can to understand what options are available. On our financial support page, you will find out more information about how we and other organisations may be able to help you.'

Parkers says: Another company asking you to get in contact. Although, Peugeot reassures us that there are numerous ways to do this.

Renault payment holiday:

(Alpine, Dacia, Renault)

Renault says: 'As a responsible lender, Renault Finance understands that a number of customers may be affected by the impact of COVID-19 Coronavirus. If any of our customers have been impacted, we will be here to support them. Customers can contact us via our customer portal, email or telephone to discuss any concerns they may have.'

Parkers says: Renault has assured us that once they know about payment holidays, they will tell us. The French carmaker is waiting to hear back from its finance provider, RCI Bank. Renault is our new-car finance of the year winner, so we hope for big things.

Suzuki payment holiday:

Suzuki says: 'Our customer's peace of mind is a top priority for Suzuki Finance and we have implemented special measures to support customers impacted by COVID-19. If the income of a customer has been affected by the disruption of Coronavirus, we have a range of options to help including payment deferrals, along with additional support if required.'

Parkers says: Suzuki looks like it's taking the right steps here. Like others, the main advice here is to contact Suzuki's customer support team.

Tesla payment holiday:

Tesla: 'Speak to Black Horse and JBR Capital who offer finance options to Tesla customers, they'll be better placed to let you know if they have anything in place.'

Parkers says: One of the negatives of driving a car from a small manufacturer is the lack of customer support. Tesla is asking you to do the groundwork and contact either of its finance providers.

Toyota and Lexus payment holiday:

Toyota: 'If anyone in difficulty should contact the company as soon as possible to discuss options.'

Parkers: Short and simple response from the world's biggest carmaker. Nothing concrete about payment holidays.

Vauxhall payment holiday:

Vauxhall says: 'As a business we will of course endeavour to support all of our customers through this challenging period and are committed to finding agreeable solutions to any particular challenges that they may face.'

Parkers says: Nothing definite yet. However, Vauxhall has said that it will continue to update its website, and is creating an FAQ about financial options.

Volkswagen Group payment holiday

(Audi, Bentley, CUPRA, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Skoda, Volkswagen)

Volkswagen says: 'There are a number of options available which can provide support. This can include agreeing an affordable repayment plan over an extended period of time, giving breathing space to consider finances (for up to 60 days) and allowing customers to keep the vehicle for as long as possible.'

Parkers says: Volkswagen has confirmed to Parkers that 'breathing space' means a payment holiday. No word on who qualifies for one yet, though. If you need one, contact Volkswagen.

Volvo (Polestar, Volvo) payment holiday

Volvo says: 'We understand that our customers may have many concerns during this unprecedented period, and we will do all we can to support them. This includes monthly payments, and we are working with our finance partner, Santander Consumer, to explore the available options for our customers. Any customer worried about financial difficulties should contact Santander Consumer.'

Parkers: Volvo has certainly put some thought behind what it will do - and it continues to work at it. However, if you want to report a change in finances now, contact Santander.

Further reading

>> Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for drivers

>> Government launches plan to make smart motorways safer

>> Vauxhall adds 0% APR to new Corsa

>> The best new car deals

Nothing to report beyond the usual process, I.e anyone in difficulty should contact the company as soon as possible to discuss options.