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Capital One Auto Finance: Reviews, Rates & More (2021)

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Capital One Auto Finance Review
In Our Opinion:
Whether you’re worried about subprime credit hindering your ability to get an auto loan or you simply want an auto loan rate estimate, Capital One Auto Finance might be a good option.
Loan Terms:
Rates and Fees:
Loan Availability:
Customer Experience:
Pros:
Easy loan prequalification process with a soft credit check
New and used car financing, along with refinancing options
Cons:
Limited selection of vehicles and participating dealerships
Doesn’t allow purchases from private party sellers
4

Capital One is about as name brand as it gets if you’re looking at auto loan options from large financial organizations. The bank has a wide range of financial products and a vast customer base, but do Capital One Auto Finance reviews suggest it’s a good choice for your next vehicle purchase?

This article will explore Capital One Auto Finance reviews, loan requirements, financial services, and more to help you decide if the company is best for your auto finance needs. To simplify your shopping experience, our research team has combed the auto finance industry to find the providers with the best auto loan rates.

Capital One Auto Loans: What You Need to Know

Capital One is a well-known financial institution with services such as banking, credit cards, and loans. Co-founded in 1988 by Richard Fairbank and Nigel Morris, the company is the 10th-largest bank in the U.S., according to the Federal Reserve.

Capital One moved its headquarters to McLean, Virginia, in 2018 and operated over 2,000 ATMs as of late 2020.

Capital One Auto Financing Options

If you’re considering Capital One for auto financing, you can get a loan for a new or used vehicle purchase as long as you buy from a participating dealership (you can use the Capital One Auto Navigator to search inventory). Eligible vehicles include cars, light trucks, SUVs, and minivans intended for personal use.

If you aren’t buying a new vehicle through Capital One, the used car you’re purchasing must typically have fewer than 120,000 miles on the odometer. However, Capital One will consider some cars with up to 149,999 miles.

Below are some of the vehicle types that Capital One doesn’t finance, regardless of mileage:

  • ATVs
  • Boats
  • Motorcycles
  • Motorhomes
  • Commercial vehicles
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Oldsmobile, Saab, Suzuki, and Isuzu

Loans through Capital One Auto Finance are not available if you live in Alaska or Hawaii.

Auto Loan Refinancing

Another option through Capital One is to refinance an existing auto loan to secure a lower interest rate.

Vehicles eligible for auto refinance through Capital One include new and used cars, light trucks, minivans, and SUVs designated for personal use. Capital One doesn’t refinance vehicle makes no longer being produced. Here are other qualifying criteria:

  • Your current loan cannot be from Capital One Auto Finance.
  • The payoff amount for the existing loan must be between $7,500 and $50,000.
  • You must be up to date on car payments and mortgage payments (if applicable).
  • The vehicle must be no more than 10 years old and have an established resale value.
  • Your current lender must report to a major credit bureau, be FDIC or NCUA insured, be Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited, and be a state-registered lender or auto dealer.

Capital One Auto Loan Terms

Besides a limited number of vehicles available for financing, Capital One doesn’t finance commercial vehicles, offer lease buyouts, or work with private-party sellers. Here is an overview of Capital One’s lending terms and potential fees:

  • Origination fee: May or may not charge
  • Prepayment penalty: No prepayment fees for refinanced vehicles
  • Late-payment fee: $29 on the first late fee and $40 for late payments within 6 billing cycles
  • Annual percentage rate (APR) range: Varies by credit score, loan term, and other factors
  • Loan terms: 24 to 84 months (other terms may be available at dealership when purchasing vehicle)
  • Loan amounts: Minimum of $4,000 for new and used vehicle financing, and a maximum of $50,000 on refinances (max for both purchasing and refinancing may depend on income, credit score, and vehicle type)

Applying for a Capital One Auto Loan

Since Capital One Auto Financing is only available through a limited pool of car dealerships, this lender may not be best if you’re interested in a wide range of vehicles. However, if you have a credit score between 501 and 600 and are looking for a bad credit car loan, Capital One may be a solid choice.

In 2016, the Washington Post reported that approximately half of Capital One’s auto loans went to subprime borrowers. So if you’re worried about qualifying for a loan, Capital One can be more forgiving. Even so, a participating auto dealer can still turn you away for poor credit.

Capital One Auto Finance Application Details
Minimum Credit Score N/A
Minimum Income $1,500 or $1,800 monthly, depending on credit score
Application Fee None
APR Varies by credit score

The processes for getting a car purchase loan and a refinance loan from Capital One are similar and involve these basic steps:

  1. Fill out the prequalification form: Capital One will ask for your contact information, monthly income, Social Security number, employment status, and bank account information. Capital One will also run a soft check on your credit history.
  2. Complete a credit application: Capital One will show you offers you qualify for, and you can select a plan. The lender then performs a hard inquiry on your credit and reviews your information.
  3. Time to sign: If you’re approved, you sign the contract and lock in your interest rate. Capital One may ask for a down payment and inquire about the payoff amount of an existing auto loan.

Going through the prequalification process is not the same as being approved for an auto loan. Capital One says prequalified borrowers can see their estimated monthly payments, APRs, and loan terms. Prequalification offers expire 30 days from the date the loan application is received.

If you’re refinancing an auto loan, you will need to provide your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and your lender’s information. If approved, you must furnish the appropriate title transfer documents for the state.

Capital One Auto Finance Reviews

Capital One Auto Finance reviews range from customers expressing their satisfaction with interest rates to customers saying Capital One lost their car titles in the mail. 

Below are some Capital One Auto Finance reviews we found during our research.

Positive Capital One Auto Finance Reviews

While Capital One Auto Finance reviews from customers tend to be mixed, there are quite a few upbeat reviews. Here are two we thought were worth sharing:

“Every time I use [Capital One], I have a good experience. I’ve had two auto loans with them, and both times they worked hard to give me a significantly better interest rate than the other lenders.

– Reese T. via BBB

“I recently was approved … and now have a new car. That experience alone was the [best] I have ever had. My credit was literally beyond bad, and thanks to Capital One, I am on the right track, and my credit score keeps going up.”

– Susie Y. via Trustpilot

Negative Capital One Auto Finance Reviews

Naturally, not everyone has a great experience with Capital One Auto Finance. Here are two Capital One Auto Finance reviews that speak to some potential pitfalls of the company:

“I refinanced my vehicle back in October 2020 and to this day have not received my title. Upon moving to Florida, I had to call and request my title and was told 49 days, and it’s past 90 days, and I’m still being told it’s coming. I have been trying to make a corporate complaint, and it has gone [nowhere].”

– Robert G. via BBB

“After paying on my car loan in a timely manner and paying it off early, [Capital One] lost my title by being cheap and using first-class mail. They now are forcing me to get a duplicate title and [pay] any fees associated with the replacement.”

– John D. via Trustpilot

One rule of thumb for customer reviews is that as a company grows, it will receive more complaints. With Capital One among the 10 largest banks in the U.S., Capital One Auto Finance reviews are mixed.

Capital One is a BBB-accredited business and carries an A rating from the agency, but customers on the BBB website give it 1.1 out of 5.0 stars based on more than 750 Capital One Auto Finance reviews. The BBB has fielded over 7,400 complaints against Capital One in the past three years. On Trustpilot, the bank has a 1.3 out of 5.0-star rating average from more than 1,000 Capital One Auto Finance reviews.

Final Thoughts: Capital One Auto Finance

Capital One can be a solid option if you’re looking to compare rates and don’t want to damage your credit score. Having an in-house system of cars to choose from is a plus if you’re eager to streamline the shopping process, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll land the best deal.

Capital One Auto Loan Pros Capital One Auto Loan Cons
Excellent way to compare rates without lowering
your credit score
Many negative Capital One Auto Finance reviews
Easy-to-use prequalification tool No lease buyouts or private sellers
No application fee Not available in every state
Easy to consolidate if you already bank with Capital One Excludes some vehicle types and brands

FAQ: Capital One Auto Finance Reviews

Should I use Capital One Auto Finance?

Capital One Auto Finance can be useful for seeing what rates you qualify for without lowering your credit score. However, the company has a limited pool of vehicles for borrowers to choose from, and it usually reserves the best rates for drivers with excellent credit.

Does Capital One Auto Finance require proof of income?

Depending on your credit score, you must earn at least $1,500 or $1,800 monthly to qualify for Capital One auto financing.

Is Capital One Auto Finance a subprime lender?

Around half of Capital One auto loans have gone to subprime borrowers, according to the Washington Post. Subprime borrowers are consumers with credit scores under 620.

Does Capital One Auto Finance work with private sellers?

Capital One doesn’t allow purchases from private party sellers or auto brokers, and those who qualify for Capital One Auto Finance are limited to car purchases at participating dealerships.

How accurate is Capital One auto preapproval?

Capital One’s auto loan preapproval process only asks for basic information about the applicant and performs a soft credit check. Since this process isn’t as thorough as a legitimate car loan application, the rates and vehicle options you see after preapproval may not be what you actually qualify for.

How accurate is Capital One auto prequalification?

Getting prequalified for a Capital One loan doesn’t mean you’ve sealed the deal. Participating dealers can still reject consumers and aren’t tied to all the terms outlined in the prequalified loan offer.