Capital One is well-known for its credit card offers, but it also provides a variety of banking services, including auto purchase and refinancing loans. This review can help you decide if a Capital One auto loan is worth considering.
If you’re trying to secure a low-interest loan, read our review of the best auto loan providers. We compare interest rates, loan terms, the application process, and customer reputation. Read on to see how Capital One auto loans score in these categories.
To start comparing auto loan options from multiple lenders, visit AutoCreditExpress.com.
In this article:
- About Capital One
- Capital One Auto Loan Details
- Capital One Auto Loan Application Process
- Capital One Reviews And Reputation
- Our Take On Capital One Auto Loans: 3.5 Stars
About Capital One
Capital One was founded in 1994 and is currently headquartered in McLean, Virginia. It is one of the largest banks in the United States and has over 700 locations across the country. Behind Ally Financial, Capital One is the second-largest auto finance company in the U.S. Unfortunately, auto loan services are not available in Alaska or Hawaii.
|Capital One Auto Loan Pros||Capital One Auto Loan Cons|
|Easy to pre-qualify||Not available in Alaska or Hawaii|
|No hard credit checks for pre-qualification||Several vehicle types and brands excluded|
|Low minimum credit requirements||Average customer service|
Capital One Auto Loan Details
A Capital One auto loan can be secured to purchase a new vehicle, purchase a used vehicle, or refinance an existing loan. These loans can be applied for individually or jointly. A joint application is a smart idea (and perhaps necessary) for those with poor credit scores. A co-signer with good credit may even help you get a lower annual percentage rate (APR) offer.
|Capital One Auto Loan Details|
|Loan Amount Range||Starting at $4,000|
|APR||As low as 3.99 percent|
|Loan Term Length||36 to 72 months|
Certain brands and types of vehicles aren’t eligible for a Capital One auto loan. These include:
- Commercial vehicles
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
- All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
- Camper vans
- Motor homes
- Vehicles with a history of chronic malfunctions
- Branded title vehicles
- Lease buyouts
There is also a vehicle age restriction for Capital One auto loans. For purchase loans, vehicles must be model years 2010 or newer with fewer than 120,000 miles. Refinancing loans are only available for vehicles up to seven years old that have an “established resale value.”
Capital One Auto Loan Availability
You can't just use a Capital One auto loan for any vehicle on the market. Once you get prequalified with Capital One, you can shop from 12,000 dealerships nationwide. These dealers are part of the Capital One Auto Navigator network. The Auto Navigator buying service allows you to browse the inventory of dealerships in your area.
Your Capital One auto loan is only finalized when you visit a dealership. So, you may not know the exact APR and payment amounts until you visit a dealer in person. You can only prequalify online, not start the official loan.
How Credit Score Affects Your Capital One Auto Loan
Borrowers with low credit scores should be prepared to find higher interest rates from Capital One Auto Finance. The good news is that you can get a prequalification without hurting your credit score. We recommend comparing this to other prequalifications you can get from different lenders.
Below, you can see the average APR for different credit score ranges according to Experian's 2021 State of the Automotive Finance Market Report. Even taking a few months to raise your score can help improve your APR and reduce the total you pay on the loan.
|Credit Score||Average New Car APR||Average Used Car APR|
|781 to 850||2.34%||3.66 %|
|661 to 780||3.48%||5.49%|
|601 to 660||6.61%||10.49%|
|501 to 600||11.03%||17.11%|
|300 to 500||14.59%||20.58%|
Capital One Auto Loan Application Process
Getting an auto loan through Capital One is a fairly straightforward process. You can start by picking your car with Auto Navigator, then getting prequalified, then visiting the dealer in person.
Choose Your Vehicle Or Dealership
The first step to getting a Capital One auto loan is to browse the Auto Navigator site for vehicles and dealers in your area. If you narrow your choices down to a single vehicle, you can get prequalified right on that page for an auto loan. You can also simply view dealership inventory in your area and find out which dealers work with Capital One.
Apply For Prequalification
apply for prequalification. This can be done online and requires you to complete a brief questionnaire about your vehicle, income, and housing situation.
Note that prequalification is not the same as preapproval. A preapproval is a guaranteed loan offer, while a prequalification is a tentative statement that you qualify for certain loan terms. Capital One does not offer preapprovals, only prequalifications.
After pre-qualifying, you will be given loan offer details like APRs, monthly payment amounts, and even a list of for-sale vehicles from participating dealerships. Capital One does not run a hard check on your credit report during the prequalification process, meaning that you can see your loan offers without potentially lowering your credit score.
Visit A Dealer To Finalize The Auto Loan
The last step is to visit a Capital One network dealer to choose your car and finalize the loan. At this step, you should expect to complete a full credit application. Capital One will run a hard inquiry on your credit report, so your score may dip a few points.
You will need to supply the following required documents to complete the process:
- Proof of income
- Proof of residence
- Proof of insurance
- Proof of employment
- Title and registration if you are trading in a vehicle
- Prequalification letter
It is possible that your final Capital One auto loan terms will differ slightly from those offered during prequalification. There are also rare cases where you may not be approved for a new loan after you do a full credit application.
Capital One does not have a minimum credit score requirement, so it may be a good choice for those with poor credit. However, the company suggests applicants have a monthly income between $1,500 and $1,800 (depending on your credit score).
Capital One Reviews And Reputation
Capital One is accredited and holds an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It was named one of the best places to work by Fortune magazine in 2017 and is well regarded within the financial services industry.
Despite this, Capital One’s online customer review profile is average. It has a 1.1 out of 5.0-star customer rating on the BBB website and a Trustpilot score of 1.3 out of 5.0 stars. It’s important to note a few things about these low ratings. First, many customer reviews mention Capital One’s banking services, not its auto loans. Second, although auto loans are only a small part of Capital One’s business, complaints from banking customers may still speak to the overall quality of the company.
Finally, keep in mind that Capital One is a large company with many products and services, millions of customers, and billions of dollars of revenue. Though there are thousands of complaints online, these represent a small fraction of total Capital One customers.
Positive Capital One Auto Loan Reviews
Customers that are happy with their Capital One auto loans mention positive customer service experiences and satisfaction with loan terms. Several customers with poor credit were also grateful to be able to secure loans with Capital One.
“I recently was approved [for a Capital One auto loan] 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 Moore Young via Trustpilot
Negative Capital One Auto Loan Reviews
Many Capital One customers complain about not finding the same offers they were quoted after prequalification when they visited a participating dealer or financial institution.
“I had to sit out of work due to the [COVID-19 pandemic]. I asked for them to put one payment on the end of my loan so it wouldn't hurt my credit or have me stressed out. To no avail, they basically said no, you need to find a way to make the payment and maybe it won't get reported to the credit bureaus.”
- L.T. via Trustpilot
“Don't ever think about applying for an auto loan from them. It’s a total nightmare. They basically damage your credit, and when you walk into the dealership with the approval you will find completely different numbers… Stay away”
- via Trustpilot
Our Take On Capital One Auto Loans: 3.5 Stars
Capital One has a convenient pre-application process that does not require a hard credit check. While not the best our team has come across, auto loan terms are reasonable and can be a good option for those with poor credit. Overall, we give Capital One auto loans 3.5 stars.
If you are trying to purchase a car or refinance an existing vehicle, Capital One auto financing is worth a look, as there are no downsides to applying for prequalification.
You can compare auto loan offers from multiple top lenders, including Capital One, by visiting AutoCreditExpress.com.