Capital One Auto Loans Review

Capital One is a Fortune 500 company and one of the 10 largest financial institutions in the United States based on deposit amounts. The bank services over 45 million customers across their banking and credit card verticals, and they’re well known for popular financial products like their Capital One 360 checking account.

While Capital One’s banking products and rewards credit cards probably come to mind first, the company also boasts a robust selection of auto loans for consumers who want to purchase a vehicle or refinance a car loan they already have. Capital One even lets you get pre-qualified for an auto loan without an impact to your credit score, and you can use your new auto loan at over 12,000 dealerships around the U.S.

APR Range
Starting at 3.99%
Loan Amount
up to $100,000
Term
36–72 months
SimpleScore
4.6 / 5.0
close
SimpleScore Capital One 4.6
New Car Rates 4
Loan Size 5
Used Car Rates 5
Customer Satisfaction 4
Fees 5
  • Can qualify at most credit tiers
  • Can see what you’d borrow without checking your credit
  • 12,000 dealerships accept it
  • Cannot use in individual sales, only at dealerships
  • Capital One doesn’t finance in Alaska or Hawaii

Check Your Personal Loan Rates

Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

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In this article

    Capital One Auto Loans: Key Takeaways

    • Interest rates start at 3.79% for new car loans.
    • Refinance your current auto loan with a new rate between 4.33% and 24.99%.
    • New car loans start at $4,000, and you can qualify for a refinance loan between $7,500 and $50,000.
    • Repay your auto loan with a repayment term of your choosing between 36 and 72 months.
    • Auto Navigator loan program lets you get pre-qualified and shop at participating dealerships.

    Capital One Auto Finance: Affordable Loans for New and Used Cars

    Capital One offers affordable auto loans for consumers with nearly all tiers of credit, although there are some restrictions.

    For starters, the Capital One Auto Navigator loan for car purchases is only good at about 12,000 participating dealers nationwide — as in, you cannot use this loan to purchase a car from an individual. Once you’re pre-qualified with Capital One, you can shop around for a car on their website or look up participating dealers and shop for a new or used car in person. Pre-qualification doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive financing or any specific terms; it is only meant to provide you with an idea of whether you can qualify, the amount you can qualify for, and the interest rate you may end up with.

    When it comes to the type of cars these loans work for, Capital One only offers new or used car financing on autos up to 12 years old depending on the state. Maximum vehicle mileage is also set at 120,000 miles, and purchase loan amounts start at $4,000.

    You can also refinance an auto loan you already have with Capital One — a move they say could save you up to $50 per month compared to your current payment.

    To qualify for a refinance, the vehicle must be seven years old or newer and you must be up to date on payments. You can borrow between $7,500 and $50,000 with a refinance, and you can only use these loans for new and used cars, light trucks, SUVs, and minivans for personal use.

    What to Watch Out For

    The main downside of Capital One auto loans is the fact you can only use their purchase loans at participating dealers. They let you get pre-qualified for an auto loan without a hard inquiry on your credit report, but you’re limited in terms of where you can use your loan proceeds. If you want to buy a truck off a friend or happen to find a car you want to buy at a small boutique dealership that doesn’t partner with Capital One, you can’t use this loan.

    Their loans are also limiting in other ways, including the fact Capital One doesn’t finance vehicles in Alaska or Hawaii. Also note that, while Capital One offers interest rates starting at 3.79% for purchase loans, the best rates and terms only go to consumers with very good credit, which is usually considered anyone with a FICO score of 740 or higher. Customers may qualify for the best rates with slightly lower scores, but those with “average” credit or “poor” credit will wind up paying considerably higher interest rates for the same loan.

    Finally, Capital One does require a minimum income of $1,500 to $1,800 a month for their auto loans, and that requirement can surge based on the amount you want to borrow.

    Who Capital One Auto Loans are Best for:

    • Anyone with great credit who can qualify for their lowest rates and best terms.
    • Consumers who want to get pre-qualified to see how much they can borrow without a hard inquiry on their credit report.
    • People who don’t mind using their loan at a participating dealership.
    • Refinancing customers with great credit who need to get into a new auto loan with a lower interest rate and better terms.

    How to Apply for an Auto Loan from Capital One

    Whether you are ready to apply for an auto loan, Capital One keeps the process simple by letting you apply online. With their Auto Navigator program, you can get pre-qualified for a car loan using the application on the Capital One website. Information you’ll need to provide to get pre-qualified includes:

    • Your name
    • Email address
    • Social Security number
    • Phone number
    • Home address
    • Length at residence
    • Employment information
    • Gross annual income

    Check Your Personal Loan Rates

    Answer a few questions to see which personal loans you pre-qualify for. It’s quick and easy, and it will not impact your credit score.

    Get Started

    with our trusted partners at Bankrate.com

    With your pre-qualification letter in hand, you can shop for a car at any participating dealer. When you find the car you want, you’ll complete the full loan application with Capital One and the dealership will help you apply the loan funds to your auto purchase. In summary, applying for an auto loan from Capital One isn’t that different from using dealer financing other than the fact they let you get pre-qualified for your loan online before you shop.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    We’ve created the SimpleScore™ to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

    Our editorial team:

    • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
    • Calculate an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore™

    We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best auto loan companies of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores™ on different pages?

    Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores™ because they offer more than one financial solution — like auto loans, home loans, personal loans and banking.

    For instance, in our Bank of America Mortgage Review, we give the company a 3.8 out 5 based on our five rating factors for mortgages. In our Bank of America Auto Loans Review, we give the company a 4.4 out of 5 based on our rating factors for auto loans. By tailoring our SimpleScore™ to each financial solution, we’re able to give you a more accurate view of their services and how they compare to competitors’ services.

    Minimum new car rate

    Companies that look out for new car buyers with lower rates receive higher scores from us.

    Minimum used car rate

    We also give higher ratings to companies that look out for used car buyers by offering lower rates.

    Maximum loan size

    Having enough money to cover your auto loan is important –– that’s why companies with higher maximum loan amount receive better scores from us.

    Customer satisfaction

    We use the J.D. Power 2019 Consumer Lending Satisfaction Study℠ to find out how customers rate their experience with each company. (If a company is not included in J.D. Power’s study, we skip this rating factor and average the remaining factor scores.)

    Fees

    Fees can add up very fast –– that’s why we give a higher score to companies who have fewer fees.

    Holly Johnson

    Contributing Writer

    Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.