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What is the minimum credit score to lease a car?

While no specific minimum credit score is required to lease a car in the UK, most leasing companies will want to see that you have a credit score that’s at least in the “good” band.

What is a good credit score in the UK?

The “good” credit score band can differ depending on which credit rating agency (CRA) we look at.

There are three main CRAs in the UK: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Each calculates its credit score using slightly different formulas and data, so your credit score might often vary across the three CRAs.

In fact, it’s fair to say that in the UK, you don’t have one credit score – you have three credit scores:

  • An Experian credit score can range between 0 and 999;
  • An Equifax credit score: which can be anywhere between 0 and 1000;
  • And a TransUnion credit score, which ranges between 0 and 710.

To have a credit score that’s considered “good” by any of these three credit rating agencies, you would need:

  • For Experian: a credit score that’s over 881. Over 961 would be “excellent”.
  • For Equifax: a score that’s over 531. Over 811 would be “excellent”.
  • For TransUnion: one that’s over 604. Over 628 would be “excellent”.

Can I lease a car if my credit score is not good enough?

A credit score is essential, but it’s not the only factor lenders look at when reviewing your applications.

Just because you have an excellent credit score doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get approved – and just because you have a bad credit score doesn’t mean you’ll always get rejected.

Other things also matter, especially your income and how much you can afford.

This is why, even if your credit score is less than “good,” you could still lease a car. The difference is that you might have to put down a larger upfront payment or pay higher fees.

Could car leasing affect my credit score?

Yes. A car lease is just like any other loan. Once approved, you must ensure you regularly make the payments on time and in full. If you do this, your credit score could actually improve.

But missing a payment can also hurt your credit score – and defaulting on your leasing agreement is even worse. Not only will you lose your car, but you will also take a significant hit to your credit rating. According to Experian, a default could cost you as much as 350 points – out of 1000.

How can I improve my credit score to lease a car?

If you want to improve your credit score and increase your car lease approval chances, there are a few things you could do:

  • Register to vote (so CRAs can verify your identity).
  • Always use an eligibility checker before making any credit application (too many applications in a short time can hurt your credit score).
  • Don’t use more than 25% of your credit card limit.
  • Use your credit cards often and for small purchases.
  • Close old, inactive accounts.
  • Sign up for Experian Boost – a free way to make some of your regular payments (like Council tax or Amazon Prime) count towards your Experian credit score.
  • Consider downloading a credit-building app like Wollit.

Wollit reports your monthly subscription as a loan repayment to all three CRAs, helping you build your credit history and potentially boosting your credit score. It also reports your rent to Experian, helping you show lenders that you pay your bills on time.

Wollit, no stress, no hassle - just a clear path to better credit

Terms apply. Results may vary. Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. Wollit Credit Builder plans are unregulated.

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Terms apply. Results may vary. Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. Wollit Credit Builder plans are unregulated.