How To Refinance a Car - Dorsia Finance

How To Refinance a Car

Front-wheel of a red Alfa Romeo car

If you’re looking to reduce your monthly car payments or secure a lower interest rate, refinancing your car loan can be a smart financial move. Refinancing allows you to replace your current car loan with a new one that better fits your needs and financial situation. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of how to refinance a car, step by step.

What Is Car Refinancing?

Refinancing a car is paying off your current car loan with a new one. This new loan can be with the same lender or a different one, and someone usually takes it out to save money or make the debt more manageable.

People typically refinance their car loans to save money as the new loan could have a lower interest rate and decrease monthly payments. The new loan could also have a longer-term and lower monthly cost.

For example, let’s say you have a £100,000 car loan with a 10% APR and a 4-year term. After a couple of years of making payments, you refinance to a 6% interest rate and a 1-year term. This refinancing will result in lower monthly payments and potentially significant savings over the loan’s remaining life.

In summary, you find a lender with better loan terms and apply for this loan. This new loan then pays off the existing debt, and you continue payments on your new loan.

Advantages of Car Refinancing

  1. Lower Interest Rates: One of the primary reasons to refinance is to secure a lower interest rate. By doing so, you can save money on interest payments over the life of the loan.
  2. Lower Monthly Payments: Refinancing can also lower your monthly payments, making it easier to manage your debt and free up cash for other expenses.
  3. Shorter Loan Terms: You can use refinancing to shorten the length of a loan term, which can result in paying less interest over time and paying off the loan faster.
  4. Consolidation of Debt: Refinancing can also consolidate multiple debts into one loan, making it easier to manage payments and potentially lowering interest rates.

Disadvantages of Car Refinancing

  1. Transaction Fees: Refinancing can come with costs. These costs can add up, and considering them is essential when deciding whether to refinance.
  2. Extended Loan Terms: While refinancing can result in lower monthly payments, it can also extend the length of the loan term. Longer loan terms can result in paying more interest over time, even with a lower interest rate.
  3. Credit Checks: Refinancing typically involves a credit check, which can temporarily lower your credit score and impact your ability to secure credit in the short term.
  4. Risk of Default: Refinancing can sometimes result in lower monthly payments but can also result in a longer repayment term. A longer repayment term can increase the risk of default if you cannot keep up with payments over time.

How to Refinance a Car

Below outlines 10 steps for how to refinance a car. 

Step 1: Evaluate Your Current Loan

Before diving into the refinancing process, take the time to evaluate your current car loan. First, review the terms of your loan agreement, including the interest rate, remaining balance, and monthly payments. Evaluating your current loan will provide a baseline for comparison as you explore refinancing options.

It is also essential to take note of any potential early settlement fees that your current lender may charge you and factor this into your overall decision on whether to refinance. 

Step 2: Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score plays a crucial role in the refinancing process. A higher credit score can help you secure a lower interest rate, saving you money over the life of the loan. Obtain a copy of your credit report and check for any errors or discrepancies that could negatively impact your score. If necessary, take steps to improve your credit before applying for a refinance.

Experian offer a free tool to check your credit score. 

Step 3: Research Lenders

Next, research reputable lenders that offer car loan refinancing. Look for lenders specialising in refinancing and compare their interest rates, fees, and loan terms. 

Pay attention to customer reviews and ratings to ensure you choose a lender with a solid reputation and excellent customer service.

Step 4: Gather the Necessary Documents

You’ll need to gather several important documents to apply for a car loan refinance. These typically include:

  • Proof of identification: Provide a valid driver’s license or passport to verify your identity.
  • Proof of income: Gather recent pay slips, tax returns, or other documents demonstrating your income and employment status.
  • Vehicle information: Collect details about your car, including the make, model, and year.
  • Current loan information: Retrieve your current loan statement and account details to provide to the new lender.

Step 5: Submit Loan Applications

Once you’ve chosen a lender, it’s time to submit your loan applications. Apply to multiple lenders to increase your chances of securing favourable terms. The lender will review your application, credit score, and financial documents to determine your eligibility.

It is important to consider that when you are applying directly to finance lenders, they will each be performing ‘hard searches’ on your credit file, which can have a negative impact. Using a finance broker means they can do a once-off ‘soft search’ without impacting your credit file. We have covered this in our post about Why Use a Finance Broker.

Step 6: Review Loan Offers

After submitting your loan applications, you’ll receive offers from different lenders. Carefully review each offer, paying close attention to the interest rate, loan term, monthly payments, and any additional fees. Consider the overall cost of the loan and how it aligns with your financial goals.

When using a finance broker, they will do this for you and provide the best options for you to consider, rather than you having to sift through multiple finance offers. 

Step 7: Select the Best Offer

Select the one that best suits your needs based on the loan offers you receive. Consider factors such as the interest rate, monthly payments, loan terms, and any additional perks or benefits the lender offers. Ensure the new loan will provide the desired savings or benefits compared to your current loan.

Step 8: Complete the Refinancing Process

Once you’ve chosen a lender and accepted their loan offer, you must complete the refinancing process. The new lender will provide instructions on how to finalise the loan. This process may involve providing additional documentation, signing paperwork, and arranging for the old loan to be paid off.

Step 9: Notify Your Current Lender

After securing the new loan, you must notify your current lender that you’ve refinanced your car loan. You will need to provide them with the necessary details of the new loan so they can process the payoff and release the lien on your vehicle.

Step 10: Enjoy the Benefits of Refinancing

Once the refinancing process is complete, you can start enjoying the benefits of your new car loan. You may experience reduced monthly payments, a lower interest rate, or both, depending on the terms of your new loan. 

Take advantage of the savings and consider using the extra cash to pay down other debts, build an emergency fund, or invest in your financial future.

Using a Finance Broker To Refinance a Car

When refinancing a car through a broker, the process differs in terms of the involvement of a third-party intermediary. Instead of directly approaching lenders, you work with a broker who acts as a middleman between you and potential lenders.

Here’s how the process of refinancing a car through a broker differs from the earlier outlined process:

  1. Broker Research and Recommendations: Instead of researching to find lenders, you rely on the broker’s expertise. The broker will know various lenders in the market and can provide recommendations based on your specific financial situation and goals.
  2. Application Assistance: The broker assists you in completing the loan applications. They gather the necessary information from you and submit the applications on your behalf to multiple lenders, saving you time and effort in filling out numerous applications yourself.
  3. Access to Multiple Lenders: A broker typically has relationships with multiple lenders, including banks, credit unions, and financial institutions. They can connect you with a broader range of options compared to what you might find on your own.
  4. Negotiation and Comparison: The broker handles the negotiation process with lenders on your behalf. They can leverage their relationships and expertise to secure favourable terms, such as lower interest rates or reduced fees. They also provide you with a detailed comparison of the loan offers received from different lenders, highlighting the pros and cons of each option.
  5. Expert Advice: Brokers are well-versed in the refinancing process and can provide valuable advice based on their knowledge and experience. They can help you understand the terms and conditions of the loan offers, answer any questions, and guide you in making an informed decision.

A broker simplifies the process by handling your research, applications, negotiations, and comparisons. In the case of Dorsia Finance we don’t charge you any fees for our services, which makes the option of using a broker for refinancing your car even more attractive.

Contact us If you are interested in refinancing your car with less effort and no additional costs.

Tips for a Successful Car Loan Refinance:

  1. Timing is critical: Keep an eye on interest rate trends and economic conditions. Refinancing when interest rates are lower than when you initially took out your loan can lead to substantial savings.
  2. Aim for a shorter loan term: While lowering your monthly payments may be tempting, opting for a shorter loan term can help you save on interest payments in the long run. Consider your budget and financial goals when choosing the duration of your new loan.
  3. Be proactive about improving your credit: Before applying for a car loan refinance, take steps to improve your credit score. Pay your bills on time, reduce your credit card balances, and address any errors on your credit report. A higher credit score can increase your chances of securing a better interest rate. (link to Experian and also to credit score blog)
  4. Shop around for the best deal: Don’t settle for the first loan offer you receive. Compare offers from different lenders to find the most favourable terms and conditions. Remember to consider not only the interest rate but also any fees and loan terms that may affect the overall cost of the loan. Top Tip: This is where using a broker has benefits because they will do the shopping around for you)
  5. Calculate the costs and savings: Use online calculators or consult a financial advisor to estimate the potential savings and costs associated with refinancing your car loan. Consider factors such as interest savings, closing costs, and any fees associated with the new loan.

Is Refinancing Right For You?

While refinancing can offer many benefits, it’s essential to determine if it’s the right financial move for your specific situation. Consider the following factors when deciding whether to refinance your car loan:

  1. Interest Rate Differential: Evaluate the difference between your current interest rate and the rates being offered by potential lenders. If the difference is significant, refinancing could lead to substantial interest savings over the life of the loan.
  2. Loan Term: Assess the remaining term of your current loan. If you have a significant portion of the loan term remaining, refinancing can be more advantageous as it allows you to benefit from the new loan’s terms for a more extended period.
  3. Monthly Payment Reduction: Refinancing can help achieve your primary goal of reducing your monthly payments. However, keep in mind that extending the loan term may result in paying more in interest overall, even with lower monthly payments.
  4. Financial Stability: Consider your financial stability and ability to make monthly payments. If you’re struggling to keep up with your current payments, refinancing to lower monthly payments can relieve you and help you avoid default. However, it’s crucial to address any underlying financial challenges and develop a plan to improve your overall financial situation.
  5. Fees and Closing Costs: Consider any fees and closing costs associated with refinancing. These can vary between lenders and impact the overall cost-effectiveness of the refinancing option. Calculate the potential savings against the costs to determine if the refinancing process makes financial sense.
  6. Long-Term Financial Goals: Evaluate how refinancing aligns with your long-term financial goals. Are you looking to save money on interest payments, pay off your loan faster, or improve your cash flow? Consider how refinancing can support these objectives and whether the benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks.
  7. Future Loan Applications: Keep in mind that multiple loan applications within a short period can have a temporary impact on your credit score. If you plan to apply for other types of credit, such as a mortgage, in the near future, be mindful of how refinancing might affect your creditworthiness.


Refinancing a car loan can be wise if it helps you secure a lower interest rate, reduce your monthly payments, or achieve other financial goals. 

By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can confidently navigate the refinancing process. With careful consideration and research, refinancing your car loan can lead to significant savings and improved financial well-being.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the benefits of refinancing your car, contact us today: | 01522 420 420

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