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The Capital One Financial Corporation was established in 1994, and it has grown over the years to become one of the biggest U.S. lenders. You may know Capital One best for its local bank branches, its credit cards with cash back and travel rewards, or commercials starring celebrities like Jennifer Garner, Samuel L. Jackson, and Alec Baldwin, who constantly ask, “What’s in your wallet?”

What you may not know is that Capital One offers financing for new and used car purchases, and its online loan application process is pretty straightforward. Read on to learn more about Capital One auto loans, the pros, the cons, and the interest rates you may see.

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Contents of This Review:

Current Capital One Auto Loan Rates

Credit Score

New Car Loan

Used Car Loan

Excellent

3.99%

4.62 – 5.31%

Average

4.22 – 6.33%

5.92 – 8.99%

Rebuilding

7.99 – 10.28%

9.19 – 13.97%

Capital One Auto Finance offers a variety of interest rates to borrowers across the credit spectrum. Lenders offer the best auto loan rates to applicants with excellent credit. Every lender has a different interpretation of what “excellent credit” means, but this generally translates to a credit score in the range of 781 to 850. Shoppers in this category may see new-car loan rates as low as 3.99 percent from Capital One, and used car loan interest rates as low as 4.62 percent.

You can still find low rates from Capital One if you have an average credit score. Most lenders consider an average – or “prime” – credit score to fall within the range of 661 to 780. Borrowers in this category could see new car loan rates as low as 4.22 percent from Capital One, and used car loan rates as low as 5.92 percent.

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Loan applicants with a lower credit score may find themselves in the rebuilding category. Most lenders consider these nonprime and subprime credit scores to fall within the range of 660 and below. Shoppers in this category could see new-car loan rates of between 7.99 and 10.28 percent, and used car loan rates of between 9.19 and 13.97 percent.

These rates were found using Capital One’s auto financing calculator and are for illustrative purposes only. The rates on this page are accurate as of the date of this publication and we do update them regularly. Auto loan rates fluctuate over time, so you may see different rates as you shop for an auto loan. The rates you qualify for may differ from these depending on factors like your credit history, income, and selected loan terms.

Is Capital One a Good Car Loan Company?

Yes, Capital One offers great auto loans. Its rates are on par with other top lenders and industry averages. The loan terms are quite flexible, allowing borrowers to pay quickly in as few as three years or make small monthly payments over the course of five or more years. The company’s income requirements for a loan are very reasonable as well – starting at $1,500 a month – and there are no application fees or prepayment penalties associated with Capital One loans.

Key Capital One Car Loan Info

 

New

Used

Refinance

Available APR

3.99 – 10.28%

4.62 – 13.97%

Dependent on original loan

Loan Length

36-72 months

36-72 months

Dependent on original loan

Prepayment Penalty?

No

No

No

Income Requirements

$1,500 to $1,800 per month

$1,500 to $1,800 per month

$1,500 to $1,800 per month

Minimum Loan Amount

$4,000

$4,000

$7,500

Should I Get a Capital One Auto Loan?

Capital One makes the car financing process pretty simple, so you should definitely consider this lender if you’re in the market for a new or used vehicle. The process is handled online using Capital One’s Auto Navigator tool. You can use Auto Navigator to find cars for sale at local dealerships, check dealer ratings, tailor your loan amount and financing terms, and get pre-qualified.

You can then head to the dealer with a good idea of the car loan that you’re eligible for. Overall, Auto Navigator is a streamlined experience, and Capital One’s rates are attractive for those with good-to-great credit.

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The program isn’t ideal for all shoppers, though. These loans are only applicable at participating dealers. All private sales are excluded, which means you can’t get a Capital One auto loan if you are buying a used car directly from an owner. The program also isn’t offered for shoppers in Alaska or Hawaii. There are a few restrictions on a vehicle’s age, mileage, and brand as well.

All of these factors can cut down on the number and variety of eligible cars for sale in your area. If you fall under any of these categories, you may want to shop other lenders first.

How to Apply for a Capital One Auto Loan

You can apply for a car loan with Capital One using the company’s Auto Navigator tool. Here’s how it works: Log in to the website, click the “Get Pre-Qualified” button, and fill in the required prompts. It asks for things like your name, social security number, employer, and home address.

The company will initiate a soft inquiry into your credit file, which won’t affect your credit score. If the bank likes what it sees, you’ll receive a loan pre-qualification offer with your estimated monthly payments and interest rate. The offer is valid for up to 30 days, and there’s no application fee.

You can then use Auto Navigator to search through the new- and used-car inventory from local participating dealerships. These search results can be filtered by a number of factors, including vehicle make, model, body style, mileage, age, price, and even dealer rating.

See a few cars, trucks, or SUVs that you like? You can save these listings online and head to the dealer with your pre-qualified financing offer once you’re ready. You can then take a test drive, negotiate the final price of the car, and – if applicable – negotiate the trade-in value of your current vehicle. You can also take this time to view or make changes to your financing details using the Capital One mobile app.

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Here’s the important part. Just because you pre-qualify for a loan, that doesn’t mean that you’re approved. Capital One requires users to submit a financing application at the dealer. This hard inquiry into your credit file can affect your credit score, but the loan offer shouldn’t change as long as there aren’t any major discrepancies with your pre-qualification info.

Like the offer? Great – just sign off on the loan and drive away in your new set of wheels. If you receive other offers or simply don’t like this one, you don’t have to accept it.

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What Income Do I Need for a Capital One Auto Loan?

Capital One Auto Finance is very open about its income requirements. A monthly income of at least $1,500 to $1,800 is required to qualify for financing. Applicants with average-to-poor credit will need a monthly income that’s on the higher end of that spectrum to qualify, both for new loan applications and for refinancing an existing auto loan.

What Credit Score Do I Need for a Capital One Auto Loan?

Like many lenders, Capital One doesn’t disclose its minimum credit score requirements. That’s partly for competitive purposes, but also because credit scores are only one piece of the loan approval process. Other important factors can include your income and other types of debt, like a home mortgage, personal loans, and credit cards.

Even if your credit score is low, you may still qualify for attractive financing because of a high salary or few debts, so don’t rule out financing altogether. One stipulation that the company does have is that existing Capital One accounts must be in good standing, which means no delinquent payments or exceeded borrowing limits.

What Cars Can I Buy With a Capital One Auto Loan?

Capital One places a few restrictions on the new and used cars it will finance. The vehicle must be purchased through one of Capital One’s 12,000 participating dealerships, and it must be intended for personal use. Eligible used vehicles are 10 years old or newer with fewer than 120,000 miles; some exceptions exist for models that are up to 12 years old with less than 150,000 miles. Capital One’s minimum loan amount is $4,000, and the maximum amount varies based on the vehicle and your income and credit score.

Excluded vehicle makes include Daewoo, Isuzu, Oldsmobile, Saab, and Suzuki. Commercial vehicles, motorcycles, ATVs, recreational vehicles (RVs), and camper vans are also excluded. Capital One does not provide financing for those who want to buy their car at the end of their lease, also referred to as a lease buyout.

Capital One offers refinancing for existing car loans, but only for loans that were originated by other financial institutions, such as competing banks or credit unions. To qualify for refinancing, a vehicle must be seven years old or newer. Auto loans refinanced through Capital One must be for at least $7,500, and the maximum loan amount is $50,000.

What Down Payment Does a Capital One Auto Loan Require?

Capital One doesn’t require a down payment for all of its auto loans, but one may be required if an applicant has poor credit. In this instance, down payments are used to safeguard the lender from financial loss if the borrower stops paying off the loan.

Does a Capital One Auto Loan Have Prepayment Penalties?

Capital One offers one type of auto loan – a simple interest loan – and there are no penalties for paying it off early. Here’s how a simple interest loan works.

Interest – the cost of borrowing money – is calculated daily from the beginning of the loan until the day it’s paid off. This interest is based on the outstanding principal of the loan, which is the remaining balance of amount borrowed. As the principal is paid down, the amount spent on monthly interest goes down as well.

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Larger monthly payments and short borrowing terms expedite this process and save money in the long run. Small monthly payments that are stretched over long terms – like six years or more – may sound attractive, but these terms can cost thousands of dollars more in interest alone. Late payments cause additional interest and potential late fees to accrue.

Capital One handles extra payments in one of two ways. Payments made within 30 days of your scheduled due date are applied to the next month’s payment (interest and principal). Additional payments made over 30 days from the due date are applied directly to the loan principal.

Capital One vs. LightStream

LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank, stands out as one of the most flexible auto lenders. LightStream doesn’t restrict financing based on a vehicle’s make, model, age, or mileage. There are no down payment requirements, and financing is available in all 50 states. The funds from a LightStream loan are also deposited directly into your bank account. That means you can shop for a car with all the confidence of a cash buyer, while most other lenders complete the financing process at the dealership.

There are more perks as well. Shoppers can consider a larger pool of vehicles for sale because LightStream doesn’t have dealer restrictions. LightStream also provides loans for those buying a car from a private seller, and the company offers financing for motorcycles, RVs, and classic cars.

Overall, LightStream’s simplicity and lower rates make it a better choice for an auto loan than Capital One. There are a few exceptions though.

Consider a Capital One auto loan first if your credit score isn’t perfect. Capital One isn’t as stringent when evaluating your credit worthiness, whereas LightStream typically offers financing only to shoppers with great-to-excellent credit. The Capital One pre-qualification process also doesn’t affect your credit score. By comparison, applying with LightStream requires a hard inquiry of your credit file, which can lower your score.

 

Capital One

LightStream

New Car Rates as Low as

3.99%

3.34%

Used Car Rates as Low as

4.62%

3.34%

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

$1,500 - $1,800

Contact for amount

Capital One vs. Bank of America

Bank of America is another fine option if you’re shopping for a car loan, and its lending practices are a bit more lenient than Capital One Auto Finance.

Bank of America has no make or model restrictions for its auto loans, and financing is available in all 50 states. While Capital One does not provide loans for shoppers that want to buy a car from a private seller, Bank of America does (visit a local branch for details). It also finances lease buyouts, and unlike many lenders, the bank offers refinancing of its own auto loans. Current rewards members with Bank of America may also qualify for a rate discount of up to 0.5 percent.

There are some similarities between these programs though. Capital One and Bank of America place age and mileage restrictions on the vehicles they finance, and a down payment may be required in some instances. Both banks also complete the financing process at the dealership, which can add some complexity to a car purchase. Both online financing programs are limited to participating dealers as well. Try out the car inventory search tools of both programs to see which offers more vehicle and dealership options in your area.

Overall, Bank of America has fewer restrictions and lower advertised rates, making it a better pick in most cases. Capital One is still a great alternative though, especially if you want a small auto loan. Capital One has a minimum loan amount of $4,000. By comparison, Bank of America only provides auto loans of $7,500 or more.

 

Capital One

Bank of America

New Car Rates as Low as

3.99%

3.59%

Used Car Rates as Low as

4.62%

3.79%

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

$1,500 - $1,800

Contact for amount

Capital One vs. Chase

There are a number of similarities between the auto lending programs of Capital One and Chase Bank. Both programs have easy-to-use online shopping tools, which include auto loan calculators and inventory listing pages. Both also provide shoppers with a good idea of the financing they qualify for before heading to the dealership.

Unfortunately, both programs restrict you to the new and used car inventory found at participating dealers, which can really limit the variety of cars available in your area. Neither online program provides financing for private party sales.

Overall, Chase offers a few extra perks that give it an edge over Capital One. Chase doesn’t require any down payment, and the program is available in all 50 states, whereas Capital One doesn’t offer financing in Alaska or Hawaii. Chase also provides financing for those who want to buy their car at the end of its lease.

One of Chase’s biggest perks is its partnership with TrueCar. Shoppers can use this service to see what others paid for similar new vehicles, receive no-haggle price quotes, and redeem these savings at the dealership.

 

Capital One

Chase

New Car Rates as Low as

3.99%

4.33%

Used Car Rates as Low as

4.62%

4.57%

Prepayment Penalties?

No

No

Minimum Monthly Income

$1,500 - $1,800

Contact for amount

APR Range: 1.99% - 27%

Loan Term: 24 - 84 months

Loan Range: $8,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii), with min. income of $1,800/month and min. credit score of 500

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer

myAutoloan presents up to four offers from a variety of participating lenders based on your specific loan requirements, offering a wide variety of choice and selections.

LightStream

APR Range: 3.34% - 17.49% (AutoPay Discount of 0.50% also included)

Loan Term: 24 - 144 months

Loan Range: $5,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

Must have good to excellent credit*

Vehicle Requirements:

No restrictions

LightStream caters heavily to applicants with very strong credit scores, offering a streamlined application process and a Rate Beat program that guarantees they'll beat any other qualifying offers an applicant receives.

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Capital One

APR Range: 3.99% - 10.08%

Loan Term: 36 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

$1,800/month minimum income requirements, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska or Hawaii)

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Capital One network of dealers

Capital One offers a pre-qualification, which allows you to take your offer to any participating dealer within 30 days.

LEARN MORE
Chase

APR Range: 4.29% - 24.99%

Loan Term: 48 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Chase network of dealers, no older than 2008

After your application is approved, Chase will send the information to the dealer you choose. The offer is good for 30 days.

LEARN MORE
Bank of America

APR Range: 3.49+%

Loan Term: 12 - 75 months

Loan Range: $7,500 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama or Nebraska) U.S. resident

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer, valued at $6,000+, plus additional restrictions

Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can receive an interest rate discount of 0.25-0.50% depending on their tier at the time of applying for an auto loan.

LEARN MORE

Company

Details

Requirements

Descriptions

APR Range: 1.99% - 27%

Loan Term: 24 - 84 months

Loan Range: $8,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska and Hawaii), with min. income of $1,800/month and min. credit score of 500

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer

myAutoloan presents up to four offers from a variety of participating lenders based on your specific loan requirements, offering a wide variety of choice and selections.

LightStream

APR Range: 3.34% - 17.49% (AutoPay Discount of 0.50% also included)

Loan Term: 24 - 144 months

Loan Range: $5,000 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

Must have good to excellent credit*

Vehicle Requirements:

No restrictions

LightStream caters heavily to applicants with very strong credit scores, offering a streamlined application process and a Rate Beat program that guarantees they'll beat any other qualifying offers an applicant receives.

LEARN MORE
Capital One

APR Range: 3.99% - 10.08%

Loan Term: 36 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

$1,800/month minimum income requirements, resident of the U.S. (except Alaska or Hawaii)

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Capital One network of dealers

Capital One offers a pre-qualification, which allows you to take your offer to any participating dealer within 30 days.

LEARN MORE
Chase

APR Range: 4.29% - 24.99%

Loan Term: 48 - 72 months

Loan Range: $4,000+

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old

Vehicle Requirements:

Limited to vehicles available through the Chase network of dealers, no older than 2008

After your application is approved, Chase will send the information to the dealer you choose. The offer is good for 30 days.

LEARN MORE
Bank of America

APR Range: 3.49+%

Loan Term: 12 - 75 months

Loan Range: $7,500 - $100,000

Applicant Requirements:

At least 18 years old (19 in Alabama or Nebraska) U.S. resident

Vehicle Requirements:

Max mileage of 125,000 miles, 10 years old or newer, valued at $6,000+, plus additional restrictions

Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients can receive an interest rate discount of 0.25-0.50% depending on their tier at the time of applying for an auto loan.

LEARN MORE

Disclaimer: All information provided here is based on Annual Percentage Rate estimates from the websites of the individual lenders on 12/18/2018. It is not a binding or guaranteed loan offer. Individual auto loan rates will vary.

Notes: In compiling this data, we used new-car purchase rates for Virginia.

*To meet LightStream's standard for good credit, you must have several years of credit history with a variety of account types, including credit cards, installment debt (vehicle loans), and mortgages. LightStream also prefers to see few, if any, delinquencies and a history of savings, evidenced by things like deposit accounts and manageable revolving credit card debt. You'll also want to provide proof of stable and sufficient income to repay current debt obligations as well as any new loan with LightStream.

More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report

If you need to do more research, our rankings and reviews are a great place to start. If you’re ready to buy, check out our new car lease deals and purchase deals pages.

Our Best Price Program can also save you money. You can get a pre-negotiated price on your car at a local dealer. On average, buyers have saved more than $3,000 off MSRP using the Best Price Program.

In addition to savings off MSRP, getting the best interest rate on your car loan can save you thousands. Compare rates from up to four lenders with myAutoloan to get the best deal.

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