Capital One Auto Loan Review

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for a few years, you’ve likely heard the “What’s in your wallet?” catch phrase a few dozen times every day on television for longer than you’d like to remember. Capital One, the bank behind these clever, memorable ads, offers credit cards, banking services, and auto loans. In recent months, Capital One’s Auto Navigator service launched with innovative services and an easy interface. Car Talk will give you all the details to help you decide if Capital One is the right lender for you.

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About Capital One

Capital One is a youngster in the world of banks, having been around since just 1988. The bank has grown into a behemoth over the years, with credit cards, a variety of lending products, and consumer banking services on its lengthy services list.

Why Consider Capital One for an Auto Loan

Capital One has established itself as one of the most accommodating lenders in the automotive space. The bank’s apps and online presence are unmatched among its competitors. Buyers can get an easy prequalification and carry that information with them, either to a dealership or to an online retailer. The bank’s digital tools help buyers make decisions with payment calculators and other information easily accessible.

How To Apply for a Capital One Auto Loan

Applying for a loan with Capital One is a simple process. Head to the Capital One auto loan site to get started. There, you can enter your information for a prequalification and start shopping right away. If you find a vehicle that matches your criteria, you can reach out to the dealership through the online portal and start the conversation.

Capital One Auto Loan Details

Capital One’s rates are competitive and transparent, but where the bank really shines is in its customer experience. The process is seamless from start to finish, and makes it easy to apply for and take out a loan. Unlike some auto lenders, Capital One offers refinancing with competitive rates. It’s important to remember that Capital One works with an extensive network of dealers and tailors its financing tools to work with its current dealerships.

Pros and Cons

  • Excellent online experience
  • Variety of lending products
  • Ability to get pre-approved and shop armed with information
  • Not available to buyers in every state
  • Loans not offered for vehicles that cost more than $50,000

Should I Get An Auto Loan Through Capital One?

Capital One delivers an intuitive and quick loan experience, but that comfort comes with a few limitations. You will only be able to shop with the dealers that enter into Capital One’s program, so your choices may be limited when it comes to vehicle type or configuration. You’re also limited by the pre-approval options that the bank issues at sign up, so you’ll need to contact a representative to ask about rate, term, and other changes you need to make.

Read more about average auto loan rates here.


Does Capital One offer only subprime loans?

No, but the bank does generate plenty of loans to buyers with lower credit scores. If you are searching for a bad credit auto loan, you may have better luck with a local bank or credit union.

Is it better to make a large down payment on a car?

It’s best to make the largest down payment you are able to afford when you purchase a car. This will help you in a few ways. First, you will have a lower monthly payment, making the auto loan easier to handle over a period of time. You’ll also have more equity in your new car, so that you can sell, trade, or refinance it much more easily down the road.

What is Tier 1 credit?

Tier 1 usually refers to credit scores that are 700 and above. This is used to designate borrowers with top credit scores.

Can I pay off my Capital One loan early?

Capital One does not charge a prepayment fee, so you can pay off all or a portion of your loan balance any time without penalty.

Does Capital One require full coverage insurance?

Most lenders require full coverage insurance, and many require GAP insurance if you are borrowing money to pay for the vehicle.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.