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Capital One Auto Loans Review 2023

Capital One's Auto Navigator combines auto financing with car-buying services

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Capital One
Investopedia’s Rating

Our Take

Capital One simplifies the car shopping process and helps borrowers spend less time at the dealership. With Capital One's Auto Navigator loan marketplace, you can find the right vehicle near you and get a rate quote on a car loan before heading to the dealership. However, your Capital One loan isn't finalized until after you apply through a dealer, so your final terms may differ from what you expected.?

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
  • Low loan minimums?

  • Offers refinancing

  • Online shopping tool provides loan and car options

  • Clear about pre-qualification requirements

  • Limited disclosure about APRs

  • Restrictions on vehicle make, mileage, and year

  • Shorter maximum repayment terms

  • Does not allow lease buyouts

Key Takeaways
  • Capital One offers financing only through participating dealers.
  • Vehicles with branded titles, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles aren't eligible for Capital One financing.?
  • Rates and loan terms vary by location and participating dealer.?
Company Overview

Capital One is a financial services holding company that offers a range of banking services and credit products, including credit cards and auto loans. In 2022, Capital One originated $31.8 billion in new auto loans.?

Capital One’s Auto Navigator tool allows buyers to search for new and used cars, pre-qualify for financing, and design their loans before going to a dealership. Capital One's auto financing and Auto Navigator tools are available in most of the country, except Alaska and Hawaii.

  • Loan Types Offered New, used, refinance
  • States Available All states and D.C. except AK, HI
  • New APR Range Not disclosed
  • Used APR Range Not disclosed
  • Refinance APR Range Not disclosed
  • Min. Time to Receive Loan Not disclosed
  • Recommended Min. Credit Score Not disclosed
  • Max. Accepted Mileage 150,000
  • Max. Accepted Age 10 years
  • Max. Accepted Loan-to-Value Ratio Not disclosed

Pros Explained

  • Low loan minimum: Some lenders have high loan minimums, such as $7,500. But with Capital One the minimum is $4,000, so it's a good option if you're hoping to buy an older, inexpensive used car. 
  • Offers refinancing: Not all lenders offer refinancing of your current loan. Capital One does make this available to those hoping to refinance loans from $7,500 to $75,000, as long as your balance isn’t significantly greater than your vehicle’s estimated value.
  • Online shopping tool provides loan and car options: Capital One’s Auto Navigator tool provides multiple dealership options and loan information from other lenders, in addition to Capital One Auto Finance.
  • Clear about pre-qualification requirements: Before you apply, you can use Capital One's pre-qualification tool without impacting your credit score to get a sense of your potential terms, along with minimum requirements like income (a monthly minimum of at least $1,500). However, there may be additional or varied requirements based on the lender selected.

Cons Explained

  • Limited disclosure about APRs: Many lenders reveal APR ranges for new, used, and refinance loans, but Capital One does not. This can make it harder to compare loan products.
  • Restrictions on vehicle make, mileage, and year: Capital One has strict requirements for the vehicles it finances, generally limiting buyers to cars less than 10 years old with fewer than 120,000 miles. You also can’t use Capital One auto loans to buy vehicle makes no longer in production, such as Oldsmobile or Saab, or to buy motorcycles or RVs.
  • Shorter maximum repayment terms: Many lenders allow you to repay a loan for up to 84 months. Capital One limits you to 72 months for both new and used vehicle loans. 
  • Does not allow lease buyouts: Capital One's purchase loans can only be used to purchase eligible vehicles from participating dealers, and lease buyouts aren’t available.

Types of Auto Loans Offered by Capital One

Capital One has financing options for new and used cars—but you must buy through its auto dealership network, which includes independent dealers and franchises. Borrowers with existing auto loans can also use the lender's refinancing program to potentially secure a lower interest rate or lower monthly payments.?

Rates and loan terms vary by location, the selected vehicle, and the dealer selling the car, but borrowers can generally finance $4,000 and up.?

New Auto Loans

  • APR: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 and up
  • Loan terms: 24–72 months

Used Auto Loans

  • APR: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 and up
  • Loan terms: 24–72 months

Refinance Auto Loans

  • APR: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $7,500–$75,000
  • Loan terms: Not disclosed

You can’t refinance loans currently financed by Capital One Auto Finance.

Time to Receive Funds

You can design an auto loan online, including adjusting the down payment and repayment term, through Capital One's Auto Navigator. But to finalize the loan and complete your vehicle purchase, you must visit a participating dealer, fill out an application, and undergo a hard credit check. How long the process takes depends on the dealership and your individual circumstances. 

Borrower Requirements

  • Minimum recommended credit score: Not disclosed
  • State availability: Available in all states and D.C., except Alaska and Hawaii
  • Membership requirements: None

Vehicle Requirements

  • Maximum accepted mileage: 120,000 (150,000 in some cases)
  • Maximum loan-to-value ratio: Not disclosed
  • Maximum vehicle age: 10 years old
  • Other vehicle restrictions: The vehicle must be for personal use.

Capital One Auto Loan Features

  • Origination fee: Capital One does not charge origination fees. 
  • Prepayment fee: There are no prepayment penalties, so there is no added charge for paying off your car loan early
  • Discounts: Capital One doesn't disclose available discounts. 
  • Rebates: There are no rebate programs available. 
  • Pays creditors directly for refinance loans: Capital One will issue the check directly to your previous lienholder when you refinance. 
  • Can change due date: Capital One allows you to change your due date by up to 15 days.
  • Car-buying service: Capital One's Auto Navigator allows you to find vehicles from participating dealers and pre-qualify for financing in one place. 
  • Partner dealerships: The Auto Navigator lists cars from participating dealerships.
  • First-time car buyer program: Capital One does not have a first-time car buyer program. 
  • Mobile app: Capital One’s Auto Navigator app can be used to shop for loans and vehicles on the go. And Capital One has a separate app you can use to manage your loan and make monthly payments. 

Co-Signers and Co-Applicants

If you have trouble qualifying for a car loan on your own due to your credit history or income, you may qualify or get better terms by adding a creditworthy co-borrower to your application. Capital One allows joint applications if you can’t qualify on your own, but remember that co-borrowers will share equal responsibility for the vehicle and for paying back the loan.

Customer Service

Capital One has a few contact numbers related to auto loans.

Purpose Phone Number Hours
New and used vehicle financing applicants (800) 689-1789 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET
Auto refinance applicants (833) 292-8336 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET
Existing auto loan customers (800) 946-0332 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Customer Satisfaction

Capital One is an industry leader in customer satisfaction. It was the top-ranked lender for luxury financing and third for mass market financing in the J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Auto Financing Study.?

Over 2,200 people have filed official complaints with Capital One regarding vehicle loans or leases with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau since 2017, primarily concerning billing problems, getting a loan or lease, and denied requests to lower payments.

However, the CFPB’s complaint database isn’t necessarily representative of most consumer experiences with Capital One, and the number of complaints should be considered in light of it being the fifth-largest auto lender in 2022 based on the total dollar amount of its outstanding loans.?

How to Apply for a Capital One Auto Loan

Applying for an auto loan through Capital One can be fairly efficient, with a combination of online and in-person steps.

  1. Pre-qualify for a loan: Use Capital One's Auto Navigator to check your pre-qualified offers without impacting your credit score. You get an estimate regarding monthly payments, terms, and APRs. But you do have to provide your personal information, address, employment, and income. Your pre-qualification offer is valid for 30 days. 
  2. Pick a car: You can use the Auto Navigator to shop for specific makes or models, or you can shop by body type; the platform shows vehicles available from participating dealers. You can choose a car and use the pre-qualification tool to change the loan terms.
  3. Head to the dealership: To purchase the selected vehicle, contact the dealership to schedule a test drive and ensure the vehicle is still available. When you go to the dealership, either bring your Auto Navigator pre-qualification offer or otherwise identify yourself as a pre-qualified Auto Navigator customer. 
  4. Complete a full loan application: If you decide to move forward with the vehicle purchase, you will have to fill out a full loan application at the dealership, provide documentation, and consent to a hard credit check
  5. Review the loan terms: After processing your application, the dealer’s loan offer or offers may differ from the Auto Navigator pre-qualification. The offer may differ due to added options that don’t involve Capital One, such as maintenance plans or GAP coverage, so review the terms carefully before agreeing to and signing the loan agreement. 

Although a longer loan term can be appealing because it gives you a lower monthly payment, more interest will accrue over the longer period and add to the overall loan cost. Use our auto loan calculator to determine how the term and interest rate affect your payments.

Alternatives to Capital One Auto Loans

Capital One PenFed Consumers Credit Union
Loan Types Offered New, used, refinance New, used, refinance, cash-out refinance, lease buyout New, used, refinance, cash-out refinance, motorcycle, RV
States Available All states and D.C. except AK, HI All states, D.C., and Puerto Rico All states and D.C.
New APR Range Not disclosed 5.39%–17.99% 5.24% and up
New Loan Amounts $4,000 and up $500–$150,000 $500–$350,000
New Loan Terms 24–72 months 36–84 months 36–84 months
Used APR Range Not disclosed 5.24%–17.99% 5.49% and up
Used Loan Amounts $4,000 and up $500–$150,000 $500–$350,000
Used Loan Terms 24–72 months 36–72 months 60–84 months
Refinance APR Range Not disclosed 5.94% and up 5.49%–8.54%
Refinance Loan Amounts $7,500–$75,000 Up to $150,000 $500–$350,000
Refinance Loan Terms Not disclosed 36–72 months 60–84 months
Min. Time to Receive Loan Not disclosed 5 days 1 day
Recommended Min. Credit Score Not disclosed Not disclosed Not disclosed
Max. Accepted Mileage 150,000 125,000 None
Max. Accepted Age 10 years None None
Max. Accepted Loan-to-Value Ratio Not disclosed 125% 125%

Final Verdict

For those looking for a one-stop location to buy and finance a vehicle, Capital One allows you to pre-qualify for a loan, search for cars, and build your loan terms before heading to the dealership—all without impacting your credit. It may also be a good fit for someone who doesn’t need to borrow much to buy a car, or who wants to apply with a co-borrower.?

However, your actual loan terms after applying may be different if you purchase a different vehicle, if your income changes, or if your credit score drops. It can also be challenging to tell what your interest rate might be in advance, and there are some vehicle restrictions to keep in mind.


Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto loan lenders. To rate providers, we collected hundreds of data points across more than 20 auto loan lenders, including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, borrower requirements, and vehicle requirements, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their borrowing needs. We also conducted a survey of 1,016 auto loan borrowers for attitudes and opinions about lenders and the loan approval and disbursement process. See our full auto loan review methodology for more information.

Article Sources
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  5. J.D. Power. "J.D. Power U.S. Consumer Auto Financing Study."

  6. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database."

  7. PR Web. "New Data Shows Auto Loan and Lease Total Outstandings Top $1.3 Trillion for Second Straight Year."