Auto: Capital One Auto Loan review 2020

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Capital One has an excellent BBB rating and some really strong customer reviews. It comes out as one of the leaders on the market not only because it is a stable banking institution with a good reputation, but because its rates are among the best available. If you have a great credit score, you can expect to receive a really good rate for your auto loan. 

When you first apply for your prequalification, your credit score won’t take a hit, but this will be required once you start to finalize the details with the dealership. The company will also expect you to use the Auto Navigator tool to search for the car you want and you will be expected to use a Capital One affiliated dealerships. There are quite a few restrictions attached to Capital One, but if you can hurdle these successfully, then you will get competitive rates and good service. 

Capital One has ensured that its auto loans section of the website has as much information about the process as possible. From the introduction of the Auto Navigator tool down to buttons that help you to fast track your loan process, it has ensured you can find what you need. 

There are allocated buttons to pre-approval codes, to offer summaries, and to refinance status, so you can access the next stage of your application without having to jump any online hurdles. 

It’s a professionally managed application process that provides information throughout so you can make informed choices. What isn’t clear from the outset is whether or not you have to register for the Auto Navigator tool before you can buy a car. You can get prequalification for a specific dealer, but you can only use that at that specific dealer. With Auto Navigator, you can take your pre-approval to any one of the 12,000 registered dealers. 

You can either pre-qualify through Auto Navigator or you can start the process directly from the site, both will lead you to a soft credit check, prequalification approval and finances you need to go on and get your car. 

Capital One isn’t easy to use. It’s not a complicated tangle of looping buttons and frustration, but it’s hard to find information about APRs and fees and other vitally important facts that could influence your purchasing decision. 

The FAQs are hidden away, the APRs are only available once you’ve completed the application process or input the figures into the online calculator and the entire application process is governed by Auto Navigator. It’s a helpful tool, of that there is little doubt, but it’s also an extra thing to do and a forced channel for you to use to find a car. 

The customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs are mostly positive, there are quite a few negative reviews but these are balanced out by people primarily enjoying their experiences with the company. It’s hard to find any financial institution or service that isn’t littered with bad reviews, it is money and money is emotive and stressful, but Capital One does better than some of its competitors, especially Alliant Credit Union. 

Our Verdict

Capital One isn’t just focused on auto loans, providing you with a variety of banking solutions as well as a full-service banking platform. This means that you are not limited to digital only interactions, unlike LightStream, which can be reassuring if you need urgent assistance or you’re stuck with an issue. The company has an A+ accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has been with them since 1995.


  • Digital prequalification process
  • Application doesn’t affect credit score
  • Competitive APR rates


  • Several vehicle purchase restrictions
  • Required to use Auto Navigator
  • Limited to participating dealers

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