Capital One Auto Finance is the arm of Capital One that provides financing for vehicles that are purchased through its network of participating dealers.
However, you don’t have to go to the dealership to find a car or to see if you pre-qualify. Instead, Capital One’s Auto Navigator makes the vehicle-buying process much more convenient.
Here’s an in-depth review of what the Capital One Auto Navigator is, how it works, and its pros and cons.
What is Capital One’s Auto Navigator?
Capital One Auto Navigator is an online tool that pre-qualifies customers for auto financing before they visit a participating dealer.
It reviews the applicant’s information and performs a soft inquiry on their credit report, which doesn’t impact their credit score. Customers who pre-qualify will be able to see the APRs, monthly payments, and offer summaries for specific vehicles they choose.
Further, they will be able to personalize their terms (i.e., the down payment amount, price, and term length) to fit their monthly payment budget.
The loan amount for which a person prequalifies can only be used for the purchase of one personal vehicle and will expire 30 days after the application is received.
From the website to the dealership
If a customer wants to go ahead with the rates and terms available to them, the next step is to visit a participating dealer with the offer summary in-hand.
Alternatively, customers can check in with a specific dealer online before going in, which will allow that dealer to view their pre-qualified terms and preferences.
Upon visiting the dealer, the pre-qualified customer will be required to fill out a credit application that will result in a hard inquiry on their credit report. They may also need to provide documents to verify income, employment, etc.
Customers can check the Pre-Qualified Offer Confirmation page or the Auto Navigator Home Page to see which documents will be required and can upload or fax them in advance to save time.
After credit approval and negotiations, a contract will be signed for the purchase and financing, and a retail installment agreement will begin with the dealer as the original creditor.
Note: The terms are estimations and are subject to change if an applicant’s information is updated online or at the dealer. Nothing is considered final until the contract is signed at a participating dealer.
Wondering if you might qualify? Here are the basic eligibility requirements for applicants:
- You must be least 18 years old
- You need to have a valid address in the U.S. (or an APO/FPO address)
- A minimum monthly income of $1,500 to $1,800 is required (varies based on credit qualifications)
- Existing Capital One accounts must be in good standing
Additionally, Capital One uses an underwriting score system that weighs over 200 factors to determine eligibility.
Next, you may be wondering if you can finance any vehicle you want.
Here are the restrictions:
- The amount financed must fall between $4,000 and $40,000 (Note: This will be based on the specific vehicle being purchased. It can include licensing fees, tax, the sales price, dealer fees, and optional products such as an extended warranty or GAP insurance)
- Must be a new or used car, minivan, SUV, or light truck
- Must be intended for personal use only
- Isuzu, Oldsmobile, Suzuki, Saab, and Daewoo vehicles are not eligible
- Vehicle model must be 2006 or newer (2008 models or newer in some states)
- Vehicles can’t have more than 120,000 miles
- Financing won’t be offered for motorcycles, commercial vehicles, ATVs, RVs, camper vans, boats, motor homes, branded title vehicles, lease buyouts, lemon vehicles, or vehicles without VINs or titles
You can use the Auto Navigator website to search for eligible vehicles by make, model, year, features, and much more.
Capital One Auto Navigator customer service
Now, we all know how frustrating poor customer service can be, so how does Capital One stack up?
Capital One Auto Navigator’s customer service phone number is 1-800-689-1789. The team is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
The company also has a learning center on the website where you can read about topics related to the service. Additionally, there are tools to calculate your monthly payments and search for cars.
Capital One Auto Navigator’s process to pre-qualify
Lastly, here’s how you can pre-qualify using Capital One Auto Navigator.
Visit the website and click “Get Pre-qualified.”
Select whether you are applying alone or with someone else, and ensure you meet the general requirements.
Enter your basic information to confirm your identity.
Tell Capital One about where you live.
Enter the details about your employment situation.
Review all of your information, read and agree to the terms and conditions, and submit your application.
That’s it. After these six steps, you will find out if you pre-qualify for an auto loan.
Capital One Auto Navigator FAQs
Will the dealer I choose have the vehicle I want?
Selecting a vehicle on the Auto Navigator site doesn’t guarantee the dealer will have it. Customers will need to call to check on the specific availability of cars.
Why have I received a range of APRs?
You receive a range of APRs because your final APR will vary depending on the age of the vehicle you choose, your repayment terms, and your down payment.
Will I need to pay a down payment?
Possibly. If the total cost of the vehicle you want to buy is more than the amount you are approved for, you will need to put down the difference in cash.
How can I check the status of my pre-qualification offer?
You can check your pre-qualification offer status by calling into the automated system, speaking with a customer service representative, or logging into Auto Navigator online.
How can I find a participating dealer?
Participating Capital One Auto Navigator dealers can be found using Capital One’s Dealer Locator on the website.
What about Capital One auto refinance? Can I use the Auto Navigator to refinance my existing auto loan?
The verdict: Should you use Capital One Auto Navigator to buy your next vehicle?
Capital One Auto Navigator puts power back in the hands of the buyers. Instead of blindly walking into a dealership and hoping for the best, you can do your homework ahead of time.
Pre-qualify, find the vehicle you want, personalize your terms, and walk in ready to negotiate with confidence. However, along with these benefits, there are also a few drawbacks.
Compare the pros and cons to make a better decision.
- Online platform helps you find a vehicle online
- Millions of vehicles are listed from participating dealers nationwide
- Pre-qualify before visiting the dealer without hurting your credit score
- Customize the terms to fit your budget
- Choose from a large network of participating dealers
- Restrictions limit the vehicle you can purchase
- Shoppers may get better rates and terms elsewhere
- Need decent credit to qualify
- Loan amount must be between $4,000 and $40,000
- Must buy from dealers within Capital One’s network
With all the factors considered, Capital One Auto Navigator is a helpful tool, but won’t be the best solution for everyone. It doesn’t hurt to go through the pre-qualification process to see what you can get.
However, it’s wise to shop around and see what other lenders will offer you as well. Financing companies vary in the loan amounts they offer, along with their vehicle restrictions, rates, and terms.
Being so, comparing a few different options will give you a wider perspective on which will be the best fit for you.
To pre-qualify with Capital One, click here and visit the site.
Then, click here to use SuperMoney's auto loan engine to get quotes from multiple vetted lenders in minutes. It’s quick, easy, and won’t hurt your credit score.
Why settle if you don’t have to? Use these helpful online tools to find the best deal on your next vehicle.