Capital One Auto Finance is an arm of Capital One which provides financing for vehicles purchased through its network of participating dealers.
With Capital One Auto Finance, you don’t have to go to a dealership to find a car or to see if you pre-qualify. And with Capital One’s Auto Navigator, you can get personalized quotes from the comfort of your home.
But how does it work? And what are its advantages and disadvantages? To answer any pressing questions, read through this in-depth review of Capital One Auto Navigator.
What is Capital One’s Auto Navigator?
Capital One Auto Navigator is an online tool that pre-qualifies you for auto financing before you visit a participating dealer.
It reviews your information and performs a soft inquiry on your credit report, which won’t impact your credit score. If you pre-qualify, you can see the APRs, monthly payments, and offer summaries for the vehicles of your choice.
Further, you can personalize your terms (i.e., the down payment amount, price, and term length) to fit your monthly payment budget.
However, the loan amount for which you prequalify can only be used for the purchase of one vehicle. Also, it will expire 30 days after you submit your application.
From the website to the dealership
If you want to move forward with the rates and terms available to you, the next step is to visit a participating dealer with the offer summary in-hand.
Alternatively, you can check in with a specific dealer online before going in. This will allow that dealer to view your pre-qualified terms and preferences.
At the dealership, you’ll have to fill out a credit application that will let the dealer make a hard inquiry on your credit score.
You’ll also need to bring documentation verify your income, employment, etc. To find out what you should print out, just check the Pre-Qualified Offer Confirmation page or the Auto Navigator Home Page. Or to save time, you can upload or fax them in advance.
After credit approval and negotiations, you’ll sign a contract for the purchase and financing. From here, you’ll kick off a retail installment agreement with the dealer as the original creditor.
Note that the terms are estimations, and are subject to change. Nothing is final until you sign a contract.
Not sure if you 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).
- You must have a minimum monthly income of $1,500 to $1,800 (varies based on credit qualifications).
- Your 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:
- Capital One Auto Navigator’s system will only finance loans of $4,000 to $40,000, including licensing fees, tax, dealer fees, etc.
- You can only finance a new or used car, minivan, SUV, or light truck.
- The vehicle must be intended for personal use only.
- Isuzu, Oldsmobile, Suzuki, Saab, and Daewoo vehicles are not eligible.
- The 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? According to user reviews, not very well. Customers looking for assistance frequently found customer service to be uncooperative and unhelpful in addressing their concerns. You can read more Capital One Auto Finance reviews here.
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
Here’s how you can pre-qualify using Capital One Auto Navigator.
First, visit the website and click “Get Pre-qualified.”
Then select whether you are applying alone or with someone else, and ensure you meet the general requirements.
Next, enter your basic information to confirm your identity.
Tell Capital One about where you live.
Enter the details about your employment situation.
Finally, 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. You should call in advance to check on the specific availability of cars.
Why have I received a range of APRs?
Because your final APR varies based 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 qualify 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. But 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, and this pre-qualification process doesn’t enable cross-comparison.
- 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. However, it won’t hurt to go through the pre-qualification process to see what you can get.
But before you commit, you should 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.
As such, 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.