Skip to Main Content

CarsDirect: 2023 Auto loan review

2023-01-01 00:00:00

At a glance

Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5

Bankrate Score

  • Availability
    Rating: 4 stars out of 5
  • Affordability
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Customer Experience
    Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
  • Transparency
    Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Compare auto loan rates
See Rates

About CarsDirect

  • Moneybag

    Loan amount

    Varies by lender

  • Credit Good

    Min. credit score

    Accepts all credit types

  • Rates

    APR from

    Not specified

  • Funds available in

    Varies by lender

CarsDirect pros and cons

Take into account both the benefits and drawbacks that CarsDirect has to offer.


  • Checkmark

    No fees

  • Checkmark

    Large lender network

  • Checkmark

    Car buying network


  • Close X

    Poor customer reviews

  • Close X

    Lack of rate and term transparency

Do you qualify?

Due to the network structure of CarsDirect, there aren't any disclosed requirements. But they do cater to drivers with less than perfect credit. On top of this CarsDirect will match you with lenders that may offer you competitive rates — with or without excellent financial history. Though, as with any lender, most competitive rates will be offered to those with strong credit. 

What we like and what we don’t like

While the car buying network can be a great starting point for those beginning the buying journey, consider the downsides before signing off with CarsDirect.

What we like

  • No fees. CarsDirect does not have a fee for using the service to explore loan options. 
  • Large lender network. CarsDirect works with a wide range of lenders catering to different credit backgrounds.
  • Car buying network. The site allows you to shop for your vehicle while applying for financing.  

What we don't like

  • Unsatisfactory reviews. The majority of online reviews complained of bad service and distribution of personal information.  
  • Lack of rate transparency. CarsDirect does not disclose expected rates.  

How to contact CarsDirect

CarsDirect offers online chat on its website, direct email and phone support. It doesn't, however, list its business hours on the website.

Auto loan types offered

CarsDirect offers loans for new or used vehicles, refinancing and lease buyouts. Since CarsDirect hosts a marketplace, and is not a lender itself, the specifics of each loan vary depending on your matched lender.

New and used vehicle loans

The specific rates and terms for a new or used auto loan found through CreditDirect will vary by lender. But with the car buying process being directly integrated with the site, it can be a seamless way to find a vehicle from a local dealer while also securing vehicle financing.


Although refinance rates and terms are not available, the site encourages borrowers to consider refi if they are looking to lower their monthly payments or secure a lower interest rate. Along with this, CarsDirect outlines the fact that those with credit scores of 500 or better will receive the most favorable terms.  

Lease buyout

The process of lease buyout is not disclosed by CarsDirect. But it recommends that you have a credit score of 600 or higher.

How to apply for a loan with CarsDirect

The process of searching for an auto loan through CarsDirect is simple. The site advertises a 60-second application experience and the ability to drive your next vehicle in as soon as 24 to 48 hours.

According to CarsDirect, the process is broken down into four main steps. 

  1. Submit the form. Fill out an online form with your personal and vehicle information. This is a no-obligation application. But as you continue the process you can expect a hard inquiry from lenders. 
  2. Review financing options. A CarsDirect representative will then reach out within 24 hours of filling out the form with different financing options. 
  3. Choose a vehicle. CarsDirect encourages borrowers to purchase their vehicle through its network but whether it's your intended route, take time to compare your potential loan with at least three other lenders. 
  4. Finalize loan. You now have secured vehicle financing and can drive off with a new vehicle through CarsDirect’s network or shop elsewhere.

CarsDirect FAQs

How Bankrate rates CarsDirect

Overall score 3.7
Availability 4 CarsDirect offers several loan options but does not disclose specific loan amounts or repayment terms.
Affordability 3.8 While CarsDirect partners with bad credit and bankruptcy lenders and there is no application fee, APR is not disclosed.
Customer experience 3.8 Online reviews were primarily negative and customer service is only available Monday to Friday in a range of specific hours.
Transparency 3 CarsDirect serves as a loan broker so does not hold transparency when it comes to the availability of fees and rates.


Bankrate considers 18 data points when rating auto loan lenders. These include credit requirements, loan amount, APR ranges, shopping window along with rate and fee availability. In total, Bankrate reviewed 33 lenders and gave each a Bankrate rating, which consists of four categories:

  • Availability. Loan amounts, types and repayment options are considered in this category. A wide range of financing options results in a higher score.
  • Affordability. The interest rates, acceptance criteria and present fees are measured here. 
  • Customer experience. This category concerns online access along with app availability and customer support hours of operation. Lenders with 24/7 support carry the highest available marks.
  • Transparency. This covers the disclosure of potential fees and the ability to apply for loan prequalification.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.
Written by
Rebecca Betterton
Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers in navigating the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase a car.

Edited by Auto loans editor