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In direct lending, you get a loan directly from a bank, finance company, or credit union. You agree to pay, over a period of time, the amount financed, plus a finance charge. Once you enter into a contract with a dealership to buy a vehicle, you use the loan from the direct lender to pay for the vehicle.
Personal Car Finance is a complete subsector of personal finance, with numerous different products available. These include a straightforward car loan, hire purchase, personal contract hire (car leasing) and Personal Contract Purchase. Therefore car finance includes but is not limited to vehicle leasing. These different types of car finance are possible because of the high residual value of cars and the second hand car market, which enables other forms of financing beyond pure unsecured loans.
Car finance arose because the price of cars was out of the reach of individual purchasers without borrowing the money. The funding for personal car finance is provided either by a retail bank or a specialist car financing company. Some car manufacturers own their own car financing arms, such as Ford with the Ford Motor Credit Company and General Motors with its GMAC Financial Services arm, which has now been renamed and rebranded as Ally Financial. Indirect auto lenders may set risk-based interest rate, or “buy rate,” that it conveys to auto dealers.
Car companies may then allow their auto dealers to charge a higher interest rate when they finalize the deal with the consumer. This is typically called “dealer markup.” Markups can generate compensation for dealers and some (those of GM’s Ally and Honda) have been found to use the discretion to charge consumers different rates regardless of consumer creditworthiness.