soft search vs hard search

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When applying for car finance you will often come across the terms soft search and hard search. But what do they mean? And do you know the difference? We are here to clarify this, separating fact from jargon.

what is a soft search?

A soft search checks how likely you are to be accepted for finance, without affecting your credit score. This means a search cannot be seen by lenders. Only you are able to view soft checks on your credit file. So this will not affect a lenders decision.

Think of a soft search as a preliminary check, which calculates the probability of being accepted without performing a full search on your credit report. With this in mind, consumers are able to shop around to find the best deal for them. Comforted by the fact that these searches will not be seen by financial lenders. In theory, this means it doesn’t matter how many searches you have, as they are invisible. Spooky, we know.

However, a soft check is an indication of how likely you are to be accepted for finance. Meaning, the outcome is not always guaranteed when a full hard search is then later carried out.

what is a hard search?

In contrast to a soft search, a hard search can be viewed by lenders when deciding if you are a good candidate for finance. A hard search will check your credit file and leave a mark of this check. Most hard searches will stay on your credit report for 12 months.

Here at motorly we never perform a hard search. Our partners’ only complete a soft search when checking the affordability of finance for our customers. A hard search is only ever done with an individual’s permission when you want to go ahead with a full application.

Obviously, once a complete finance application is submitted by a lender, this will incur a hard check. But at this point, the customer is happy with their proposed financial plan and are simply completing the final stage. You will now have finance in place and be ready to receive your new vehicle. This is the fun part.

apply today

Rest assured when you complete an online finance application with motorly that we only ever perform a soft check. So, whether you are looking for your next car, van, bike or caravan we can help. We are an independent broker that searches the market for you, with zero impact on your credit score. Walk into a garage with your finance approved. What are you waiting for?

Our easy to use online calculator makes this process easier than ever. Simply drag & drop the buttons up or down to suit your needs and reveal your estimated loan and repayment amounts. Fill out our quick quote form and let us find the right vehicle for you. It’s that easy.

Over 4 Years

Best available rate
XX% APR.
Total cost of credit
XXXXXX.
Total repayment
XXXXXX.

motorly is a credit broker, not a lender. Rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances. Representative Example: Borrowing £5,500 over 48 months with a representative APR of 22.9% the amount payable would be £287 a month, with a total cost of credit of £1406 and a total amount payable of £6906.