Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 11, 2013

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Yes, you can still get a car loan if you have a bad driving record. However, that poor driving record may still cause you problems down the road.

When it comes to purchasing a car, driving records are not used when making a lending decision. In fact, it is not legal to deny an auto loan to an applicant simply because they have a poor driving record.

Even DUI’s, the dreaded terminator of licenses, have no bearing on financial decisions made by car loan lenders.

Lesser forms of legal violations, such as parking and speeding tickets, do not disbar applicants from getting financing to buy a car either. This should come as a welcome relief since most people have had the misfortune of earning themselves a parking or speeding ticket, justified or not.

Now that you know your driving record doesn’t matter, you can apply for a car loan here.

While borrowing a car loan is essentially a “yes” or “no” process, when it comes to driving records, borrowers may end up paying for their past mistakes.

Benjamin Luftman, partner at Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP, told loans.org that having a bad driving record can have a huge impact on a borrower’s ability to afford the total cost of owning a vehicle.

“Most people that purchase a car don’t just consider their monthly loan coast, but consider their cost of insuring the vehicle as well,” said Luftman. “Furthermore, if someone is buying a new vehicle, they will likely be shopping insurance rates.”

Luftman explained that having numerous violations on driving records, especially within short periods of time, would have a financial impact on obtaining a new vehicle.

“So even though it does not directly impact the decision being made by a potential lender, that bad record might prevent the overall feasibility of owning that new ride,” said Luftman.

Car drivers can improve their chances of qualifying for more affordable insurance, and a more affordable car purchase in total, by trying to clear up their driving record prior to applying. Under certain circumstances, traffic offenses can be expugnable in some states.

Of course getting your record expunged isn’t exactly as easy as making a phone call.

In order to increase your chances of getting your record expunged, you should seek the help of a criminal expungment lawyer. These professionals will help you complete the proper forms, and, if need be, help you present your case in court where you must express the grounds for expungment clearly and precisely before a judge.