Click or Press enter to Enter to Enable skip content option

Can You Buy a Car with a Credit Card? 

man receiving Credit card

When it comes to car shopping, especially in the vibrant Inland Empire region, most potential buyers have a slew of questions. Among the most intriguing: Can you actually buy a new car or used car with a credit card? 

For those residing in Ontario, California – a hub of car enthusiasts and bustling dealerships – the question is particularly relevant. Let us dive into the important part, uncover the ins and outs of making such a significant purchase, and discover whether your credit card can in fact, drive you home in a shiny new vehicle. 

Credit Cards and Car Purchases: The Basics 

In theory, yes, you can buy a car with a credit card. However, it’s not as straightforward as swiping your card for a new pair of shoes or a dinner out. For one, the limit on most credit cards is often much lower than the price of a car, especially if you’re eyeing a new model right off the showroom floor. 

Another key aspect to remember is that, while dealers can accept credit card payments, they often incur a fee for every card transaction. This fee can range anywhere from 1% to 3% (or even more) of the purchase price. For higher ticket items, like cars, this can be a hefty sum! Some dealers might refuse card payments for the entire amount, but they may be open to a down payment or deposit on the card. Others might pass the fee onto the buyer. 

Still, there are scenarios where using a credit card makes sense. If you’re collecting reward points or miles, or aiming for a hefty sign-up bonus, placing a portion of your car’s price on your card can be enticing. 

Advantages of Using a Credit Card 

  • Rewards and Bonuses: As mentioned, for those with lucrative reward cards, making a significant purchase can inch you closer to that next free flight or cash back. 
  • Purchase Protection: Some credit cards come with built-in purchase protection, ensuring you against potential mishaps or offering extended warranties. 
  • Convenience: With a card, you do not need to secure financing ahead of time or undergo lengthy credit checks. It’s a straightforward process, especially if you’re only charging a portion of the price. 

Potential Drawbacks 

  • Interest Rates: If you do not pay off the balance quickly, you could be hit with substantial interest payments. Remember, credit card APRs are typically much higher than auto loan rates. 
  • Credit Utilization: A substantial charge can max out your card, affecting your credit utilization ratio, which in turn can lower your credit score. 
  • Dealership Restrictions: As discussed, not all dealerships will let you swipe away freely. You might be restricted to a specific amount or encounter additional fees. 

Navigating the Car Shopping Landscape in Ontario 

Ontario has a vast array of both new car and used car options, so the potential for finding your dream ride is immense. If you are keen on using your credit card, be open and upfront with the dealership. It’s also worth shopping around – different dealerships might have varied policies, and some may offer promotions or incentives. 

If you are interested in exploring more about the vehicles available at Ontario Auto Center click here to view a comprehensive list of options. 

Moreover, if you have already made your purchase and are looking to keep your car in tip-top shape, remember the importance of regular servicing. For hassle-free scheduling and top-notch service in the Ontario region, visit us. 


Can you buy a car with a credit card? Yes, but with caveats. It’s essential to weigh the benefits against potential drawbacks and to communicate openly with the dealerships during your car shopping journey. And, as always, remember to enjoy the ride – whether it’s in a brand-new vehicle or a trusty used car. 


Click to call sales

While great effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, errors can occur. Please verify all pricing information with a customer service representative. This is easily done by calling us or visiting us at the dealership.

Customer may not qualify for ALL Rebates shown. Some rebates are stackable and others can and cannot be combined. See Dealer For Complete Details.