Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is a finance product that allows you the opportunity to buy a new or a used car.
It is similar to a Hire Purchase agreement as you will usually pay an initial deposit, followed by monthly instalments over a term typically between 18 to 48 months.
What makes PCP different to Hire Purchase (HP) is that your monthly instalments are paying off the depreciation of the car, and not its entire value, over the course of the term. Then, when you get to the end of your agreement, there is a final, balloon payment that must be made if you want to keep the car. The balloon payment is often referred to also as the Guaranteed Future Value (GFV).
You can normally settle your agreement early by asking the finance company to provide you with a settlement figure. However, the finance company will require you to pay off the difference between what your car is worth, and what you still owe and there may be a difference which is known as negative equity. On the other hand, you may find that at the end of your term your car is worth more than the Guaranteed Future Value, which means you will have some positive equity to contribute towards your next car.
Hire Purchase is a way to finance buying a new or used car. You will normally pay an initial deposit and will pay off the entire value of the car in monthly instalments. When all the payments are made, the Hire Purchase agreement ends, and you own the car outright.
The short answer is yes, you can end your finance early. There are different provisions within each finance agreement that allows you to do just that. If you have got through two-thirds of the way through your finance agreement, the options to end the finance agreement early open up.
For a Hire Purchase agreement, there is an option of paying it off early through a settlement fee. A settlement fee covers the cost of any remaining unpaid instalments and interest payments remaining on the agreement. Once the settlement fee is paid, you take full ownership of the car early.
Under a Personal Contract Purchase agreement, you can also pay a settlement fee for bringing the agreement to an end early. After that, you can choose to hand the car back or you have a second option. Through a PCP agreement, you can take full ownership of the car by paying off the remaining Guaranteed Minimum Future Value also known as a balloon payment.