Can you keep your Car if you start an IVA?
Yes you can, so long as the vehicle is not extravagant and you can show you need it.
The running costs will be included in your Living Expenses Budget. When completing this budget you will need to include amounts to cover things like annual servicing as well as fuel and insurance.
If you have pay monthly car insurance when it comes to renew you will normally have to stay with the same insurer. A different insurer is unlikely to give you a pay monthly deal as you will fail their credit check.
But, if your vehicle is worth more than the debt you owe it is unlikely that your creditors will agree with your IVA proposal and will ask you to sell to repay your debts.
What happens if your car is on HP?
A car HP agreement is a secured debt. As such it cannot be included in an IVA. Given you need the car you will be allowed to keep the agreement running. You can include a specific budget for this in your living expenses.
The only time you may not be allowed to maintain an HP agreement is if the payments are unreasonably high.
Before starting your application you should contact your HP company to inform them of your plan. Most will not be concerned about you starting the Arrangement as long as you maintain the payments. If your HP agreement finishes during your IVA the money you save must be added to the Arrangement. As a result the amount you repay to your creditors increases. It does not reduce the length of the the IVA itself.
What if your Car is on a Lease Agreement?
A car lease agreement is treated in the same way as HP. You should be allowed to continue making the payments during your IVA as long as they are not unreasonably high. However you may face problems when the lease period ends. The issue is you do not own the vehicle. If you want to keep it you have to pay a lump sum known as a balloon payment. However you will not have the cash available to do this unless you can borrow it from a friend or relative.
One solution may be to refinance the amount owing on the car. Alternatively you could hand back the vehicle and look to take a new one on a new agreement. Because your credit rating is poor you will only be able to get vehicle finance from a sub prime lender. They will be more expensive. As such you may have to choose a cheaper vehicle so that the monthly payments remain within your budget.