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LAST UPDATED: January 22nd, 2024

Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, DriveTime is the nation's largest auto dealer focused on helping people with credit issues. Founded in 2002, the company operates over 130 dealerships in 26 states and keeps thousands of vehicles in stock.

DriveTime is a buy-here-pay-here used car dealership, meaning that it offers in-house financing for vehicles purchased at its retail locations. This financing is available through a partnership with Bridgecrest. People with good credit, bad credit, and no credit can all be approved, with interest rates starting at 7.9%. 

Read on for pros and cons of buying a car with DriveTime's in-house financing. 

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The Good

  • Warranty, Return Guarantee, and Free AutoCheck Report
  • In-House Financing
  • Bad Credit Approvals
  • Sales Advisors Not Paid on Commission

Warranty, Return Guarantee, and Free AutoCheck Report

DriveTime offers quite a few customer assurances, including a 30-day/1500-mile limited warranty, a 5-day return guarantee, and a free AutoCheck history report. These assurances help to provide customers with a worry-free buying experience and the peace of mind that comes from knowing they will be covered if anything happens to their vehicle early on.

In-House Financing

One of the best things about DriveTime is the fact that the company owns its dealerships and offers in-house financing. Not only does this give the company more control as to who it can approve, it also puts more responsibility on the company to provide quality vehicles and services to its customers.

Bad Credit Approvals

DriveTime specializes in bad credit approvals. The company states that it only takes two minutes to complete its online application process and receive an instant online credit decision. DriveTime also states that the terms of the loan are not solely based on credit.

Sales Advisors Not Paid on Commission

At DriveTime, the company's sales advisors are not paid on commission. This means that they have no incentive to steer you towards a particular vehicle in order to get a bonus or a higher commission and instead focus on providing a positive customer experience.


The Bad

  • Rates Not Disclosed
  • Terms Not Transparent
  • Exclusive DriveTime Dealership and Financing

Rates Not Disclosed

Unfortunately, DriveTime has not disclosed interest rates on its corporate website. Although rates typically vary on a case-by-case basis, it would be helpful if the company at least provided a general range to give potential customers some kind of idea about what to expect.

Terms Not Transparent

In addition to its lack of disclosure when it comes to interest rates, DriveTime is also not transparent about its loan terms. It is unclear which contract lengths are offered or whether or not the company charges application or prepayment fees.

Exclusive DriveTime Dealership and Financing

DriveTime's vehicles and financing are exclusive to the company, which means you can't obtain financing from the company and then go to another dealership or buy a vehicle from an individual. Additionally, you cannot obtain financing from another company and then try to purchase a DriveTime vehicle. Although this does make the company a one-stop shop, it also limits customers' options.


The Bottom Line

DriveTime offers customer assurances, in-house financing, and bad credit loans. However, the company has not disclosed interest rates or loan terms on its corporate website.
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Bourget Family Wartburg, TN

We had a vehicle picked out and ready to go. We went through the financing and were told our interest rate would be 22%!! They said this was lower than others they had seen so they felt it was pretty good. Our credit score is high and we are employed. Competitors to drive time had our rate at 11-12% depending on the vehicle. We had to walk away from buying the vehicle because of their extremely high interest rates. They act like 22% is good and the norm, it's not at all! Shop elsewhere. The rates here are complete robbery. You'll get rates half what Drivetimes are somewhere else.

3 months ago

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Randy E Ft. Pierce, FL

Took my daughter in to get a car. Ended up with a 2012 Toyota Corolla. Just before we signed the paperwork, they showed us a carfax report to say that the car had been wrecked. That should have significantly lowered the price, but they said they "couldn't do anything". Of course had I known this, I never would have considered this car. And naturally, she needed a car right away. So I signed a $15,000 loan for a car we found out days later, the trunk leaked. (Not covered under warranty.) The warranty is expired and the computer has gone bad. The car's real worth? About $5000 now, and I still owe $14,000. I have good credit, but I'm not doing this anymore. BTW, they sell your loan right away to another company. I realized, in my opinion, this is a predator loan company. The car will be worthless (if it still runs) by the time you pay it off.

11 months ago

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Kelly Jean West Leavenworth, KS

I purchased a 2021 Kia Rio in August of 2023. The vehicle has major electrical damage caused by a Drivetime employee incorrectly installing a GPS Lojack device in the wiring harness. I have been fighting with Drivetime since August over the issue and they have yet to take responsibility or pay the $2500 worth of repairs the vehicle needs after their employee damaged the car. The customer Relations department is a joke! Worst experience I have ever had in my life.

6 months ago