TIP: Shop around. Get quotes from at least four companies. You can save yourself hundreds of quid. Don't choose one just because they have the lowest rates. Consider the overall, long term cost.
WARNING: Make sure too many lenders don't access your credit report while doing so. Too many enquiries can hurt your credit rating. Just get a rough estimate. When you find a company you like, then let them look up your details.
TIP:If you get paid weekly, pay fortnightly instead of monthly. Have the loan payment come out of your account around the same time you get paid. You'll be less likely to miss the money. You will actually save money and pay your loan off sooner.
If you have excellent credit then you don't need a secured loan. You will be eligible for an unsecured one, which will mean that you do not have to put your house up as security. This is great because you will never have to face the loss if for any reason you cannot pay your bills.
Be sure to research cheap auto loans not only from your local bank or any other banks that may be nearby your home, but also ask quotes from other finance company, credit unions, and online companies as well, with a maximum of four credit checks in one month. Any more looks suspect, and may affect your credit rating. Ask if they're going to check your credit-rating first, to be on the safe side.
I get a lot of calls from people whose credit is bad, or who have IVAs (individual Voluntary Arrangements) or CCJs (County Court Judgements) against their name. You can try to neutralise these black marks. First you check what a company might find out about you, when they do a credit check. Go to Experian and Equifax. Order your credit report from BOTH sites, as there may be different entries in each. If any entry is incorrect, or should be deleted (over 7 years old) get it corrected.
Another trick I use is to type 'cheap auto loans forum' into a search engine, and see what comes up. If you find a lively forum, you can ask questions about the company you're keen on, or ask for other users' recommendations.
WARNING: Some touts for companies lurk in these forums; you may not get unbiased advice. Also, some posters are extremely negative; they hate everyone! Or they are fools, or ignorant. Or miserly. Search thoroughly: you'll know the truth when you find it.
NOTE that with a secured loan your home is at risk if you do not keep up payments.
Work with the professionals. There are thousands about. People think they must choose and stick with them no matter what. This is not so. Cheap auto loans professionals should work for you. If you are unhappy with one, fire them and get a better deal with another.
Don't take on a cheap auto loan thinking "Well, I can always go bankrupt if I get into difficulties". This is stupid thinking.
If you go bankrupt, it will be entered in the records of the County Court, and you will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to get credit of any kind at a decent rate in the future.
The company you're indebted to to will make an entry into your credit record. Credit referencing agencies sift County Court records, to keep their databases up to date. You will have shown you can't be trusted to pay back a debt, therefore why should any lender, hire purchase company or credit card company take a chance on you?
Some lenders love people with bad credit. This is because they can charge them 49% a year interest!