Hire-purchase or conditional-sale debt

You can buy goods on all sorts of different credit agreements. With most credit, you own the goods straight away and only owe the money to the creditor. 

Hire-purchase or conditional-sale agreements are different to ordinary loans from a bank or a finance company.

  • You don’t own the goods until you make the final payment.
  • Also, the creditor could take the goods back if you fall behind on payments.

Cars are one of the most common items bought on hire purchase, but some finance companies also sell household goods using hire-purchase agreements.

Dealing with your priority debts and Hire-purchase or conditional sale for more advice and information.

We have a fact sheet that tells you your rights if you have a hire-purchase or conditional-sale agreement. It gives you advice on what to do if your creditor wants to end the agreement and repossess your goods, or if you want to end the agreement yourself.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • decide what sort of credit agreement you have;
  • understand your rights if you cannot keep up with payments;
  • decide if you want to keep your goods or return them to the lender;
  • deal with your lender and any court action; and
  • find out how to make a complaint.

This fact sheet includes:

  • an example calculation showing you how to work out how much you might still owe when the agreement ends;
  • a sample hire-purchase agreement to help you decide what type of credit agreement you have;
  • a sample letter you can fill in online and send if you want to end your agreement; and
  • some useful contacts and links for you to get further help.