End of my journey at OnTo

Used OnTo most part of last year ending with an ID3. Overall a really good experience, left to go work overseas in February and didn’t come back to August. Was excited to order a car in September/October but unfortunately due to an error on my part before I left an invoice went unpaid (£100). Fair play to OnTo for reinstating my account as it was terminated once I explained my limited internet access overseas and not knowing that a direct debit had come out leaving me account overdrawn meaning OnTo payment was declined.

Was about to order but wanted to check if affordability checks would be carried out on me as technically I’m a existing customer but unfortunately not, failed affordability check (because I’m classed as a new customer due to termination of account).

Had a good run, highly doubt I’ll ever be able to use OnTo again due to the checks.

22 referrals and 6+ months of a fantastic experience with the ID.3 I don’t regret it at all.

All the best to all and OnTo and their future growth.



Might be worth getting @Hena_at_Onto to take a look at this.

As long as you haven’t started a new account with Onto, as an existing customer we were assured that nobody would be subject to affordability checks. Even if there was a break in subscription.

If you still want to return with another Onto car, definitely try getting them to double check that you should have been checked. I was personally assured not too long ago that despite not having an Onto car for several months now, if I want to come back there would be no checks for me.


Adam at OnTo had already checked for me via private message. Unfortunately he said I’m classed as a new customer due to the account termination and there is nothing they can do.


So what exactly do these affordability checks entail? What do they check and with whom?

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I think its just a soft credit check. Not sure, but this doesn’t apply to existing customers who were here before it was introduced. It only applies to new customers as far as I am aware. I am classed as a new customer because my account was terminated, even though OnTo reinstated it after I settled the balance.


Your OP says your account was reinstated. Reinstated to me doesn’t mean new.

Definitely a grey area and extremely harsh if you ask me.

Work some magic, Onto. Come on.


This was the response I got from Adam at OnTo, which I’ve just read again and makes me wonder if I am wrong in saying it only applies to new customers ? Seems like existing customers who haven’t had a subscription recently …

“Because you haven’t had a car recently, we now run affordability tests on customers in your circumstances. As mentioned earlier I did run the test and unfortunately you haven’t passed it. Under our current business rules I’m afraid yiu won’t be able to book a car. We are further refining our affordability testing in the future with a new type of report but we haven’t got that in place yet.”

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I wonder what the time frame is then between vehicle bookings.

I feel like we’ve been told that existing customers won’t be subject to it, and now will be subject to it.

Both ends of the spectrum, so some clarity and specifics would be welcome @Adam_at_Onto


Yeah I’d definitely echo this request. I was told I was all good and wouldn’t be subject to these checks. If they’ve gone back on this I need to be looking at my Plan B options since I was still fully intending to book another car in future.

While I’ve made every previous payment to Onto on time and in full, I am quite certain that due to my unique personal circumstances and less than fantastic credit history if we look far back enough, I wouldn’t be able to pass these checks.


Any chance we can get clarification on this? @Hena_at_Onto @Adam_at_Onto

@Lily_at_Onto said in this thread here in June that returning customers would not be subject to an affordability check? Advice other subscriptions - #43 by Lily_at_Onto

I’ve had onto cars since 2019, but returned my car in July and I’m planning on returning at the beginning of November, so any clarification on this would be welcome. Thank you!


I must admit I am quite surprised no one ever replied to this thread. Maybe just ignoring it or missed it.

Despite my attempts at appealing their decision I never got a reply from them via email so I gathered they are just ignoring me.


@MisterOaks sorry I did miss this, apologies. As I mentioned to @AdamG92, if you take a break, any new booking now go through our affordability checks. We haven’t set a duration of time in between contracts but this is something I can review. If there are any exceptional circumstances I’ll be happy to review, just drop me a DM or send me an email.

@BenB I’m happy to review your situation and will drop you an email.


@Adam_at_Onto Thank you. I did book a Zoe earlier and would be happy for you to review.

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Will take a look @BenB and drop you a note directly.

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It’s not a credit check but an affordability check and the way I understand it, it has less to do with whether you can afford the subscription and more to do with if you drive too much without adding a bolt-on or cause an accident.

The article is a bit old but I can’t imagine things have improved since 2018. The business may potentially lose money in the thousands if people crash and can’t cover the excess. Whilst you may not be getting credit, you’re still being given an asset that is worth £30k+. It only makes sense to make sure that the individual subscribing to the car can actually afford it if things go wrong.

The alternative is that all other customers stump up the cash via higher subscription fees. So it’s in your interest that everyone else is able and willing to pay if an adverse event happens.

@gregster As @tednewmn states above this is not a credit check but an affordability check (soft check with leaves a footprint on your credit history but does not impact it). If you are a returning customer (i.e.) have taken a break and rebook a car we will rerun affordability and check there is no outstanding debt or pre authorisation failures previously.

Actually quite a few of the Subscription companies do affordability and soft credit checks against you, as you are driving a £30K+ liability, and you are being added to a companies insurance policy, which means Insurance Fraud checks need to be done.
It is also a way to check address and to see if there are any markers against you such as Money Laundering and Age verification.

And try renting a car from Enterprise or any other of the big 3 they also do soft credit checks…


You’re not reading the responses @gregster . There is no credit check. @Adam_at_Onto mentioned there’s a note made on your credit file. The following is from their help page:

The check is carried out by a regulated third-party credit reference agency, Equifax. They check your affordability status by searching for any history of county court judgments (CCJs), bankruptcies, insolvencies, or credit searches by debt collection agents.

This check does not affect your credit rating, but there will be a record of the search.

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@Adam_at_Onto is pre-auth failures an issue? the reason I’m asking this is some people use “zilch” for 2% cashback, and you have to manually enable the card before use thus resulting in pre-auth failure, and having to enable it and then contacting onto to charge it manually.

Hi @amar potentially yes. If we are seeing regular pre auth failures then the customer history will be reviewed in more detail. If there is outstanding debt or regular pre auth failures in addition to a flag in the affordability check we will take these factors into account before deciding if we accept the booking.