The rule of thumb for the bad credit car loan down payment is 10% of the car’s selling price. Very often subprime lenders require the buyers to pay only $1,000–$1,500 even if 10% of the car’s selling price is higher than this sum. However, the actual down payment for a personal car loan always depends on the lender and how bad your credit report is.
Besides the sum of the down payment, lenders also frequently insist on the borrower to pay this sum in cash because lenders believe that you have better chances of successful completion of the loan payments if your own money is invested from the very beginning. Some lenders also accept trade-in equity as all or part of the down payment sum. Yet in this case, the trade-in must always be in your name.
Even though the required down payment is not that big, remember that the bigger down payment you make, the greater the chances of receiving a car loan you have. And also keep in mind that the repaying time for the loan as well as interest will be significantly lower with a bigger down payment.