What is a soft credit search?

Barney says:

A soft credit search is an initial credit check which doesn’t leave a footprint on your credit file. A normal credit check would be visible to other lenders and if you’re turned down for finance, or even if you end up making multiple initial applications, this can drag your score down, making it harder for you to get finance in the future. Soft search removes this problem as the search only shows on your credit file once you proceed with a final application, enabling you to shop around to find the right finance agreement without it affecting your credit score.