It’s all about the price

We all want a great deal when buying (or leasing) anything. But here’s something to consider. If you are anything like me then you buy things from Amazon – a lot of things. But did you know that on average Amazon is NOT the cheapest place to buy your products. I was shocked when I heard this but you know what – I still use it! Why? Convenience, trust, service, ease of delivery, reliability. So yes price is very important but don’t let it be the only consideration. Sometimes it’s worth paying just a touch more for a better package with a reputable supplier. Consider the value in the overall process and contract – then make your decision.

It’s good to talk

Getting a new vehicle personally or committing to several vehicles as a business is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For me I’d certainly have some questions and I wont be spending hours typing them out – I’d rather pick up the phone and feel them out – build a relationship. Maybe that’s not your style and you prefer email – OK I can go with that but make sure that whoever you are doing business with understands your needs and circumstances. Firstly if they don’t you could spend a lot of time going around in circles being offered 2 door sports cars when really you want to drive the family to France whilst pulling the caravan. You could spend hours considering a deal only to find out that the funder wont accept you because you don’t own a home or the business has been trading for less than 2 years for example. Secondly, if a broker or dealer is prepared to quote you without at least an initial qualification call then I’d tread carefully. It’s a regulatory requirement that they ‘Know Their Customer’ and I’d argue an email to request your mileage and paint colour barely scratches the surface. Would you get a mortgage online without talking to the consultant?

Does anyone know a good lease company with amazing deals?

Uh oh – let me guess. You put a post out like this on your social media and now your message thread and inbox is going nuts! It’s to be expected. You cant blame the suppliers – they need to sell to hit their targets and make their businesses successful and you did ask! And you cant blame your contacts – it’s a human trait for us to want to help and refer people we know towards a good supplier. But ask yourself – what was your objective when you made the original post? Were you looking for a real recommendation or were you using LinkedIn as a search engine to click through to deals? My advice – take the word of say your most trusted one or two contacts for someone they have used before. Take that as it is meant – as a recommendation! Work with those one or two suppliers. Deal with someone that comes recommended.

Hi it’s Bob from Bedroom Broker Limited..

Unfortunately despite increased regulation and various barriers to entry there are still a few rogue operators in the industry. Not all small brokers that work from home are rogues – we used to be one back in 2007 – but unfortunately these guys just cant service your needs in the same way a more established broker can. Make sure you check them out before you commit. See if you can see where they are based, how long they have been trading, what are their customer saying, what’s their policy on client care and aftersales? A small work from home broker can provide a client focused service but tread carefully. Consider working with a broker or dealer where you feel comfortable and that comes recommended from someone your trust.

We deal with all the leading finance and leasing companies

Many brokers and dealers claim to have these relationships but in reality this isn’t the case. Why do you care? Well firstly – if a broker doesn’t have agencies with funders then all they are doing is repackaging dealer finance packages and claiming a commission. Meaning, if you visit a dealer it is likely they can offer you something more cost effective. Secondly, if a broker or dealer only has access to one or two funding lines then you aren’t getting a true view of the market – which is actually the definition of the role of a finance broker.

Dealers are cheaper right?

I can see your logic but often it is the opposite. You see the dealers often have a disadvantage as they are generally working on retail margins and offers. When you visit a dealer they will generally offer you a PCP which is a kind of hybrid finance/lease package. They make more money this way and the nature of the product means that you are more inclined to revisit the dealership to part exchange in the future and take a new PCP under the guise of having equity in the vehicle. Plus the retails sales guys are usually working on retail margins whereas the leasing companies command larger discounts as corporate buyers. Also leasing companies bulk buy stock. By doing this they are able to secure amazing discounts that are far beyond that available at dealer network level. For a fleet operator using a dealer directly can be problematic also. Not only for the reasons above but imagine you had 10 manufacturer contacts to keep happy, plus the leasing companies. Brokers can offer real value to fleet operators.

Talk you your broker – assuming they have relationships with leasing companies they can advise you on this.

Don’t take our word for it

Get social proof! What are their clients saying about them? Check their testimonials and case studies from their website and social media platforms. If there is something you need to know, for better or worse, you will surely find it there.

Never pay a deposit

There are no circumstances for a standard lease contract where you should be asked to pay a large upfront deposit to secure the order. Your initial rental should come out via direct debit around the time of delivery with subsequent payments around a month afterwards. Some companies charge a fee of £100-£200 usually which can be payable in advance so that’s OK but don’t part with any money as part of the actual; lease contract.

Authorised and Regulated?

All finance brokers in the UK should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Such firms will state the phrase ‘Firm Name is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority’. There are certain types of finance that fall out of scope for the FCA but still you should be concerned if your provider isn’t authorised. The FCA, which is a government department, governs and regulates the sale of insurance and finance products in the UK. There is a stringent application process and quality review regime meaning you can have some comfort about your choice of supplier. In addition, keep an eye out for BVRLA membership. The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association is the membership organisation for the industry. Again, membership is subject to application and review plus the BVRLA can intervene on disputes and also set the standards for the Fair Wear and Tear Guidelines.

Online or Local

One of the best things about our modern society is that you can buy everything online – but it can be one of the worst things too! I’m a big advocate of sourcing things locally if I can. Sourcing locally helps your community and local economy. It creates jobs and allows business to flourish and brings investment to the area. Why not go and meet your leasing broker? The chances are you can find a reputable broker within a few miles of your home or business so maybe go and pay them a visit – maybe you will find someone you can work with time after time and get to know, like and trust them and maybe even recommend them to others. #buyitinlancashire !

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