The UK’s leading commercial vehicle leasing company, the Autorama Group, is bucking the trend by profiting from the banks inability to lend to small businesses. Despite a reluctance to lend by the high street banks, Autorama is experiencing a healthy appetite to lend in the commercial vehicle sector. The funders Autorama uses have funds available and are much more pragmatic in their decision-making. The company is taking advantage of this and is expanding its national on-line business, www.vanarama.co.uk by launching its own franchise network
Although hugely successful in its on-line activity, Vanarama recognises that there is still a huge proportion of the target market reluctant to deal on-line when looking to acquire a big ticket item, such as a van or pick-up, for their business. Vanarama’s decision to franchise comes at a buoyant time for the commercial vehicle market which has seen a *16.7% increase, with an average increase of 13% in each of the last three years of the amount of LCV’s ‘purchased’ using some form of leasing contract.
The first tranche of Vanarama franchisees are now hitting the roads, meaning that sole traders and SME’s are one step closer to benefiting from Vanarama’s specialist commercial vehicle knowledge.
Comments Andy Alderson, Autorama managing director, “There are franchised dealers out there who have commercial vehicles as part of their range, but their focus is often diluted by car sales. They simply may not have the time or budget to focus on vans. Our whole philosophy and business focus is dedicated to offering impartial advice on vans from a number of the leading manufacturers.”
Despite the macro-economic gloom, commercial vehicles are one area where small businesses can benefit from the finance houses. “SMEs, from builders to gardeners, rely on their vehicle and won’t risk business downtime with an unreliable van – they want to invest and the financiers want to lend to them,” says Andy, “For the SME it makes good commercial sense to lease a vehicle. As it is a commercial vehicle it can be 100 per cent off-set against tax, meanwhile, the finance company is safe in the knowledge that the loan is secured against an asset.”
The first eight Vanarama franchisees will cover Basildon, Ilford, Romford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Barnet, Dunstable and Northampton. Vanarama hopes to expand its network to 25 franchises by the end of the year.
Andy Alderson concludes: “We take pride in recruiting specialist CV sales experts with an in-depth knowledge of vans. We are not tied to a manufacturer so our franchisees need diverse product knowledge of a range of marques. While we are aiming for 25 franchisees by the end of the year, our focus is sustainable growth with quality people.”