Car Finance – What You Should Know About Dealer Finance

Car finance has become big business. A huge number of new and used car buyers in the UK are making their vehicle purchase on finance of some sort. It might be in the form of a bank loan, finance from the dealership, leasing, credit card, the trusty ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’, or myriad other forms of finance, but relatively few people actually buy a car with their own cash anymore.

A generation ago, a private car buyer with, say, £8,000 cash to spend would usually have bought a car up to the value of £8,000. Today, that same £8,000 is more likely to be used as a deposit on a car which could be worth many tens of thousands, followed by up to five years of monthly payments.

With various manufacturers and dealers claiming that anywhere between 40% and 87% of car purchases are today being made on finance of some sort, it is not surprising that there are lots of people jumping on the car finance bandwagon to profit from buyers’ desires to have the newest, flashiest car available within their monthly cashflow limits.

The appeal of financing a car is very straightforward; you can buy a car which costs a lot more than you can afford up-front, but can (hopefully) manage in small monthly chunks of cash over a period of time. The problem with car finance is that many buyers don’t realise that they usually end up paying far more than the face value of the car, and they don’t read the fine print of car finance agreements to understand the implications of what they’re signing up for.

For clarification, this author is neither pro- or anti-finance when buying a car. What you must be wary of, however, are the full implications of financing a car – not just when you buy the car, but over the full term of the finance and even afterwards. The industry is heavily regulated in the UK, but a regulator can’t make you read documents carefully or force you to make prudent car finance decisions.

Financing through the dealership

For many people, financing the car through the dealership where you are buying the car is very convenient. There are also often national offers and programs which can make financing the car through the dealer an attractive option.

This blog will focus on the two main types of car finance offered by car dealers for private car buyers: the Hire Purchase (HP) and the Personal Contract Purchase (PCP), with a brief mention of a third, the Lease Purchase (LP). Leasing contracts will be discussed in another blog coming soon.

What is a Hire Purchase?

An HP is quite like a mortgage on your house; you pay a deposit up-front and then pay the rest off over an agreed period (usually 18-60 months). Once you have made your final payment, the car is officially yours. This is the way that car finance has operated for many years, but is now starting to lose favour against the PCP option below.

There are several benefits to a Hire Purchase. It is simple to understand (deposit plus a number of fixed monthly payments), and the buyer can choose the deposit and the term (number of payments) to suit their needs. You can choose a term of up to five years (60 months), which is longer than most other finance options. You can usually cancel the agreement at any time if your circumstances change without massive penalties (although the amount owing may be more than your car is worth early on in the agreement term). Usually you will end up paying less in total with an HP than a PCP if you plan to keep the car after the finance is paid off.

The main disadvantage of an HP compared to a PCP is higher monthly payments, meaning the value of the car you can usually afford is less.

An HP is usually best for buyers who; plan to keep their cars for a long time (ie – longer than the finance term), have a large deposit, or want a simple car finance plan with no sting in the tail at the end of the agreement.

What is a Personal Contract Purchase?

A PCP is often given other names by manufacturer finance companies (eg – BMW Select, Volkswagen Solutions, Toyota Access, etc.), and is very popular but more complicated than an HP. Most new car finance offers advertised these days are PCPs, and usually a dealer will try and push you towards a PCP over an HP because it is more likely to be better for them.

Like the HP above, you pay a deposit and have monthly payments over a term. However, the monthly payments are lower and/or the term is shorter (usually a max. of 48 months), because you are not paying off the whole car. At the end of the term, there is still a large chunk of the finance unpaid. This is usually called a GMFV (Guaranteed Minimum Future Value). The car finance company guarantees that, within certain conditions, the car will be worth at least as much as the remaining finance owed. This gives you three options:

1) Give the car back. You won’t get any money back, but you won’t have to pay out the remainder. This means that you have effectively been renting the car for the whole time.

2) Pay out the remaining amount owed (the GMFV) and keep the car. Given that this amount could be many thousands of pounds, it is not usually a viable option for most people (which is why they were financing the car in the first place), which usually leads to…

3) Part-exchange the car for a new (or newer) one. The dealer will assess your car’s value and take care of the finance payout. If your car is worth more than the GMFV, you can use the difference (equity) as a deposit on your next car.

The PCP is best suited for people who want a new or near-new car and fully intend to change it at the end of the agreement (or possibly even sooner). For a private buyer, it usually works out cheaper than a lease or contract hire finance product. You are not tied into going back to the same manufacturer or dealership for your next car, as any dealer can pay out the finance for your car and conclude the agreement on your behalf. It is also good for buyers who want a more expensive car with a lower cashflow than is usually possible with an HP.

The disadvantage of a PCP is that it tends to lock you into a cycle of changing your car every few years to avoid a large payout at the end of the agreement (the GMFV). Borrowing money to pay out the GMFV and keep the car usually gives you a monthly payment that is very little cheaper than starting again on a new PCP with a new car, so it nearly always sways the owner into replacing it with another car. For this reason, manufacturers and dealers love PCPs because it keeps you coming back every 3 years rather than keeping your car for 5-10 years!

What is a Lease Purchase?

An LP is a bit of a hybrid between an HP and a PCP. You have a deposit and low monthly payments like a PCP, with a large final payment at the end of the agreement. However, unlike a PCP, this final payment (often called a balloon) is not guaranteed. This means that if your car is worth less than the amount owing and you want to sell/part-exchange it, you would have to pay out any difference (called negative equity) before even thinking about paying a deposit on your next car.

Read the fine print

What is absolutely essential for anyone buying a car on finance is to read the contract and consider it carefully before signing anything. Plenty of people make the mistake of buying a car on finance and then end up being unable to make their monthly payments. Given that your finance period may last for the next five years, it is critical that you carefully consider what may happen in your life over those next five years. Many heavily-financed sports cars have had to be returned, often with serious financial consequences for the owners, because of unexpected pregnancies!

As part of purchasing a car on finance, you should consider and discuss all of the various finance options available and make yourself aware of the pros and cons of different car finance products to ensure you are making informed decisions about your money.

Stuart Masson is founder and owner of The Car Expert, a London-based independent and impartial car buying agency for anyone looking to buy a new or used car.

Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for nearly thirty years, and has spent the last seven years working in the automotive retail industry, both in Australia and in London.

Stuart has combined his extensive knowledge of all things car-related with his own experience of selling cars and delivering high levels of customer satisfaction to bring a unique and personal car buying agency to London. The Car Expert offers specific and tailored advice for anyone looking for a new or used car in London.

A website like https://financiallygenius.com/us-business-funding/ will provide you with the highest quality in the industry. If you are looking for online class then visit this page . For additional local Top online casino visit casino-top-uk.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Car Finance – What You Should Know About Dealer Finance

A Common Sense Approach To Personal Finance And Debt

Many people are struggling under the burden of debt and are having problems bringing order to their finances. Arguments between spouses increase, as do stress levels. Often, they may feel they are on a treadmill, barely maintaining their current positions but making no progress at all.

If this sounds familiar to you, you might find it interesting that there is a way to apply common sense to your situation and bring both your debt and your personal finances under control. It isn’t an instantaneous fix and it will not be totally pain free, but it will work where other personal finance plans fail. It also isn’t some new idea (although many may find the concept somewhat novel) but a return to how things were done for centuries. Simply put, it is the idea of not spending more than you earn.

You may not like the idea of living within your means, but that may be because you do not truly understand how it relates to personal finance. It is not eschewing all debt, nor does it mean giving up everything you love. It does not mean you must wear rags, make soup out of catsup, or never taste cappuccino again. What it does mean is that you take control of your personal finances and debt.

The first thing you need to do to take control of your personal finances is to establish a workable budget. List all of your normal expenses and how much you spend monthly on them. If you are like most people when they first tackle their personal finances, there are going to be some things you do not know. It is not uncommon for many people to have no clue how much groceries cost each month, for example, or how much is spent on clothing. It may be necessary for you to track your expenses for a few weeks to get a good handle on your personal finances. In the meantime, start with fixed costs, such as your mortgage or car payments, and include your best estimate for flexible expenses. You can always adjust these next month.

Include a line item in your budget for savings, something that is often neglected in money plans. Set some target percentage to save, since even 3% of your income is better than nothing. Over a period of time, gradually increase the percent going into savings until it reaches at least 10%. Savings accounts, when reserved for true emergencies, are an important part of personal finance security. They mean you do not need to pull out a charge card if the hot water heater breaks or your car needs a repair. This in turn means that you are not increasing your debt load.

To examine how you regard personal finance and debt, consider the following scenario. Your net monthly income is $3,000. Your total payments are $2,500. If you make a credit card purchase of $4,000 that requires a monthly minimum payment of $400, you still have $100 before you exceed your income. A lot of people will say that is a true statement. It is not, because you actually went $1,000 over your income and $1,500 over what you had available to spend that month. There will be times when you have no choice but to charge something. Just keep in mind that in personal finance, it is the debt, not the payment that determines the health of your financial situation.

Enlist the support of all family members if you need to bring your personal finances or debt load under control. Each individual needs to consider what is most important-a college education or designer jeans? Keeping your home after retirement or going out for a steak dinner every week? With just a little cooperation, you can make drastic improvements to your personal finances and reduce your debts substantially

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Common Sense Approach To Personal Finance And Debt