March 14, 2016 at 4:31 PM
When you get a used van on a finance agreement, you’re normally dealing with a broker behind the scenes rather than directly with the actual lender.
Finance brokers play an important role in the business of financing the used van trade, especially for customers from small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) and buying used vans. Today’s brokers are well established with loyal companies and strong customer bases. They have, however, suffered from something of a negative press in the past, with an image of having a short-term outlook focused on promotions, pricing and sales volume rather than customer satisfaction. Also, becoming a broker used to be quite easy with no guarantee they had the knowledge and expertise required in the van trade to secure fair deals and provide the right levels of customer support.
The broker industry’s changed these days and has cast off much of the negative image and bad apples it used to have. This is largely thanks to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) placing a strong emphasis on Treating Customers Fairly (TCF). They’ve also raised standards and entry requirements for those who want to become brokers in the used van trade, meaning that simply getting a consumer credit licence and setting up a website is no longer a viable entry route into the used van finance business.
Today’s brokers also resist any pressure from lenders to prioritise high volume sales over flexibility in their partnerships and the modern broker-lender relationship is a two-way street. Good lenders look for well-established and profitable brokers to join their partnerships, with good staff retention rates and a track record of strong referrals and renewals, as well as great customer relations. Brokers, for their part, appreciate the value of close, long-term relationships with lenders, as opposed to arranging short term deals. Lenders also look for brokers with particular expertise in used vehicle financing, e.g. in vans, particularly used! All of these features lead to better customer service and more options available for used van financing for the customer.
Top UK lenders create an exclusive network of less than 50 brokers with considerable, specific knowledge and experience in the second-hand van financing trade. This has offered brokers the unique opportunity to grow a modern finance customer network based on a flexible and personalised service to the customer.
The used van trade finance partners see their future in sustainable deals, long term relationships, and help for brokers to support customers. The hard work undertaken by the FCA has brought some very positive changes to the second-hand van financing sector, helping the industry to understand that TCF is all about positive relationships between all parties - lenders, brokers and customers.
Category: Buying Guide