An expert who helps drivers find and fund the right car, van or fleet for their needs visited the ProfileTree studio to explore the future of the car industry as well as discuss vehicle leasing, vehicle technology, cross-border business and much more.
Traction Finance Director Paul McGuire also gave his insights into the highly topical subject of autonomous cars.
Paul, who is also founder of business and personal vehicle solutions company Traction Finance, explained that he bought the business in 2010 and rebranded it as ‘Lease Options’.
However, customer feedback led the company to later re-examine their brand and ask themselves how they should communicate their range of products to potential clients.
“There were a lot of people in the market who said ‘we didn’t come to you because we thought you only leased’.
“Also, I went to London to launch of the BMW i3 and i8 and thought ‘this business is changing dramatically’. That led to a workshop looking at our core values.
“We keep our customers mobile, so the name Traction Finance evolved from that”.
Paul outlined the services offered by his company.
“Predominantly we have been leasing vehicles up to three and a half tonnes really, so that’s cars and commercials, mainly to corporate clients but also for private individuals who want to hire purchase a car.
“Also, a customer may have had someone new starting who is on a probation, so they don’t want to be tied into a two or three year lease. We could give then a six month rental.
“We’ve always taken proud in being flexible with our customers. If a customer rings and says ‘I’ve someone starting I’d forgotten about’ we’ll tell them ‘we’ll have a car with you tomorrow’.”
The company is also extremely well prepared for Brexit as it already operates on an all-Ireland basis.
Traction expanded their business from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland after a customer explained they were becoming an island of Ireland business and needed their vehicles to operate similarly. The company now boasts a Dublin office with a large fleet of fully-maintained vehicles managed for customers from this second base. In addition, the Dublin office is equipped with tecdoc webshop integration, ensuring efficient management of the large fleet of fully-maintained vehicles for customers in this expanded operational base.
Paul gave a fascinating insight into the difference between doing business in Northern Ireland compared to doing business the Republic of Ireland.
“If you can find success in business in Northern Ireland you can succeed anywhere as margins are tight here.
“There’s definitely more of an entrepreneurial attitude in the South, so it’s a case of ‘you’re close enough, I’m happy for you to make a few pounds, look after me’.
“So there’s a good understanding that everyone makes a bit of margin and the whole things keep moving.”
The Traction Finance Director said hands-on know-how in understanding all the car funding options available for a business can help Traction to advise on the best possible approach.
“For us it’s qualifying ‘what are your needs?’. We could just set up a portal and be the cheapest in the market but instead we ask questions like ‘do you have a family?’, ‘do you do sport?’, ‘do you want economy or do you want flash?’, ‘what mileage are you doing?’, ‘what are your motivators?’.
“For example, if someone is doing mega mileage I’d be telling them to buy a used car and put it on an HP or PCP agreement.
“It’s what’s best for the client, not what’s best for us. If you give the wrong advice you only get to do that once.”
Paul said younger people are moving towards a rental approach to vehicles and pointed out changes in demand for different types of car.
“We’re moving from diesel to petrol to alternative fuel vehicles. Electrification isn’t coming, it’s here. In America there are certain states where they are driving autonomous vehicles.
“So, if you have a sales guy on the road doing 30,000 miles per year diesel is still the option. But if you have someone commuting in and out on 8,000 miles per year he could be using alternative fuels, be it a hybrid or electric vehicle. Benefit in kind-wise he’s in that lower 14% bracket.”
He added that next year – 2020 – would see another change to the benefit in kind tax system.
“For a lot of customers we’re saying ‘maybe you should look at extending your contract a year to 2020’ because from April 1st 2020 if have a range of less than 30 miles, in whatever vehicle, you’re taxed at 13% or 14%.
“But if you have over 250 miles, such as in a Tesla, you’ll be taxed at 2% compared to 14% today.”
To discover more essential insights into funding the right vehicle for your needs see our full Business Leaders video interview.
The Future of the Car Industry
The car industry is undergoing a period of rapid transformation, driven by a number of factors, including:
- The rise of electric vehicles (EVs): EVs are becoming increasingly popular due to their environmental benefits and lower running costs.
- The development of autonomous vehicles (AVs): AVs have the potential to revolutionize transportation, making it safer, more efficient, and more accessible.
- The changing needs of consumers: Consumers are demanding more from their cars, including better fuel efficiency, connectivity, and personalization.
These trends are significantly impacting the future of the car industry. Here are some of the key trends that we expect to see in the coming years:
- Increased EV adoption: EV sales are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years as carmakers invest in new EV models and governments implement policies to encourage EV adoption.
- AV development: AV development is accelerating, and we expect to see the first commercially available AVs within the next decade.
- New mobility services: New mobility services, such as car-sharing and ride-hailing, are becoming increasingly popular as consumers look for more convenient and affordable ways to get around.
- Greater connectivity: Cars are becoming increasingly connected, with features such as built-in Wi-Fi and infotainment systems.
- More personalization: Carmakers offer more personalized options to consumers, such as customization of interior and exterior features.
These trends are creating several opportunities for innovation and growth in the car industry. However, they are also creating several challenges, such as the need for new infrastructure and the impact on jobs in the car industry.
Donate Your Car
In addition to the trends above, we also see a growing trend of people donating their cars to charity. This is a great way to get rid of an old car, help a worthy cause, and possibly even get a tax deduction.
Several charities accept car donations. Some of the most popular charities include:
- The Salvation Army
- The American Red Cross
When you donate your car to charity, you will need to provide the charity with the car’s title, registration, and keys. You will also need to sign a bill of sale.
Once you have donated your car, you must file a form with the IRS to claim a tax deduction. The deduction amount is equal to the car’s fair market value at the time of donation.
Donating your car is a great way to help a worthy cause and eliminate an old car. If you are considering donating your car, please get in touch with a charity in your area to learn more about their program.
Traction Finance – www.tractionfinance.com
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