Sometimes I think living around Solihull we are in a bit of a bubble.
This was confirmed to me when on a recent trip in Solihull toTouchwood shoppping whith a friend of mine from Gloucestershire said it was ‘footballers wives’ territory around here.
She then went on to cite how she found gleaming new BMWs and Mercs and four-wheel drives very much the norm around here. She is, of course, right. This is a very wealthy part of the country, but I’ve still always been amazed at the multitude of £30,000 plus vehicles on show.
I must admit though, having said this, I’ve never having been a huge fan of cars – seeing them more as a necessity than a luxury and therefore I’ve never really splashed out too much. I tend to only replace them when they are bordering on becoming an old nail. I had enough of those in my 20s.
However, despite the superficiality of the love with the automobile there can be no doubt, regardless of the moral standpoint that people are often judged by the car they drive.
This is becoming more evident to me as someone now who runs my own business. Having the good fortune to now have acquired some very decent clients, I must admit for the first time in my life I’ve started feeling just a shade uneasy about the vehicle I drive in.
The Focus Estate I own is a perfectly reasonable family car, but where’s the cred one wishes to ooze success when pulling onto technology parks to visit clients. Is it good for business?
Talking this through last week with a friend who also runs his company, I said I couldn’t understand why so many take on massive loans to have the swish convertibles and executive saloons commonplace from Knowle to Hampton in Arden.
He told me the answer. “Mike, most of them are leased,” he said.
Initially wondering why one would lease a car, I looked a little deeper and it surprised me how much sense it made.
For people wishing to drive a new car, leasing for three years is cheaper than buying, having to pay a loan and then selling on.
Over the long run it doesn’t work out as cheap, but with the car still very much the star leasing is a very worthwhile option.
Many businesses lease vans, cars etc, thereby not having to take on huge loans. It’s actually a great way of looking the part and having a reliable vehicle.
While many of the leasing companies tie you in for a long while here in Solihull we have something a bit different in the shape of Autoplan, who provide competitive car leasing solutions as well as a very personal service to those companies wishing to replace their vehicles.
Anyhow, all this leasing business has been an eye opener to me. Bye bye 5-year-old Focus, you can expect to see me posing on Blythe Valley in my BMW 7 series shortly!