Rage and
Regulation

Photo of Graham HillGraham Hill,
Motor Finance’s much loved ‘Arranger’ columnist appears to
be suffering from a little New Year grumpiness.

He was recently overheard
complaining about the fact that the Consumer Credit Act applies to
some finance, such as leasing and HP, while HP’s sister product,
Conditional Sale, along with personal loans and car loans, fall
within the new EU Consumer Credit Directive.

“We have two sets of rules
making life wonderfully clear – not!” the normally placid Graham
thundered.

“Not only for consumers but
for car dealerships attempting to sell the products to you, while
using confusion to maximise their profit. The whole thing’s a joke!
And not a very funny one.”

The by now unstoppable Graham
warmed to his theme.

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“The EU should be ashamed of
itself, as should the UK Government, as they’ve had plenty of
opportunity to make life simple during the discussion period, but
they have chosen to make a complete dog’s dinner of the whole
thing.

“When are we ever going to
get some regulations that make life simple for end users? ‘How
should I finance it, how much will it cost me, can I afford it and
what happens to me if I run into trouble?’

“They seem like simple
questions to me. It shouldn’t be bloody rocket science!”

We know what subject not to
raise around Graham then.

 

Weird and
wonderful

With 3,000 vehicles sold
every day, British Car Auctions (BCA) sees a huge variety of
wheeled assets pass through its gates in the course of a year.
While the company sees its fair share of Astras and Fiestas, there
are plenty of oddball one-offs among the mix, as well as a
scattering of extremely high value exotics.

“This year’s big-ticket items
were a 2006 Bugatti Veyron, which went for £625,000 and a 2008
Rolls Royce Phantom, which realised £195,500,” says BCA’s Tim
Naylor.

“Both sales created a huge
amount of interest with buyers registering from all over the UK and
even further afield.

“The most unusual vehicles we
sold were a pair of Road Trains, more often seen at beach resorts
and other visitor attractions. The New Holland Leisure train sold
for £4,900, while the Italian made Dotto Train realised
£2,500.

“BCA also sold a lavishly
appointed one-off Mobile Office with 12 workstations based on an
Iveco truck for £38,500 – ironically it had been used to promote
recycling and was being recycled itself!

“We also held a sale of ‘barn
find’ classic cars, previously in the hands of one owner from the
Margate area and hidden in lock-ups and garages for a number of
years. The star of the show was a 1959 Ford Zodiac Convertible
which made £6,300 despite being in bits and pieces.

“Charity auctions this year
included a pink Smart Car supporting the Royal Marsden Cancer
Campaign and the Bangers4BEN sale, which raised £5,350 towards the
Motor Industry Benevolent Fund.

“We also sold a beautifully
restored Royal Mail Morris Minor van with all the funds raised
going to Barnados.

“BCA also had cars with a
showbiz connection.

“In November, we sold a Honda
CR-Z Hybrid Coupe for £18,500, formerly owned by Justin Hawkins,
ex-lead singer from The Darkness, while earlier in the year a
vintage Ford Cortina 2000GT previously featured on the BBC’s
Culture Show was sold.”

 

Sex texts!
Cricket!… Car finance fraud?

In possibly the most
peripheral motor finance story of the month, a fake loan
applications fraud in Australia has been linked to the explosion of
publicity surrounding controversial former cricketer Shane
Warne.

According to The
Australian
newspaper, Denis Angeleri – the husband of the
woman to whom Warne is said to have sent dozens of suggestive text
messages in the run up to his public breakup with Liz Hurley – has
been linked with a scam involving hundreds fake loans and the
Australian Motor Finance Corporation.

While the details of the
story are murky, The Australian alleges that the scheme
“involved establishing loan applications in the names of people
‘referred’ to the Australian Motor Finance Corporation, of which
Angeleri was a director, by another company also controlled by
Angeleri”.

The story probably doesn’t
bear any more delving into for legal reasons, but is probably the
only story to have involved both motor finance and a sporting
household name since former premiership referee Jeff Winter spoke
at last year’s frontline broker conference.

 

Some say he
underwrites deals before the applications hit his
desk

While Top Gear
mascot The Stig may have disappeared from screens following an ugly
court battle between the BBC and the publishers of a book by Ben
Collins (the man claiming to have occupied the hallowed white
helmet), it seems the semi-legendary stunt monster may have turned
up again in a highly unusual place.

According to press
photographs released by Close Motor Finance to announce the launch
of its new office in Northern Ireland, The Stig will be joining the
staff of CMF’s 12th branch as an executive aide to manager Gary
McAdam, who joined the company in June last year.

It is not yet known whether The Stig will be occupied in a
sales or an operations role, but in either case we expect a strong
performance from CMF’s Northern Irish operation in the year to
come.

Photo of CMF’s Gary McAdam and The Stig