Santander Consumer Finance (SCF) has launched a contract hire product for the business and personal sectors on a nationwide basis.

It will be sold through selected intermediaries, including motor dealers and finance brokers.

In order to ensure a successful launch, SCF has also released a new quote management system which it said would help deliver industry-leading underwriting and pay-out times.

Gary Corkish, head of broker and leasing, said: "This launch marks an important step in SCF’s strategy to widen our product portfolio and gives us an important foothold in the contract hire market for the first time.

"Our pricing is competitive and the new quotation management system has been very well received by users. I’m looking forward to the national rollout as it continues to dealers and brokers over the coming months."

Stewart Grant, commercial director added: "Launching a contract hire offering for individuals and businesses is a key part of our 2016 business strategy and one which provides us with a route into an important and growing part of the market.

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"By widening our product portfolio we can now reach new market segments as well as protect existing business streams.
The decision to roll out the product nationwide followed a successful pilot programme, which lasted 10 months.