Covid 19 has certainly impacted the motor industry as a whole, with some sectors which rely heavily on vehicle use suffering more than others. CAVA Finance has seen first-hand the detrimental impact this has had, in particular on the private hire industry. With coach, minibus and taxi firms seeing disruption to their usual service levels due to lack of holiday travel, events and commuters.
We were intrigued to see if any other areas in which CAVA Finance supports, have had a different experience throughout the last year and so have explored how the pandemic has impacted those using commercial vehicles.
Whilst transport services are of course essential, with schools closed, travel banned and people working from home, there has been an impact on demand and need for these services.
However, we’ve seen a huge increase in digital economy during 2020, in light of the ‘Stay Home’ rule. With the majority of shops closed, consumers have been opting for online shopping and as a result home delivery services have soared.
Restaurants and small businesses have been able to stay afloat by offering an alternative way to provide for their customers, whether that’s via pre-packaged meal kits or takeaway delivery services.
Forbes are predicting that this won’t be a temporary shift in behaviour and that our online buying habits will continue, as will the demand for high quality delivery services.
How did 2020 impact delivery services?
As with many industries facing huge changes, delivery services struggled at the start of lockdown with changes to demand, staff shortages and new restrictions.
2020 saw millions of consumers changing their purchasing habits due to shop closures and as such the demand for home delivery soared. Companies such as Ocado saw a 1000% increase in website traffic and third-party delivery services such as Deliveroo have further capitalised on the market.
But it wasn’t just food that dominated deliveries. Our love of online shopping has been a growing trend for the past few years, with research from Mintel showing a 12% increase in courier and delivery sales from 2018-2019, a 62% increase since 2014 and currently exceeding a worth of £12Bn for the UK economy.
Business to Consumer accounts for around 65% of the delivery market at present and this is predicted to increase to 78% by 2024. It’s an increasingly competitive market, dominated by big name players such as Amazon Logistics, Hermes and DPD but that’s not to say that that smaller logistics companies and couriers haven’t reaped the benefits of increased demand.
Real Life Insights
We reached out to our contacts in the industry to discover more about their experience of 2020 and what challenges and opportunities the impact of Covid 19 had brought on.
Caroline Downing, Director of All 4 Logistics Ltd shared her views with CAVA Finance. The company runs a commercial road transport freight operation, predominantly transporting manufacturing goods for the automotive and aerospace industries.
They have a substantial fleet and have seen new doors open for them during the pandemic. With 2020’s UK car production hitting the lowest level since 1984 and restrictions on travel, All 4 Logistics Ltd turned their attention to assisting clients with moving Covid related products and equipment for the health sector. Caroline shared her perspective on the last year and how this has impacted the Logistics company.
“Changes and unexpected events, problems or challenges can – and do – often occur, regardless of how well-planned or organised you are. The ability to respond effectively to pressure and stress is therefore extremely important in any line of work.
Covid and Brexit presented hurdles within the logistics industry few were prepared for, however as a small business owner it is essential to accept your limitations and focus on your companies attributes that can sustain business during this uncertain economic climate.
We regrouped, refocused and reenergized, staff including myself have taken courses from customs administration to health and safety management. We self audited to insure we were working as efficiently as possible and that our customer service remained paramount.
A company is an organic being and if nurtured will survive, I continue to take resolution in seeing members of the UK&EU business world support each other and I am sure despite everything that has been placed in our way in 2020/2021 hard work will prevail.”
CAVA Finance also spoke with Rob Howell, Owner of ParcelFast which has been providing reliable urgent delivery services since 2013.
For ParcelFast, Covid presented the initial challenges which many businesses faced, concerns over how closures of businesses would impact on suppliers being able to provide usual services.
However, Rob has seen changes in demand in particular to their confidential and documentation delivery services.
“Many companies are requiring documents electronically as people are working at home or doing meetings via video link, so the demand to get bundles of paperwork delivered has stopped.”
The pandemic has given Rob the opportunity to increase his marketing activity and as a result, he found he was able to explore other avenues and help people with moving items.
“I have had more time to look for opportunities posted on social media for people wanting things moving, and getting a lot of these jobs due to my reviews and value for money pricing.
Whilst I have seen an increase in this type of work, along with people needing help to move things from house to house or between families, my normal work (pre-CV19) has dropped off, but this has created a balance that has meant the company has still been able to continue operating.”
ParcelFast drove forward with community spirit and realised the need for more reliable and flexible services for vulnerable people or those without transport.
“I was able to introduce a socially distanced ‘click & collect’ service where you could order your grocery shopping, or any other purchase that you could buy online and I would go to collect and deliver it on your behalf.
This is an essential service for people who are shielding, or have no one they can rely on to get their shopping, or to people who, through choice, don’t want to go out and queue for ages to get into supermarkets etc.
I offered this service at a considerably discounted rate to my normal pricing structure and still 12 months on I am doing some ‘click & collects’ for people. It was a really good idea to introduce and was taken up by a lot of people in the early stages of lockdown.”
What are the biggest challenges to maintain a quality delivery service and what trends can we expect this year?
It’s predicted that the rapid growth we saw during 2020 will continue but at a slower rate. Customer expectations in the B2C market are high and after last year it’s looking like they’re about to set the foundation for the future of the industry.
Parcel shop networks are becoming increasingly popular amongst small businesses to provide a range of delivery options. In addition, there is more focus on greener delivery options such as specially designed collection depots, cargo bikes and lockers.
Couriers and logistics companies will be striving to set themselves apart from the competition in the following areas;
Convenience and choice
Up to date tech / real time updates and GPS tracking
Increased reliable fleets
Could now be the perfect time for you to expand your fleet and position yourself a step ahead of your competition? If you would like to discuss your requirements for a commercial vehicle, you require any impartial, no obligation advice, or if you’re considering your finance options but don’t know where to start, please get in touch.
You can call Mike on 0161 222 9599 or use our contact form and he’ll be happy to discuss your needs.
It’s no secret that outside of his hard work, Mike drives a good game of golf.
With courses once again opening up, he was one of the first out on the green at his local club as it re-opened on the 29th of March.
It’s been a couple of weeks and he’s well and truly back into the swing of things! During the first lockdown you might remember that Mike had been taking some coaching lessons at Golf Rossendale Driving Academy in a bid to get his handicap down to 18.
With restrictions coming and going over the last year, coaching was put on hold but Mike has been enjoying getting back out at his local club Greenmount Golf Club in Bury.
Despite a couple of days of snow this month and an inspection of the course, Mike has been getting out and about as much as he can to make up for lost tee time!
What are you most looking forward to doing again once more restrictions are eased?
Last week the European Public Health Alliance voiced its concerns over vehicles producing toxic air levels. This comes at a time when the first city outside of London recently introduced a congestion zone.
On the 15th of March, Bath became the first city outside of the Capital to begin charging high polluting commercial vehicles for travel within the city centre. However, the EPHA is calling for cities across the UK to place tighter restrictions and bans for the worst offenders, in a bid to clamp down hard on the highest polluting vehicles.
The current restrictions are aimed at commercial vehicles, including buses, taxis and HGVs, which do not meet the current required emissions standards. This means if they are looking to travel to the city centre, a daily charge is applied. Currently personal use vehicles and motorbikes are exempt.
Even during lockdown with travel restrictions and less commuting, the city regularly saw pollution levels exceeding the legal limits for NO2.
Birmingham will soon be following suit with a Clean Air Zone being introduced from June 1st, followed by Bristol in October. Other UK cities such as Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle and Leicester look to be rolling out their CAZ policies later this year or early 2022.
The introduction of daily charges of course impacts companies, particularly in the private hire sector, who rely on fleets of vehicles and unrestricted travel. Whilst travel is still permitted in the CAZ, charges range from around £10 per day for LCV and private hire to between £50-100 for buses and coaches. This will impact revenue for an industry already struggling to get back on it’s feet following the pandemic but simultaneously will provide a more sustainable future for transport.
There are however several Government or Local Authority schemes which would provide local authorities with funding to support affected businesses and to aid fleet operators to modify and upgrade their vehicles to confirm with current legal emissions standards.
In addition, some areas are proposing incentivised policies for electric or hybrid taxis in a bid to encourage operators to invest in low emission, sustainable and environmentally friendly vehicles.
We recently wrote in detail about the changes which have been put in place since the announcement for Ultra Low Emission Zones and the increasing popularity of Electric Vehicles, which you can read more on here.
Are you in an area which has introduced a low emissions zone? If not, what are your thoughts on these proposals?
If you’re looking to expand your fleet ahead of changes in regulations and want to discuss sustainable, electrical transportation options, please get in touch and we can work with you and your finance requirements as well as introduce you to a trusted supplier.
Back in June 2019 we reported on the increasing popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles, with predictions that by 2040, electric vehicles will dominate the transport market.
With a combination of both environmental and cost benefits, EVs remain a growing trend and we’re seeing more and more companies exploring these options when looking to finance a new vehicle, from commercial vans to private hire, minibus and coaches.
We now have much more knowledge of the EV industry than we did a few years ago, with finance and insurance options becoming more easily accessible and our knowledge of finance viability increasing.
We’ve seen several large corporations pledge to ‘Go Green’ with their fleets, with companies such as Ford and Amazon pledging to embrace electric vehicles. Ford is releasing it’s all electric Ford E Transit for trial in various European markets this year, with the vehicle being available on mass next year.
Amazon have recently rolled out 20 electric delivery vans in Exeter as part of their pledge to be net zero carbon by 2040. This has allowed independent logistics companies who work with Amazon to benefit from access to these vehicles and doing their bit for the environment.
2020 was a record year for sales of both battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles, making up 1 in 10 vehicle registrations during 2020, compared to 1 in 30 during 2019, all despite an overall 30% decrease in new car sales following the impact of the pandemic.
During the last year, our buying habits have certainly changed, and we’ve seen trends in purchasing emerging such as an increase in demand for Motor Homes and a more conscious thought to our environment and lifestyles.
We once again spoke with Neil Cadd of Chadderton Motor Company to gain an update on his perspective of the direction of the EV industry.
“In the space of a few short months and whilst we have been under the COVID cloud, the EV world has perhaps come to the forefront of people’s thoughts perhaps a little sooner than would have been expected.
Many manufacturers are now releasing details of their EV products that we will see on the roads by the end of 2021 and many courier and delivery companies are taking this on board as they know they need to be seen using environmentally friendly vehicles and perhaps have a slightly different agenda from the local shopkeeper or tradesman when it comes to operating this type of vehicle.
The suitability of putting an EV on to your fleet isn’t for everyone, with the current payload and range issues mean that there isn’t an EV for every job and if that is the case then so be it but there will be in time.
The more ultra-low emission zones that are announced by towns and cities around the country will mean that businesses have to make the switch to EV but on the flip side running an EV in these areas will prove to be a cost saving over a traditional petrol or diesel vehicle, as is the case in London.
What we ask our customers and potential customers to sit and fully consider all the options when looking at an EV and to look further than the capital cost which can prove to be off putting especially with the larger vehicles. Whole life costs must be taken into account such as road fund licence, maintenance costs, fuel comparisons, grants, downtime when being serviced, congestion charges, residual values all need to be considered when thinking of making the switch.
One of, if not the biggest objection that comes from customers is range anxiety, however, this is in many cases a fallacy one customer of ours found his van “which he was out in all day” covered on average less than 80 miles a day so no need to be anxious about it and with over 450 charge points per month opening around the country this really isn’t an issue.
Finance companies are now coming to terms with these vehicles and more are offering options to customers through hire purchase, lease and contract hire schemes making them a sound choice once the prospective owner has done their homework properly, analysed their daily usage, and compared costs to realise that it would work for them but as I said before it isn’t for everyone…… yet!”
Our future has been front of mind and business owners who have been looking to expand their fleets are considering sustainability and longevity in addition to cost.
We’ve previously touched on the Government’s pledge to shift to zero emission cars and to create more desire around these options, company car drivers can benefit from zero or low tax rates as well as a 0% Benefit in Kind rate.
Fully electric cars which don’t produce CO2 have dropped from a BIK rate 16% to 0%, which could result in substantial savings for tax payers over the year. In addition, vehicles which produce higher emissions have had the BIK rate raised.
Benefits of EVs
– Low road tax
– Government Grants for charging ports
– Zero fuel costs
We’ve already seen a shift in the public and private hire transport market towards electrification, with operators such as National Express using EVs. Operators are increasingly aware of the environmental impact of their vehicles and it’s clear to see the demand for EVs isn’t slowing.
If you’re looking to expand your fleet, have you considered an electric vehicle?
With more changes and regulations coming into force in the next few years, we’ll likely see higher rates for more pollutant producing vehicles, meaning an EV or hybrid could be a more suitable long term investment in terms of running costs and benefits.
If you’re looking to expand your fleet and want to discuss sustainable, electrical transportation options, please get in touch and we can work with you and your finance requirements as well as introduce you to a trusted supplier.
As the year draws to a close, here at CAVA Finance we’ve been taking some time to reflect on 2020 and all the wonderful client’s we’ve worked with.
It was around this time last year that we were discussing two new coaches with A&A Travel (Sussex) Ltd which were then delivered in January. The company expanded with a Volvo 53 seat coach and a Scania 69 seat coach.
Of course, back then were blissfully unaware of the impact that Covid19 was about to have on businesses all over the UK but CAVA Finance has been humbled by the actions of many of our transport based clients, turning their efforts to supporting their communities in times of need.
A&A Travel (Sussex) Ltd have been working incredibly hard, providing free transport to key workers and other essential Travel for the Council & NHS to help their community.
We’ve seen Wheels Private Hire Ltd in Leeds operating similarly over the last few months and have noticed many clients altering their usual offering of transport to assist with important deliveries to those in need.
And when things have been eased, our private hire based clients have been right back to it, ensuring passengers get from A to B and enjoy a well needed break with airport transfers and excursions all operating safely and within government guidelines.
We certainly hope that we’ll be able to once again assist with our client’s growing fleets in future and that it won’t be long before the transport industry sees some bounce back.
Saturday the 3rd of October proved to be a landmark day for Bury AFC as the club kicked off their first league game against Steeton AFC.
After over 12 months of uncertainty around the future of Bury FC due to looming insolvency, Bury AFC was formed by fans. In July, Bury AFC was accepted into the 10th tier North West Counties League Division One North, ahead of the season starting this month.
Mike has been a Bury fan all his life and in August he joined the Shakers Community Board for Bury AFC where he is involved in and advises on several areas including fundraising and sponsorships.
The newly formed club celebrated a triumphant return to Bury’s football scene on the 3rd of October and despite the non-stop rain, spirits were high. Mike enjoyed his new duties as a board member, stewarding and supporting the running of the match and assisting the turnstile operators.
In line with new Covid regulations, the enthusiastic maximum crowd of 300 fans gathered at Radcliffe Borough to support the team. Mike said the atmosphere was incredible as fans were able to watch live sport once again.
The tense match began, and Bury AFC were first to score followed by Steeton taking the lead 2-1. However, Bury AFC were not going to go down without a fight, and showed great character to score 2 goals in injury time to win the game 3-2!
Granada Reports followed the game and as you can see from Chris Hall’s report below, the scenes of celebration are unbelievable. Take a look at the highlights here or below. You might even spot Mike in his high-vis a few times!
A landmark day for @officialBuryAFC – the club launched by the fans after Bury FC were expelled from the Football League for financial irregularities last year. @chrishallitv went to see them begin life in the 10th tier of English football. #BuryAFC #Bury #Football pic.twitter.com/HcHsUrod3q— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) October 5, 2020
Lots of familiar faces attended the match, with fans feeling understandably emotional about their new club achieving such a brilliant result during their first game. The newly formed club is supported by over 500 volunteers and fans, just like Mike, who have rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in, helping to get things off the ground and bring football back to Bury.
14 months in the wilderness
There’s a sense of community returning to the area with fans taking to Twitter to share their thoughts;
“The crowd as one was bouncing as we left the ground. I felt like I’ve rediscovered what it is to be a football fan after more than a year in the wilderness, marooned like a rudderless boat. We’ve got something back in our lives that was wrenched from us through no fault of our own.” James Bentley
“It is fantastic to be back, to win like that couldn’t have been any better. There was so much excitement, it was an epic come back game and it’s only the beginning”. Mike Bailey
Bury AFC will also be live streaming some of their games, which you can find out more about on their news page. The next match is next Wednesday at Pilkington FC , here’s to hoping the weather holds off for this one!
Attending the match got me thinking about how despite the adversity we are facing this year, there’s still a chance to come back with a bang.
Perhaps you’ve recently had to adapt how you run your business or even started delivering new services?
Get in touch and let me know, I’d be interested to find out how you’re getting on.
As always, if you require any impartial, no obligation advice, or if you’re considering your finance options but don’t know where to start, please get in touch. You can call me on 0161 222 9599 or use our contact form and I’ll be happy to discuss your needs.
Over the last few years the popularity of PCP (Personal Contract Plans) has increased in the UK. A PCP plan gives you the ability to acquire a new vehicle for an agreed length of time, with the option to trade in the vehicle at the end of the agreement or pay off the guaranteed future minimum value and keep the vehicle.
Of course, like every industry, the motor finance industry has been hit hard by the impact of the pandemic but there has been a significant spike of interest around personal vehicles and motorhomes recently.
CAVA can help with Personal Vehicle Finance
Whilst CAVA Finance primarily focuses on commercial, minibus and taxi finance, Mike has a wealth of knowledge and experience across both business and personal vehicle finance.
During the months in which car dealerships were closed, applications dropped by 82% but have since increased. From July to August this year new and used car finance applications rose by 24% in comparison to the previous year, according to Experian.
It is looking to be a strong September for the industry, with new 70 plates being released earlier in the month.
PCP is one of the most popular ways to finance a vehicle, new or used, because of lower monthly payments. One thing to note if you are considering PCP, is that lenders will be assessing people’s financial situations even more carefully than usual, due to the potential impact of coronavirus on finances, to ensure the deals offered are manageable and affordable in the long term.
The PCP Calculation
The amount you’ll pay each month on a PCP agreement is determined by firstly your deposit amount and secondly, the estimated value of the vehicle after the length of your agreement payment term.
You won’t own the vehicle unless you pay a final ‘guaranteed minimum future value’ sum, which is based on the predicted residual value of the vehicle at the end of your PCP agreement.
If you’re looking at a used vehicle, be aware that age is not just a number! The age of the vehicle could impact the cost of your monthly repayments or could mean you’re not able to find a suitable PCP agreement because the age of the vehicle makes it difficult for lenders to predict its residual value.
New or Used – what’s best?
Currently the figures reported by the FLA are much stronger for used vehicles than new, there are a number of factors why, from the impact on finances to the dip in production and closure of dealerships but ultimately it’s your decision.
If you’re considering a new or used vehicle for personal use and you require any impartial, no obligation advice, or if you’re considering your finance options but don’t know where to start, please get in touch. You can call Mike on 0161 222 9599 or use our contact form and he’ll be happy to discuss your needs.
The demand for motorhome holidays is on the rise as the travel industry recovers from the impact of Covid 19. The travel and tourism sector was and still is, one of the hardest hit by the impact of the global pandemic. With flights grounded, hotels closed and holidaymakers frustrated over last minute cancellations and late refunds, it’s been a difficult few months.
Jumping on a plane might be the last thing on your mind right (unless you’re one of these people!) now which is why, unsurprisingly the UK has seen a huge boom in those opting to holiday in the UK.
The staycation trend has created a surge in the demand for motorhomes and campervans, with people choosing to invest in a safer way to get away.
Foreign travel remains uncertain, with travel corridors, restrictions and quarantine rules changing regularly. This has caused an increase in Brits option to book a getaway closer to home.
We’ve seen huge increase in both enquiries and finance agreements for motorhomes over the past few months and so wanted to highlight that this is an area which CAVA Finance can certainly assist with. We’re also saddened to see buyers being scammed by fake adverts from fraudsters which is why its always best to discuss your requirements with a professional.
Motorhome and campervan dealerships reopened to the public on the 1st of June and since then dealerships have reported a surge in demand for leisure vehicles. This offers some sense of relief to both manufacturers and dealers, after losing out on sales during what would usually be their busiest period in March and April.
According to Car Dealer, VW have reported a 250% increase in quotes for one of their most popular models, whilst Autotrader discovered that 40% of those surveyed were planning a 2020 staycation. They have suggested that caravan holidays will match hotel stays during 2020.
If you’re looking to secure a motorhome or campervan, be aware that dealerships and manufacturers are experiencing high demand and as such stock may be limited due to delays around manufacturing but we can work with you to either assist in your search or secure finance for a motorhome which you have sourced.
New Models of Motorhome
Dealerships will be looking to introduce new models during September so there is an opportunity to seek finance on older or used models, with the potential to make a saving.
If you’re reluctant to venture abroad and are looking to invest in a way to escape, then a motorhome could be the perfect solution. A survey from MBH Corporation has found that a large percentage of people were opting for a motorhome or caravan holiday to avoid either flying or staying in a hotel during the pandemic, as they’d prefer to have their own space.
How often would you usually go away and how much would you typically spend on holidays in a year?
Perhaps a motorhome a more sensible option for future holidays given the uncertainty of future foreign travel, allowing easy and frequent getaways, more freedom, and the chance to rediscover the beauty of UK destinations.
If you would like any more detail or would like to discuss your requirements for a motorhome or campervan call Mike on 0161 222 9599 or contact us here.
If you’ve kept up with CAVA over the last few years then you’ll be well aware that Mike is a lifelong Bury FC fan.
Sadly, the Shakers have had a rough ride, with financial problems and collapsed takeovers resulting in the club being left without a league to play in. Their application to join the National League system for 2020-21 was rejected recently by the Football Association and their fate remains uncertain.
Whilst facing looming insolvency, Bury fans and those involved in the club took matters into their own hands and formed Bury AFC. At the end of July, AFC was accepted into the 10th tier North West Counties League Division One North, meaning they have a place for next season, starting in September/ October.
Bury AFC was created with the knowledge that Bury FC may not have a secure future, not because fans wanted to see Bury FC disappear.
Mike is delighted to announce that he will be involved in the Shakers Community Board for Bury AFC, advising on fundraising and sponsorships. Over 500 volunteers have helped to support the ‘Phoenix’ club to enable things to get off the ground and for Bury’s fans to regain some control.
Bury AFC is by the fans, for the fans and the Shakers Community have shown how far comradery can get you, their passion is bringing football back to Bury despite jumping every hurdle imaginable along the way.
After following Bury FC for 60 years, Mike is looking forward to being involved in shaping the future of the new club alongside his other board members, built up of life long Bury fans like himself.
The club has recently appointed their first-ever manager, Andy Welsh from over 700 applicants, and Andy has already recruited 10 players in readiness for the new season. There’s still a lot to prepare ahead of the big kick-off, but there’s a great buzz and the club is already proving to be a fundamental part of the Bury community. The new home and away shirts are now available, and already nearly 1,500 shirts have been sold in total.
Stay tuned for further updates around Mike’s involvement in this exciting venture!