Stuart Marsden shares insights on how drivers research and buy their new taxi minibus on finance. When Stuart joined The Taxi Shop in late 2020 he could not have imagined how the first year would pan out.
"I was getting my feet under the table when the first lockdown hit and suddenly our whole office started working from home. Overnight, I had to develop a different way of working away from the banter of the office. It’s been new and different but I feel I have built better relationships with The Taxi Shop’s customers."
Stuart’s aim is to support drivers and owners in this difficult time. He helps them find the right vehicle for the type of work they do.
"Few drivers buy new or used vehicles with cash. Most people want to use finance to buy a minibus taxi, in other words put down a deposit and then spread the payments over time. There are various 'terms' available, and deposits can range from zero to £10,000, but the most common timeframe, or term, is 60 months which is five years."
When someone calls in Stuart finds out whether they are a private hire or hackney driver, where they work and what sort of vehicle they are after. If they want an 8-seater taxi on finance—one of the most common requests The Taxi Shop gets—then he’ll discuss whether they need wheelchair access for the vehicle.
“We know all our vehicles in great detail and can explain the features, benefits and all the options. People aren’t always sure about their local council’s requirements, so we often do some research, look up the regs for their authority, and call on our experience to make sure the vehicle specification is right."
“Often, someone will call up and say, ‘I’m looking at the Vivaro and I’m a hackney driver.’ Now, we know that the latest Vivaro is a little smaller than earlier models, and we can recommend an alternative vehicle that may suit the requirement better, for example the Ford Custom Hackney.”
“If someone wants to go ahead and buy a taxi minibus on finance, then we offer a free credit checker service. We can introduce customers to a range of funders, including some that can help with lower credit scores.
The second and now the third lockdown have hurt the industry, but here at The Taxi Shop we're still having lots of great conversations with drivers and operators.