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sole trader and van
Cut the VAT: There are big savings to be made on tax alone

For many businesses, leasing a van may not be a consideration because of perceived business budget, but having a reliable commercial vehicle is crucial to carry out the day-to-day business activities of any modern company.

As a sole trader, you may not feel that you can justify leasing a van but as you spend a lot of time in it and it does project your company image, it is well worth looking into leasing as it could be a lot more affordable than you think.

Savings and VAT benefits

Firstly, leasing a van could work out much cheaper that you think. Typically, rentals are far lower than the hire purchase route but the real savings can be made when it comes to the savings that you could make on the VAT.

Unlike cars, LCVs are classed as always being used for business, which means that you can claim 100% back of the VAT on all of your monthly rentals (with a car lease or contract hire agreement, it is only 50% unless the car is exclusively being used for business use which, you’ve guessed it, doesn’t include the commute).

You can also put the rentals fully against your taxable earnings – so there’s a tax saving on the van you are running.

Our five step guide will hopefully start you along the path to help you consider leasing as a form of LCV funding, and start the ball rolling in terms of what your next investigative steps could be.

If the customer service element isn’t there from the outset, it is unlikely to be there when your vehicle is on order

1. Shop Around

With so many internet companies offering “deals” on different vans, it is important to shop around, firstly on the internet and then on the telephone.

Compare your top few companies and get a feel for how they act when they speak to you; do they call you back promptly? Are they professional? Do they offer good, impartial advice and importantly, do they have a wide portfolio of funders and van deals to offer?

Go with your gut feeling – if the customer service element isn’t there from the outset, it is unlikely to be there when your vehicle is on order.

Mike King, Director of Van Lease UK, said;

“We have been extremely busy this year and are getting even more so with every month that goes by. Our wide range of funders including newly appointed Hitachi Capital and other, more niche lenders, assure our clients of competitive leasing deals and a balanced view when it comes to placing their funding.

“Whatever their situation, we like to find the right LCV acquisition method for them and work together closely with all of our clients to get them the deal – and van – that is right for them.”

2. Narrowing down the choice of van leasing company

When you have narrowed down your final few companies, it’s time to check the bottom line. And by bottom line, we mean the figures.

Compare the rentals carefully along with the initial payments and make sure that you are looking at like-for-like quotes.

Regarding availability, always confirm with the end source – if you can – if a claim that a rare stock vehicle is available before you sign on the dotted line, then find out that it’s “gone”.

van type
Style selection: Choose what you need but be flexible with brands and models to get the best prices

3. Choosing your van

Don’t be too specific if you want to get the best deal.

You will know what type of van you need to run your business, but don’t be overly fixated on one model – there may be some great offers on other models.

There may also be shorter lead times on some alternative vehicles in the same sector, so always be open to suggestions and ask the question when making your initial enquires; does your choice of van leasing company have any alternative ideas that could save you money or time?

There is a huge demand for vans and some popular ones like the new Vauxhall Vivaro and some of the Ford vans are very sought after

Mike King comments;

“There is a huge demand for vans and some popular ones like the new Vauxhall Vivaro and some of the Ford vans are very sought after. With our close links to suppliers across the UK, we always make sure that our customers have the best chance of getting the van that they want in a timely manner.

In the event that their initial chosen van is not available, we will work with them and suggest suitable alternatives that may be available sooner or even work out a temporary arrangement to keep them ‘in wheels’.”

sole trader and van

4. Finalise the van lease deal details

When you are ready to sign, double check all the details like the monthly payments (once again before you sign!), the maintenance agreement, warranty, check whether there are any additional fees and that the mileage on the lease agreement suits your requirements.

5. Lease your van with confidence

Once you have been through all of the above steps diligently, you can be sure that you are getting a good deal from a trusted company – all you have to do now is wait for delivery and enjoy your leasing contract!


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