My wife runs an accountancy practice and has a branded car; it’s a Mini and it is excellent for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it’s pretty statusless… people don’t tend to look at it and think what a posh git driving round in a flash car. But still, it’s nice enough and people think the business must be doing fine. Which it is, by the way. Doing fine, that is.
Secondly, it’s good to drive and a lot of fun, too.
Finally, the woofer sits in the back quite nicely.
All good stuff.
The problem is the car is a few years old now and so my trouble and strife decided to replace it with another Mini, mistakingly thinking how easy it would be.
Boy was she wrong. Now, it has to be said that some of what went wrong was not Mini’s fault, but a huge proportion of it was. Here’s the story:
This all started when my wife was approached by a guy who said we could have an interest free loan from a loan pot backed by the Scottish Government if our new car emitted less than 99 CO2s… or something like that. So we ordered one, paid the deposit to secure it because it was at the dealership already, and applied for the loan.
By the way, you need to bear in mind that we needed to get everything done before our financial year end for reasons I won’t bore you with. Financial year end was 10 days away.
9.9 days later the division of the Scottish Government came back and said ‘sorry, you can’t have the loan…’ not because we didn’t qualify or because we were a bad credit risk, but because the pot had run dry and there was now a hosepipe ban, so to speak.
So we went to Mini, who had quoted us a price and then given us a £900 discount. Great. We’ll take Mini finance instead.
So we applied.
Mini came back to us and said ‘sorry, this is a business deal and you now have to go through Corporate.’
We had told them from the outset the business would be doing the deal. Now here comes the killer.
The useless guy from Corporate quoted us monthly repayment figures more than £30 higher than the retail guys. Because we were no longer entitled to the £900 discount. Remember we’d already paid a hundred quid to secure this particular car.
So, for the same car, with (ostensibly) the same people buying it we re going to lose out on £900 because of internal politics – the sale was no longer going to go through the dealership so they no longer had a vested interest in shifting it.
The upshot, of course, was that we politely told Mini what they could do with their car and once they’d had it removed they could apologise to us…
And so to the lose – lose – lose element. We didn’t get a new car, so we lose. The Mini dealership doesn’t get their sale, so they lose. Neither does Mini Corporate, they lose, too.