May 11, 2017

It’s a typical scene on any British street: two fellow motorists meet, as one of them lovingly polishes a recent acquisition.

Hello John. Got a new motor?

You like?

Sweet. Sales management must be treating you alright! You pay cash for that?

Nah, Mate, PCP.

No cheers. (Sniffs loudly) I’ve given it up, haven’t I. Missus had it with me smashing stuff up and that. It’s worse than Spice, that stuff. Ha ha.

Nah, ha ha, I’m talking about PCP, Personal Contract Plan. It’s like a loan – only it’s almost like ‘no questions asked’ and that. Piece of p*ss. I walk in off the street. Pick out the old 5 Series. Geezer signs me up for all the extras. Bish bash bosh. All done in seconds.

Oh yeah, that. I done that and all. Nice. Got one of them Cayennes. You know, for the kiddies and that. Wife’s idea. It goes alright though. Twin Turbo V6.

It’s the sort of thing one hears all the time nowadays.

But could everyday conversations like this portend a gathering storm in the arena of purchasing things and then finding they entail more onerous long-term commitments than one’s regular income will readily support?

British motorists spent a massive, record-breaking £3.6bn on car finance deals in March, according to the Finance and Leaking Association (FLA), much of it on so-called PCPs. This, of course, is great news from a propping-up-the-national-economy-in-the-absence-of-anything-much-else-in-the-way-of-more-substantial-support point of view.

But, predictably, anti-car, anti-fun Cassandras within the Bank of England and the Financial Conduit Authority (FCA) have expressed concerns that this level of lending/borrowing might not be altogether prudent or sustainable, given the considerable uncertainties currently lurking in the wings of the UK economy as the good ship SS GB prepares to boldly cast off from the foul and polluted shores of the evil EU empire. That and the fact that everyone’s cards are already pretty much maxed out in anticipation of the coming Brexit Bonus.

Adrian Dilly of the FLA, however, says everything is fine and there is absolutely no problem at any with any of this. “Lending is responsible,” he insisted, and the record £32.5bn in car finance taken on by luxury car loving Brits is nothing but good news.

And, you know, if people can’t keep up the payments, they can just hand their vehicles back. No questions asked, no harm done, everyone’s happy.

So carry on spending, we say here at Bankstone News. If you’re stretching just a little to get yourself the car you deserve, just remember this: it’s people like you that are keeping the whole show afloat!


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