How does Rent to buy work for PCO cars?

If you want to become, or already are, a PCO driver you should consider if you want to rent or buy a car for your job. It’s difficult to make a decision right away, so make sure you look at pros and cons for both options. Or maybe you choose a middle way – renting with the option to own the car at the end of the contract, via a ‘rent to buy’ plan. You might have heard of Rent to buy plans for homes and apartments, but you can also find car companies that offer them.

A PCO Licence is a Private Hire Driver Licence which you need if you want to work as a taxi driver, chauffeur or Uber driver. A PCO licence is valid for 3 years and is issued by the PCO (Public Carriage Office) in your area.

How does this work? Well, you sign up an agreement and pay for the car like you would when you’re renting one. However, instead of giving the car back at the end of the term and losing the money, a part or all of the money goes toward purchasing the car.

Rent to buy for PCO cars
Rent to buy agreements offer an easy and low risk way to start a business

A key benefit to a rent to buy arrangement is that you are not committed to a long lease or large capital investment You can try starting or expanding your PCO business with little initial outlay and therefore your financial exposure will be limited. If the business goes well great, if it doesn’t work for you simply return the car.

Credit check

Car lease the terms can be very restrictive and lenders usually ask for a pretty in-depth credit check to make sure you can afford the loan. However, for a Rent to buy contract the credit score usually doesn’t matter because you’re not applying for a car loan.

There’s something for everybody when it comes to buying a car, and the requirements vary from one company to another. For example, Splend is a PCO car hire company that doesn’t require you to have a good credit score. Why? Because you will pay for the car one week in advance. If you’re not able to pay, you will be asked to return the car just like you would when renting.

Car lease vs Rent to buy

Your needs are the main factors in determining if you want to own a car, or not. The advantages of car leasing are many, starting with the fact that you don’t own the car and therefore have no responsibility for its depreciation. It’s no secret that a car loses its value over time and should you decide to resell it, you’ll probably lose money. With a car lease, however, you can hand back the car at the end of your contract and easily get a new one. This is also a great option if you’re passionate about the latest car models and new technology, as you can drive a new one every couple of years.

At the same time, this can be seen as a disadvantage too. There is a certain peace of mind that comes with owning a car, even if it’s at the end of a contract and not purchased on the spot. There’s no risk of having to return the car, you won’t be concerned about mileage anymore and you get to customise it anyway you want. Plus, rent to buy contracts only last 3 to 4 years on average, and there are companies that also offer maintenance included in the weekly fee.

No matter which option you choose, make sure your agreement stipulates that you can use the car with ridesharing apps. This way you’ll be able to sign up with Uber, or any other platform and use your brand new car to earn an income.

Is use for ridesharing apps allowed?
Is use for ridesharing apps allowed?

Down payment and costs

Costs will vary from one provider to another. A down payment will most probably be requested by any rent to buy company, once you decide to sign a contract. After that, you’ll make weekly or monthly payments towards owning the car. Like every other car, the one you purchase via a rent to buy contract needs insurance too.

PCO license to become a chauffeur

Make sure you ask your provider if the agreement includes insurance, what it covers and if you need to pay extra for it. Maintenance is another cost you need to take into consideration. Most companies ask for regular servicing, to make sure you’re keeping the car in good condition. Among your
options might be either a maintenance agreement with the same company, or having the costs included in the rent fee which will cover servicing for the entire contract period.

Whether you decide to lease or rent to buy, research is key. Both come with advantages and disadvantages, but in the end it’s all about your needs. If, as a PCO driver, you want less commitment and more flexibility, you should choose a company with an all-inclusive service.

Electric Cars, What You Need to Know

It may come as a surprise to learn that electric cars are not a recent invention, but instead date back to the early 19th century. They proved popular until petrol cars came along, which offered more horsepower and increased travel distance.

Due to the current climate emergency, electric cars are making a comeback because of their zero exhaust emissions. Luckily, they have come a long way since the 1800’s and the current models offer a smoother and sleeker ride.

Most developed nations have tough Climate Action Plans in order to meet carbon emission targets. It’s safe to say, that we are in for some big changes at home, work and on our roads in the next ten years.

One of the main areas of focus is taking petrol and diesel cars off our roads as they contribute to air pollution. Governments are looking to introduce legislation to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by as early as 2030. So, if you’ve buried your head in the sand up to now, it might be time to learn about what you’ll be driving in the future.

How do Electric Cars work?

What is an electric car and how do they work? Basically, they are powered by an electrically charged battery pack which powers the electric motor, and turns the wheels. There is no clutch or gears, instead the car is operated just by accelerating and braking. In that way, it’s similar to an automatic car. These vehicles depend solely on electricity for power and not petrol or diesel.

By comparison, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid cars contain an electric motor that will power the car but they also have a petrol/diesel engine that can work in tandem with the electric motor. Hybrids are more common on our roads today than electric cars, but these are likely to be phased out too.

When you use the brake in an electric car, the electric motor stores the energy of the car as it slows down and uses it to recharge the battery. So when you slow down, you are getting free energy. This is known as regenerative breaking. This means there is less wear on the brake pads as the motor is doing most of the work in slowing down the car. It’s a win-win situation!

Electric cars are much quieter than petrol and diesel cars, but since July 1st, all new electric vehicles are now being fitted with noise emitting devices. This is to alert road users, like cyclists and pedestrians that a car is nearby. They will probably still be quieter than a diesel engine though!

Charging

So, how do you fuel your car? By charging it, much like your phone! Electric car owners can charge their car battery from a dedicated charging unit. The battery receives power when the car’s charge port is connected to the source of electricity at a public charging unit or at home overnight. If you choose a night saver rate to charge your electric car by night you will save on running costs.

Currently, many countries have a network of public charging points which are free to us. Eventually, we will need charging units to be as accessible as petrol stations, if we don’t want to be stranded with a dead battery.

Public Charging Point
Public Charging Point

The distance you can drive before needing to recharge your battery depends on the type of battery and driving conditions. At the moment, electric cars suit city dwellers more, as they are not driving long distances and there is a greater density of charging points in our cities.

Incentives

Different governments have introduced various incentives to entice people into purchasing electric cars. The Irish incentives for 2019/2020 are particularly good.

In Ireland, grants are available for people buying electric cars priced €14,000 or higher. The maximum €5,000 grant only applies to vehicles with a price tag of €20,000 or more. To avail of the grant, vehicles must be bought from an approved dealer. For more information on a grant, click here. Another incentive offered by the government is the Electric Vehicle Toll Incentive. This was introduced in Budget 2018 and offers reduced toll charges for electric car road users. Also introduced in the Budget was a new Benefit in Kind (BIK) 0% rate for businesses purchasing electric cars. This is attractive to businesses who want to add to their fleet of cars. There is a €600 grant available to individuals who wish to install home chargers. That means you can easily recharge while at home. Though it’s not clear yet how this would work for those who live in apartments or have on-street parking.

Second-hand electric cars cost less but it’s very important to check the health of the battery, as they degrade over time. Check the car warranty carefully and get an independent mechanic to verify the battery if you have any doubts before purchasing. The battery of an electric car is often the most expensive part, so you don’t want to be replacing one on a second-hand car you just bought!

Running Costs

Fuelling an electric car can cost 80% less than the petrol version of the same car. Also because there are less moveable parts in an electric car they require less up-keep and maintenance. No timing belts to be replaced and no oil changes! In most countries, electric car owners pay lower road taxes too.

Even though there can be a hefty price tag when purchasing a new electric car, experts maintain that you will end up saving money in the car’s lifetime because there is less maintenance and you pay less to refuel.

The Future

By 2030, electric cars will be mainstream. Like it or not, we’ll be saying goodbye to our gas guzzlers and hello to quieter, cleaner driving experience.

Thanks to Liberty Insurance for this article – Get their best car insurance quote online now.

Why a Hatchback is the Perfect Choice for New Drivers

For some young people, learning to drive is less about the practicalities of being free to use the roads as it is a matter of style and status. All they dream about is passing their test so they can jump straight out of their instructor’s oh-so-boring sensible saloon and behind the wheel of some souped-up, fully modded monstrosity they are convinced will impress their friends… not to mention members of the opposite sex.

We spoke to Keen Drivers drivng instructors and they recounted endless tales from their charges about how they will be cruising these roads in a supercar this time next year. We feel it is part of our job to educate new driver about some of the realities of car ownership to them. Gently, of course.

There are two main things a new driver should consider when purchasing a first car – insurance and road handling. A surprising number of new drivers do not realise just how expensive their insurance premiums will be when they first pass their test, especially if they are aged under 24. They also don’t realise that for cars over a certain specification or value, they will probably not find cover full stop.

Road handling is equally important because new drivers are inexperienced both at controlling a car and navigating busy roads. It boils down to a matter of safety – a car with a big, powerful engine which is light on the accelerator takes experience to handle safely in traffic. On the flipside, an old banger on its last legs can be just as dangerous if something goes wrong while it is being driven.

The only way is hatchback

It might not be very cool, but the best advice for any new driver is to opt for a first car that is practical, reliable and affordable. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to afford it, there is little point in aiming for something with a 2.5 litre turbo engine or larger, because the insurance premium will be eye-watering. Similarly, you want a car you can trust, that will get you through those important first couple of years without endless breakdowns or costly service charges to contend with.

A hatchback is simply a car that has a full width boot which opens upwards towards the sky and pivots at or near the roof.
This provides a huge opening to the boot. Most also have back seats that fold down. That combined with the large boot opening make these very practical cars for travelling with cargo, suitcases, fridges or even small sofas!

Look up any lists of best car models for new drivers you care to find, and the type which dominates almost unanimously is the hatchback. Owning a hatchback as a first car has practically become a rite of passage for millions of new drivers. Affordable to buy and cheap to run, one of the big advantages of a hatchback is that the small engine size keeps insurance costs down. Small engine size might not appeal to a generation brought up on Need for Speed-type video games, but in reality this is another bonus for new drivers, as it makes hatchbacks extremely easy to handle on the roads.

Practical Hatchback

Practical Hatchback

Another advantage over finely tuned cars is that hatchbacks tend to be anything but temperamental. They are built to provide solid service, and many manufacturers offer impressive warranty lengths of several years to back up their reliability.

Finally, there is one more benefit of a small car new drivers should not turn their noses up at. When it comes to parallel parking in a tight space, it will never be easier than in a hatchback.

Why a Hatchback is the Perfect Choice for New Drivers

For some young people, learning to drive is less about the practicalities of being free to use the roads as it is a matter of style and status. All they dream about is passing their test so they can jump straight out of their instructor’s oh-so-boring sensible saloon and behind the wheel of some souped-up, fully modded monstrosity they are convinced will impress their friends… not to mention members of the opposite sex.

We spoke to Keen Drivers who are driving instructors in Billericay and they recounted endless tales from their charges about how they will be cruising these roads in a supercar this time next year. We feel it is part of our job to educate new driver about some of the realities of car ownership to them. Gently, of course.

There are two main things a new driver should consider when purchasing a first car – insurance and road handling. A surprising number of new drivers do not realise just how expensive their insurance premiums will be when they first pass their test, especially if they are aged under 24. They also don’t realise that for cars over a certain specification or value, they will probably not find cover full stop.

Road handling is equally important because new drivers are inexperienced both at controlling a car and navigating busy roads. It boils down to a matter of safety – a car with a big, powerful engine which is light on the accelerator takes experience to handle safely in traffic. On the flipside, an old banger on its last legs can be just as dangerous if something goes wrong while it is being driven.

The only way is hatchback

It might not be very cool, but the best advice for any new driver is to opt for a first car that is practical, reliable and affordable. Unless you are lucky enough to be able to afford it, there is little point in aiming for something with a 2.5 litre turbo engine or larger, because the insurance premium will be eye-watering. Similarly, you want a car you can trust, that will get you through those important first couple of years without endless breakdowns or costly service charges to contend with.

A hatchback is simply a car that has a full width boot which opens upwards towards the sky and pivots at or near the roof.
This provides a huge opening to the boot. Most also have back seats that fold down. That combined with the large boot opening make these very practical cars for travelling with cargo, suitcases, fridges or even small sofas!

Look up any lists of best car models for new drivers you care to find, and the type which dominates almost unanimously is the hatchback. Owning a hatchback as a first car has practically become a rite of passage for millions of new drivers. Affordable to buy and cheap to run, one of the big advantages of a hatchback is that the small engine size keeps insurance costs down. Small engine size might not appeal to a generation brought up on Need for Speed-type video games, but in reality this is another bonus for new drivers, as it makes hatchbacks extremely easy to handle on the roads.

Practical Hatchback

Practical Hatchback

Another advantage over finely tuned cars is that hatchbacks tend to be anything but temperamental. They are built to provide solid service, and many manufacturers offer impressive warranty lengths of several years to back up their reliability.

Finally, there is one more benefit of a small car new drivers should not turn their noses up at. When it comes to parallel parking in a tight space, it will never be easier than in a hatchback.

Continue reading Why a Hatchback is the Perfect Choice for New Drivers

Buying Second-Hand and Revealing a Car’s History

In the market for a second-hand vehicle? It can be daunting to navigate such a large market, but when you know what to look for and how to find it you should not have too much trouble. It is vital that you are thorough with your search and are not rushed into any decisions as there are a lot of dishonest sellers out there and the vehicle may not be as advertised.

Checking the Car Over

Once you think you have found the right vehicle, the first thing to do will be to check it over and take it for a test drive. This will involve much more than simply kicking the tyres – fortunately, there is a lot of helpful information online to help you with this process. In addition to this, a smart move is to enlist the help of a mechanic who will be able to provide their assessment of the automobile. This ensures that it is safe to drive and will give you peace of mind.

The History

A lot of motorists think that this is enough to determine whether or not they should purchase the vehicle, but this is absolutely not the case. Equally important is learning the history of the vehicle – this will indicate if there are any recurring issues, how many owners it has had, how far it has travelled and if it has a hidden history (stolen, unpaid parking tickets, previously written-off, outstanding finance etc.)

A hidden history could reveal itself further down the line and cause a major issue for the buyer. In addition to this, concealing an aspect of the vehicle’s past may allow the seller to negotiate a higher price. This is why it is absolutely essential that you carry out a vehicle history check before making a purchase on a used-car. The seller may have done this themselves, but it is always worth doing it yourself for peace of mind.

Uncovering the History

These checks, available from companies like cap hpi, reveal an in-depth history and everything that you need to know to make an intelligent decision. You should ensure that there are no major issues with the car’s history, and also check that this information matches what the seller advertises.

Buying a used car can be daunting, but by knowing how to inspect a vehicle and how to reveal its history it should allow you to search with confidence and find exactly what you are looking for.