EVEN the rich and famous need finance – we find out how Bridford can help dealers fund supercar purchases.
A Mercedes SL 55 AMG. No it’s not, that’s an SL 63 AMG. Oh, and a Ferrari. And an Aston Martin. And a… well, you get the picture. It’s hard to concentrate on what Tim Marlow’s saying, when such blinding motors surround him. But then this is the man who makes owning them that bit more realistic.
And he’s enjoying good business in doing so. ‘People keep asking me how the credit crunch has affected things,’ says Marlow. ‘Well, while it is harder to get some deals done, the guys we deal with are just not affected in the same way. They have such a high net worth, a few per cent here and there just doesn’t affect them. Dealers are still coming to us with lots of supercar finance needs.’
The only trend Marlow has spotted is the company director or small business owner, keen not to rub his employees’ noses in it, scaling pack for now. Otherwise, the Premiership footballers, the city boys, the high-rollers are still using Bridford to get them into the stuff we all dream about.
Marlow, pictured right, therefore lives in something of an exalted world – but, he says, it’s vital he keeps his feet on the ground. It must be easy to get carried away in the high-rolling lifestyle, but doing so would ruin the sort of service he needs to offer – when you’re dealing with people at this level, service is all.
‘Our usual fare costs well over £70k,’ says Marlow. ‘We provide top-level dealer finance on high-end, specialist cars: our bread and butter is supercars.’ It certainly is a dream job, but Marlow has the professionalism to match. This is a premium world that calls for premium service.
And that includes – rarely for those used to more mainstream finance – speaking to the client direct. Putting together a finance package for a £125k Ferrari is, as you’d perhaps expect, not the work of a moment.
Such communications with those taking out the package – and the dealer having the confidence in Marlow calling up the Barclays Player of the Month with their say-so – is crucial, he says. ‘We need to find out exactly what they want, so we can tailor the package to suit,’ adds Marlow.
This really is bespoke finance, dependent on what the customer wants. If they want a low deposit, a big balloon payment is set up. If they’re a city boy with a big bonus, then they can place a large deposit instead. They can even agree just to pay off the interest for 18 months.
Marlow reveals, perhaps surprisingly, that he rarely needs a huge amount of detail. ‘You don’t have to carry out proof of earnings and such like – simply running a price check on the house they own, or the net worth of the company they run, can be enough to assure lenders.’ Don’t forget, we’re speaking seven-figure sums here. At least.
‘If the assets are there, and someone is putting down a healthy deposit, that’s enough reassurance.’
In the end, though, the success always comes down to the relationship with the dealer. ‘This is crucial. The dealer has to be confident I can speak to their top guys,’ explains Marlow. ‘I’m here to help them sell more cars. We only get paid for the deals we put through, so it’s in all our interests to make sure the deal is right.’
As Marlow rightly points out, you only have to sell a few six-figure motors to make quite a tidy profit. So if the market is holding up as he says, maybe it’s an extra profit avenue worth investigating? Give Bridford a call on 0844 815 8888.