Before we go any further, let’s be crystal clear about one thing. I am in no shape or form involved with buy2letcars.com.
Instead I merely heard the name, thought it sounded intriguing, clicked on the website and started reading – and listening to the nice marketing man who pops up and begins his spiel, somewhat infuriatingly, each time you revisit the home page.
Anyway, having watched the video and read the various explanations about the scheme, I did some sums. And the numbers that started appearing on my calculator looked – inevitably you may well scream – almost too good to be true.
Bottom line; for an investment of £13,500, buy2letcars is claiming to guarantee you a monthly income of £250 for 36 months, plus an agreed buy back figure of £8955 once those 36 months are over. Which in theory means that, assuming buy2letcars honours its legal obligations to do what it is claiming to do, you end up with a total of £17,955, having invested just £13,500. Which is a return of 33 per cent. Which is somewhat better than any bank, bond or ISA can offer at the moment, you’ll agree.
Replacing the banks, however, is precisely what buy2letcars.com is all about. It’s called peer-to-peer lending and it’s their way of removing the banks from the system altogether. Sounds risky, and probably is in the short term, although ultimately it may even represent the way forwards – so long as sufficient people are prepared to take the plunge in the meantime.
So what happens with buy2letcars.com is this; you produce your £13,500 and that buys you one brand new car that’s worth around £15,000 at the RRP. They then find you an “end user” – a driver who’s prepared to sign on the dotted line and lease your car for 36 months at £250 per month.
They also vet the driver to make sure there are no skeletons in their closet, just as any bank would. They then fit the car with a GPS tracker so that your driver can’t just disappear to Albania, never to be seen again. They also install it with pay-as-you-go technology so that if the monthly lease hire fee isn’t paid, there’s no go.
And even if your leased driver DOES do a runner, or fails to pay the rent that month, buy2letcars.com still guarantees to pay you in full in their absence, despite it being your car as far as the V5 and the DVLA are concerned. And at the end of 36 months they also guarantee to buy the car back from you for £8955. Which means you’ll have generated 36 payments of £250 (£9000) plus a further £8995, giving a total of £17,995. For an investment of £13,500.
Am I interested? Yes, very. Am I a sucker for these things? Yes, every time. Will I be signing up? Almost certainly not. My better half has already made me promise, in fact, never to visit the website ever again.