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Behind-the-scenes personalised offers

Direct lenders and banks have held interest rates firm this month, despite predictions the Bank of England may push base rates lower over the medium term. They are happy to take a little profit now, having anticipated the previous rate cut and placed themselves in a highly competitive position.

There are signs of a more flexible approach to lending starting to emerge and several lenders have personalised loan offers running behind the scenes. Typical is Barclays which now offers a “personal loan at a personal price”. It encourages customers to meet loan advisors rather than quoting fixed rates.

This may result in a lower rate in the end – but might not suit the typical car buyer who is looking for a quick decision. Dealer finance, arranged in the showroom, is quicker and more convenient.

Lloyds TSB is another to offer a wide range of rates for different loan purposes. Its car loans are no cheaper than the standard personal loan rate but the offer is backed up by extras such as free MoT insurance and discounted car insurance. Dealers should be able to match these offers without much damage to the bottom line.

Marks & Spencer has abandoned its discounted rate, but still offers some cheaper deals for customers using the internet. Sainsbury has a three-month payment holiday which results in its monthly repayments looking high, especially at the top end of the market.

Loan Amount Lender APR Monthly Repayment
with PPP
Monthly Repayment
Without PPP
£2,000 A&L 17.0% £79.07 £70.10
Lombard 15.9% £82.55 £69.18
M&S Finance 11.9% £74.71 £65.75
Sainsbury 16.5% £78.58 £69.59
Tesco 15.5% £78.61 £69.32
£5,000 A&L 10.4% £180.06 £161.27
Lombard 9.9% £178.89 £160.11
M&S Finance 11.5% £185.71 £163.53
Sainsbury 10.9 £186.41 £165.08
Tesco 9.8 £179.55 £159.80
£10,000 A&L 9.8% £356.92 £319.97
Lombard 9.7% £356.72 £319.36
M&S Finance 11.3% £370.34 £326.21
Sainsbury 9.9% £367.33 £325.30
Tesco 9.8% £360.55 £320.77
£15,000 A&L 8.9% £528.19 £474.16
Lombard 8.9% £528.67 £473.90
M&S Finance 9.8% £543.30 £479.69
Sainsbury 9.9% £550.99 £487.95
Tesco 8.6% £539.16 £471.79
Source: Automotive Management

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