Should Letting Agents Invest In Company Cars?
It isn’t hard to find a business owner with a long-standing ambition to get a company car. It can be a sign of success, but it’s more a statement of intent, showing a total commitment to the company and a determination to excel. And it’s often worth getting a company car — but not always. So what’s the verdict for letting agents? Should they bother with company cars?
In this post, we’ll cover the major pros and cons of letting agents investing in company cars, and reach a conclusion about whether it’s a good idea in a typical scenario. Let’s get started.
They help with getting to appointments
Being timely is rather important for a letting agent, regardless of whether they’re meeting a prospective employer or showing a property to an interested party. Showing up a few minutes late sets a bad tone that can have major consequences. And while traffic can always cause problems, having a dedicated company car means two things: always having a vehicle available, and never needing to lean on unreliable public transport.
They tack on a lot of expenses
You don’t just need to pay for buying or leasing the car: you also need to pay for insurance, fuel, general maintenance, and whatever decals you want added. There are steps you can take to mitigate these expenses — you can carefully compare deals, save on fuel with fuel cards (see iCompario for more), be very careful with your company car to avoid the need for mechanical intervention, and settle for minimal branding such as car decals from Vistaprint — but you’ll still end up spending a fair amount of money.
They can be powerful branding tools
Branding is important to companies of all varieties, and it’s certainly a big deal to letting agents who need to do everything they can to stand out. They need to convince landlords to work with them, and they need to come across well when they deal with potential tenants. Well, one great way to make a strong impression is to have a company car branded with your logo, slogan, and anything else you want to show off. An eye-catching vehicle can make you very memorable.
They’re not useful for virtual showings
Due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic changing a lot of things, there’s been a huge rise of virtual property showings, and a company car won’t help you with one of those. It would be irritating to invest in a company car but end up leaving it unused most of the time because you didn’t have any in-person showings. Accordingly, you might want to wait for things to settle down.
So, should letting agents invest in company cars? I’d say it depends on how many in-person meetings they have. If a letting agent often needs to show people around properties, then picking up a modest company car and branding it neatly could work well. Otherwise, they should wait to see what happens with the industry in the coming year: this isn’t the right time to make a speculative investment.