Fylde coast business aims to put women in the driving seat when buying a new car
A Fylde coast business is aiming to put women in the driving seat when it comes to buying a new car.
Flamingo Car Finance has been launched by Elizabeth McQuillan from Poulton who spotted the need for a concierge style service to help women through the process of finding a new vehicle and sorting out the finance aspects.
Elizabeth, who had been a teacher for 14 years, came up with the female-focussed idea after working with her husband Phil who runs Car Finance 365, and noticed that they were getting more and more women needing specific help.
She said the idea was to take the time and stress away from the car buying process, demystifying all the jargon and leaving women to focus on their own businesses and family life.
Elizabeth said: "During Covid things changed and I noticed I was helping a lot more women than men, it was very gratifying and I saw there was a real niche in the market.
"There are a lot of ladies out there who find it a little bit intimidating buying new cars, going into dealerships, knowing what's what with the finance options, what a good price for a particular car might be?"
She took the time to research the business during lockdown and launched a new brand, Flamingo Car Finance, this month, a FCA licensed vehicle finance broker.
She explained: "Fundamentally, we are a finance brokerage, we have a range of lenders on out panel catering for everything from A1 clients whose credit is phenomenal, right through to people who struggle with credit or those who have adverse credit too.
"We can help with the various types of finance which many people don't fully understand, PCP with balloon payments, or HP and we are looking into leasing as well.
"We secure their finance first and work to their budget. So, for example £300 a month might equate to a £20,000 car, and we can work up a shortlist of potential targets. I can then go to the dealerships within the vicinity of a customer's post code, a 50 mile radius for example, and then present the client with all the options."
She said once the client had found the car they wanted, she deals with the dealership, negotiates the price, carries out checks on the car, gets the dealer to make sure the car is fully serviced and any problems are sorted out before sale and arranges the warranty.
"As long as they are happy, the customer pays the holding deposit and I do the admin and they just have to arrange delivery and collection."
"I was a teacher for 14 years and then met my husband. He had a car dealership for ten years and he noticed how finance had changed and how the options for finance have increased. You don't have to get it from the place you buy the car from anymore.
"We talked about this. I had run businesses in the past and he knew I would take this idea and run with it.
"I finished at school just before Covid hit, that was obviously a tough period. No-one then was even thinking about cars so it was worrying. But then I noticed that we were getting more and more women coming to us and the idea developed. So I rebranded to create a safe space where women could come."
The clients so far have been predominantly from the Fylde coast but it is a UK-wide business. And they are also branching out into other vehicles such as aircraft and boats.
"We have just gone through the process for a boat for one client. It is an avenue we will certainly be pursuing in the future."