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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:57 pm 
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This article is a couple of weeks old now, but I doubt much has changed since :-|


Covid: 'I don't want them to take my cab'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54508504

Sheikh Haroon bought a new electric black cab last year for £65,000, which meant signing up to monthly repayments of £950 a month.

Image
Image: BBC

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck he says he could meet the payments, but continued restrictions in his home city of Manchester mean it's no longer the case.

"At the moment there's no work. I'm doing from 9am to 6pm in the evening and I'm going home with £35 a day, that's it."

He's not the only taxi driver struggling to meet repayments on a new electric cab, and many are calling for more help from lenders.

'It's like my office'

Mr Haroon had some assistance from his lender, Close Brothers Asset Finance, which granted a three-month repayment freeze. But he says it's not enough and does not reflect the lack of business at the moment.

"Close Brothers said they'd give me one month [freeze], then I pushed it to a second month, then had to phone again to ask for three. They said that's it, you're not getting any more help.

"There was a half payment for three months and now they're saying you have to pay in full. They're not agreeing to help in any way."

He added: "I don't want them to take my cab obviously, it's like my office - this is the business."

Mr Haroon is one of a number of black cab drivers who have told BBC 5 live's Wake up to Money programme about their struggle to meet commitments for a new electric cab. They have all spoken of the stress and anxiety of finding around £900 a month when takings have collapsed.

They want lenders to give them more breathing space, and for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to intervene. The regulator has issued guidance on motor finance, insisting on flexibility and "sustainable" repayments, but it doesn't cover business agreements. Separately, loans of more than £25,000 are not regulated.

The FCA said that as it does not regulate the agreements "our ability to intervene is limited".

Close Brothers said it had been "in regular communication with Mr Haroon and ensured he was given all the support possible, working in line with the FCA's guidance".

On extra payment deferrals it said: "It's not in a customer's interest to get into more debt than they can reasonably be expected to repay and it is the lender's responsibility to ensure repayments do not become unaffordable."

The sector's trade body, the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, has written to the government and the FCA calling for more clarity. It also wants further payment deferrals and extra self-employment help.

The electric taxi finance market is dominated by Lloyds Bank-owned Black Horse which has a tie-up with Coventry-based manufacturer LEVC.

Black Horse initially offered a three-month payment holiday, and that was extended by three months. LEVC says drivers are, "being dealt with on a case-by-case basis directly with Black Horse".

However, each month's payment freeze triggered an interest charge of £100, adding £600 to the total over six months. And drivers say any further agreements to reduce monthly payments put them in arrears and will mark down their credit file.

"I thought a company like that - they know the situation - would give us a bit more flexibility," says Justin Cockhill, a driver in London. "During lockdown I started seeing a doctor for depression, it's been an awful experience for me."

Adam Wakilie is another Manchester driver. He's been working 13-hour days, seven days a week and took home just £480 last month. "I've not had a break, I have four kids and I miss them so much, they're always worried about me. I've missed three of these payments and so many other bills keep building. I don't really know what to do, and it surely won't change any time soon."

Image
Image: BBC

Mr Wakilie is with Black Horse and is still entitled to further payment freezes, but he's considered giving the cab back. That would leave him liable for any shortfall between the size of the loan and the amount raised by selling the vehicle at auction.

Paul Byron is a London cabbie who also has a rental business, HP Taxi. He has 55 electric cabs financed with £4m from six lenders, including Close Brothers, Black Horse and Shawbrook Finance, which he says has been understanding.

Image
Image: BBC

"If one lender can do it, why can't all of them? If I add up the interest payments I've paid across the other five lenders, it's thousands. And it's really not the time to be making money out of a trade that's struggling like this."

Black Horse says it is "proactively contacting customers as they come to the end of their payment deferrals and are working closely with those who are not yet in a position to restart payments to offer further help".


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:58 pm 
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Quote:
"Close Brothers said they'd give me one month [freeze], then I pushed it to a second month, then had to phone again to ask for three. They said that's it, you're not getting any more help.

"There was a half payment for three months and now they're saying you have to pay in full. They're not agreeing to help in any way."

They're all heart, that lot :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 7:25 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Quote:
"Close Brothers said they'd give me one month [freeze], then I pushed it to a second month, then had to phone again to ask for three. They said that's it, you're not getting any more help.

"There was a half payment for three months and now they're saying you have to pay in full. They're not agreeing to help in any way."

They're all heart, that lot :roll:

3 month deferral and 3 months at half the payment is a lot better than most business loans. I don't like to state the obvious but anyone who has finance payments of this size with the income that is stated is clearly insolvent. To carry on like this is not going to improve the situation in any way and unfortunately, hard as it is to accept, sometimes you have to take the tough decisions and seek the help of a debt resolution company. If someone in this position does not own their own house at least they can't lose that. In the late 1990s I was in a very bad debt situation when my first marriage broke up. fortunately for me, my sister worked for a company who were a great employer and she was able to put me in touch with their debt adviser and the choices were either declare myself bankrupt or try to arrange an Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) I decided thaat the best option was to declare myself bankrupt. The first thing that the debt adviser said to me was "It doesn't matter how bad things look at the moment, they can't send you to prison." It seemed like a strange thing to say but it is true. The way it was put to me was after working out the figures that if it were possible to refinance everything it was going to take around 10 years of hard work, working as hard as possible to pay off the debt and it would still be a struggle or go bankrupt and close the door on the whole episode. Yes, it was 6 years before it was possible to be even considered for finance again but I thought that under the circumstances that was a good thing. I also had to go to the official receivers office and do an income and expenditure declaration to see what spare money I had at the end of the month to offer to the creditors. I worked everything out to the penny and I had worked it out that I could pay back something like £50.00 per month. The receiver took about 3 minutes looking over my figures and ripped them up and said there was no way I could pay anything because being bankrupt was not a sentence to stop living and I still needed to have a life. I can tell you the whole process was like lifting a huge weight off of me. The debt at the time was around £35,000 and my bankruptcy lasted for 5 years. I believe that nowadays a bankruptcy can last a lot less than that and someone I know who went bankrupt was only listed for 9 months.
Don't get me wrong, it was probably the most difficult decision of my life, actually admitting to myself that that I was screwed and I had endured months of sleepless nights before seeing the light.
I would urge anyone on here who is really struggling to seek the help of a professional debt councillor as soon as possible, you can usually arrange this through the citizens advice bureau and it should be free. At least that way you can get an honest no holds barred un emotional view of your situation and a clear pathway out of it with a definite end result.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 10:53 am 
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Quote:
However, each month's payment freeze triggered an interest charge of £100, adding £600 to the total over six months. And drivers say any further agreements to reduce monthly payments put them in arrears and will mark down their credit file.



I think the government were asking these companies to forgo interest for a month or two not ramp it onto later payments making it even harder :roll:

It is in their best interests not to put the customer into an impossible position meaning they simply cannot afford to pay after all if 1000 drivers phoned them tomorrow and said have the car back they wouldn't recover anywhere near all the money owed!

Seriously though I think a lot of these drivers need to sit down with someone who can give them good solid advice I am not sure long term they are going to be able to afford such expensive vehicles on the lean pickings of the next 2 to 3 years

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:29 pm 
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Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:55 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

they waisted their money on a overpriced Chinese junk


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 12:49 am 
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It's not only the cab trade suffering, the coach industry has been devastated by covid. With coaches costing upwards of £250k to about £500k, it's going to be survival of the very fittest. Bear in mind operators who go into London are having to upgrade to the latest Euro6 vehicles, and to convert euro4 is not really feasible. converting a euro 5 coach or bus costs around £18k per coach.

Then they have the PASVAR regulations to abide by, hence the need for brand new coaches. School contracts being re-tendered and instead of prices going up, they've actually gon down considerable just to gt cash flowing again. That too is a recip for financial suicide.

Luckily I sold my bus operating company at the end of January so got out just in time! I still have the vintage bus fleet and may start again next year if things improve. but at least I got back some of the cash I'd put into the company. I really feel for those of you who are suffering out there. You'll never catch up with the outstanding debts.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:24 am 
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skippy41 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

they waisted their money on a overpriced Chinese junk


A junk is a boat, isn’t it? Why buy a boat?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:20 pm 
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jimbo wrote:
skippy41 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

they waisted their money on a overpriced Chinese junk


A junk is a boat, isn’t it? Why buy a boat?



maybe they want to go and live in Hong Kong ?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:00 pm 
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roythebus wrote:
It's not only the cab trade suffering, the coach industry has been devastated by covid. With coaches costing upwards of £250k to about £500k, it's going to be survival of the very fittest. Bear in mind operators who go into London are having to upgrade to the latest Euro6 vehicles, and to convert euro4 is not really feasible. converting a euro 5 coach or bus costs around £18k per coach.

Then they have the PASVAR regulations to abide by, hence the need for brand new coaches. School contracts being re-tendered and instead of prices going up, they've actually gon down considerable just to gt cash flowing again. That too is a recip for financial suicide.

Luckily I sold my bus operating company at the end of January so got out just in time! I still have the vintage bus fleet and may start again next year if things improve. but at least I got back some of the cash I'd put into the company. I really feel for those of you who are suffering out there. You'll never catch up with the outstanding debts.


Environmental compliance is in danger of destroying the very foundation of a post covid recovery, it was bad enough paying to comply with the half baked enviro ideals before but now it has become a threat to the entire economy.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:08 pm 
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jimbo wrote:
skippy41 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

they waisted their money on a overpriced Chinese junk


A junk is a boat, isn’t it? Why buy a boat?

To keep his head above water

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:12 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
jimbo wrote:
skippy41 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

they waisted their money on a overpriced Chinese junk


A junk is a boat, isn’t it? Why buy a boat?



maybe they want to go and live in Hong Kong ?


Or Wang King?

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:46 am 
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jimbo wrote:
edders23 wrote:
jimbo wrote:
skippy41 wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Got to feel for those fellas, as they have done nothing wrong just bought at the wrong time. :sad:

As I've mentioned on here before I nearly bought a brand new E Class, or someone I live with nearly bought it for me, but thankfully I decided against it weeks before covid hit the country, and the trade.

they waisted their money on a overpriced Chinese junk


A junk is a boat, isn’t it? Why buy a boat?



maybe they want to go and live in Hong Kong ?


Or Wang King?


I thought that was your alternate retirement destination after Dubai ?

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