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Silver service: The driving force behind vehicle leasing celebrates 25 years in business

Lynette Randall, Samantha Miles and the Alpha Contracts team outside the company’s Upton offices.

Six Prime Ministers have been in office. Five different nations have won football’s World Cup. Seven different teams – including two based in Northamptonshire – have won the F1 championship in motor racing. There has been change aplenty in the past quarter-century and the same applies to the world of vehicle leasing.

From what was a fairly straightforward proposition, the focus today has turned to issues such as benefit in kind taxation, road tax bands, carbon dioxide emissions and electric vehicles.

“So much has changed in the world of hiring and leasing,” says Lynette Randall, founder of leasing specialist Alpha Contracts. “Technology has moved forward in terms of greener cars with lower emissions, electric cars are becoming more common on our roads and people are more aware of the effect their motoring has on the environment. Coupled with that, the government has brought in legislation to limit emissions and the more environmentally friendly your vehicle, the better your tax bill, whether that is in benefit in kind or road tax.”

The entire car industry has changed since Lynette founded Alpha Contracts with her co-director Samantha Miles in 1997. From its original offices in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, Alpha Contracts’ aim was to provide fleet solutions that took the hassle away from the client and provided them with a straightforward way of buying or leasing company cars and vans.

The good news is, however, that Alpha Contracts has remained ahead of the game on all these changes and more, ensuring the process remains as smooth and worry-free for its clients as it possibly can be.

Today, from its current premises in Park View, Upton, the company sources any vehicle, any model, new or nearly new, and provides many options for vehicle funding including contract hire, lease purchase, finance lease, contract purchase, HP, personal leasing or outright purchase.

Alpha Contracts can also take on the financing of the company vehicles in relation to accounting practices and tax legislation and is able to provide detailed banding sheets of vehicles within a company’s specific parameters.

“We have seen a sharp increase in clients who want to reduce the effect of company car benefit in kind taxation rates,” says Lynette. “They are coming to us for advice on the best vehicles to go for in order to maximise the benefits that come with the more environmentally friendly vehicles and thus reducing their personal tax liability. When we are working with clients to determine which vehicles or packages best suit their needs, we can advise on how those rules will affect the bottom line and help them make informed decisions.”

The Alpha Contracts team works with clients to plan ahead and make sure that when a vehicle is coming up for renewal everything is in place well in advance of the replacement date. Changes within the manufacturing sector mean that ordering times for new models are measured in months rather than weeks and so careful planning is required in order to ensure a new vehicle is available when it is needed, especially if the recipient is looking for a top-of-the-range model or a vehicle that is a little out of the ordinary.

“Well in advance of the changeover date, we give our clients information about what is on the market. We find out what vehicles they have in mind and have everything in place for them when they need it,” says Lynette.

“In this busy world, companies need to be able to leave their vehicle requirements in the hands of someone who will ensure they get the best possible deal and handle all the associated paperwork and information gathering, leaving them to get on with the day-to-day running of their business.”

Keeping vehicles up to date and finding the right make and model is one thing. Alpha Contracts’ service goes further, sourcing and arranging finance, handling vehicle road tax renewal, licence checking and servicing and MOT reminders throughout the contract period.

The company works closely with leading vehicle funders such as LeasePlan UK Ltd, Lex Vehicle Partners, Alphabet GB Ltd, Santander and Arval, building strong relationships that offer the most competitive finance packages for the customer.

Access to online systems enables the team to supply quotations with varying parameters at the click of a button on any make or model, car or commercial vehicle.

Many fleet managers take advantage of the firm’s rental bandings sheets, sorted by P11d, monthly rental or CO2 emissions.

“As an established franchisee of some of the largest providers of vehicle finance in the UK, we benefit from massive fleet buying power and volume-related bonuses so our customers reap significant savings,” says Samantha. “We are aware that many competitors offer similar vehicles and funding packages but attention to customer service and the continuity between the sales team and our clients is what makes us unique.

“We started the business with three of us and we are all still involved, with a couple more people joining us along the way. That gives us a strong team and the continuity means that clients get to know the people they are dealing with.

“At Alpha we understand the importance of each customer, from those with large fleets to those with one vehicle, and we treat every individual requirement as important. Every vehicle is tailored to the client’s needs, whether they are a company with a large business fleet, a sole trader with specific trade requirements or a private individual in search their pride and joy.”

Samantha Miles (left) and Lynette Randall toast 25 years in business

 

Rowena Cooper and Alex Bates from the Alpha Contracts sales team.

 

Sales manager Justine Tompkins
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