Choosing the Right Premises for a Motor Trade Business

Choosing the Right Premises for a Motor Trade Business

When you run a business, especially one in the motor trade, it’s always incredibly important to find the right premises. The right premises will depend on the type of motor trade business More »

Getting Insurance as a Young Van Driver

Getting Insurance as a Young Van Driver

If you are under the age of 25 and plan to purchase a van then you might be worried that you won’t be able to get cover at a reasonable price. It’s certainly true More »

Choosing an Office for a Mini Cab Firm

Choosing an Office for a Mini Cab Firm

Running a minicab firm comes with many challenges. In addition to keeping your business competitive and dealing with customer and driver issues, you must also make sure you have a good location More »

Finding an Office for A Taxi Firm

Finding an Office for A Taxi Firm

When you run your own business, choosing a good premises is vitally important. This is certainly is true if you run a taxi firm and are looking for a new head office. More »

Investing in Your First Property as a Landlord

Investing in Your First Property as a Landlord

Although certain sectors of the property market are expected to slightly weaker in 2017, investing in property is still one of the best ways to make money in the UK. Residential property is particularly More »

 

A Guide to Minibus Insurance

People who own minibuses often use them for their job, as in the case of taxi drivers. However there are many people who own a minibus simply because of the extra room such a vehicle gives them.

If you do own a pleasure use minibus then you’ll need to get the right type of insurance for it. Below is a guide to minibus insurance, including the types of cover you can get and ways to keep costs to a minimum.

Types of cover

  • Road risks – Road risks is the basic type of cover you need when insuring any vehicle. You can choose what level of cover you want to get depending on your budget and how much protection you think you need. A third party only policy is the cheapest option but it will not provide any real protection for your own vehicle; rather simply allow you to drive legally. A comprehensive policy is your best option if you want full protection.
  • Windscreen repair – Windscreen and glass repair is a very useful type of cover that’ll you certainly be thankful for if the time comes that you need it.
  • Breakdown assistance – Breakdown assistance is always important to have when you own a minibus. You may already have breakdown assistance from another company but it’s a good idea to see how much extra it would be to have it included in your policy since you might be able to save money.

Saving money

  • Shop around – Getting quotes from many different providers is one of the best ways to save money on minibus insurance. Sites such as Insure Minibus make the process of getting quotes incredibly quick and simple.
  • Make your vehicle secure – Making your minibus as secure as possible is a great way to save money on insurance. In addition to installing a tracking device and immobiliser, you should also make sure to park your minibus safely when it’s not being used.
  • Pay annually – If you can afford to pay for your insurance annually rather than monthly then you’ll be able to make a decent saving on the overall cost.

Working as a Freelance Recovery Truck Driver

If you’ve ever considered working as a freelance recovery truck driver then you might have talked yourself out of it because you think the challenges will too great – whether it’s the initial investment required or being able to find enough clients.

Working as a freelancer comes with a lot of challenges but most freelancers find it to be worth it for the freedom it brings.

Below is a guide to becoming a freelance recovery truck driver.

What you’ll need

  • A truck – Of course the most fundamental thing you’ll need to work as a freelance recovery truck driver is a truck. When it comes to buying a recovery truck, there are a few key things you need to decide. One of the most important things is the size of truck you’re going to buy. Recovery trucks vary a lot – some are capable of transporting multiple vehicles while other are designed for just one car. A bigger truck will mean you can transport more vehicles at one time but it will also cost more and be harder to drive. It’s often a good idea to start with a smaller truck so you can get used to it and see if you can make your venture a success before moving onto a larger vehicle.
  • Clients – The most vital part of being successful as a recovery truck driver is the ability to find and maintain a client base. Many people find this to be the most challenging part of working as a freelancer. 
  • Insurance – You’ll also need to get recovery truck insurance to cover you for the biggest risks that come with the job, such as road risks, liability claims and breakdowns.

Saving money on recovery truck insurance

  • Get multiple quotes – One of the best ways to save money on recovery truck insurance is to get quotes from different providers. This will ensure that you don’t overspend on cover you could have gotten cheaper elsewhere.
  • Get a limited mileage policy – If you only use your recovery truck at certain hours or at certain times of the year then you could save a considerable amount of money by getting a limited mileage policy.

Choosing the Right Premises for a Motor Trade Business

When you run a business, especially one in the motor trade, it’s always incredibly important to find the right premises. The right premises will depend on the type of motor trade business you run but there are certain factors that are always important.

Below are some key things to consider –

Size

Size will always be a key consideration when looking for a business premises. If you run a business such as repair shop then you’re probably not going to need as much space as a car showroom. You should think about how much space you’ll need to work comfortably, including your office, supply room etc. You should also take the parking space into consideration as this will be very important for your customers.

To buy or rent

Another key consideration when looking for a premises is whether you will buy or rent. In most cases, it’s a good idea to rent for a period of time first to check that you’re happy with the premises and there are no unexpected problems with it. Once you’re certain that you’re happy with it, you can then buy it further down the road.

Security

Security s certainly a key consideration when choosing a premises for your business. Look for key security features such as security lighting, an alarm and CCTV. You should also look for any access prevention measures that are installed, such as barbed wire or security spikes. Motor trade businesses always have to be wary of the risk of theft and damage to their vehicles so this is very important.

A secure premises will not only reduce the chances of theft and vandalism but also help to reduce the cost of a motor trade insurance policy. Click here to get motor trade insurance quotes now.

Location

Location is always important with any type of property you’re considering investing in. When choosing a business premises, the location of it can be the difference between success and failure so it’s an extremely important thing to think about. Ideally your premises will be located in an area that has plenty of traffic passing by, that is easy to find and access.

 

Getting Insurance as a Young Van Driver

If you are under the age of 25 and plan to purchase a van then you might be worried that you won’t be able to get cover at a reasonable price. It’s certainly true that insurance providers charge more to those under the age of 25. This is simply because younger drivers are more likely to be involved in collisions. However getting van insurance as a young driver isn’t impossible.

There are a number of specialist providers of van insurance for young drivers who can offer you cover at a reasonable rate.

Why get cover online?

If you’re looking for young van drivers insurance then there are a few good reasons to get it online. These include –

  • Get the exact type of policy you want – When you look for insurance online, it’s very easy to add and remove cover options as you need. You can also easily find out more details about different cover options to help you decide if you need them or not. This is very useful since it’s easy to end up paying for additional cover that you don’t need or fully understand when taking a policy out over the phone.
  • Save time & money – Another key reason to get insured online is that getting quotes is very easy. Getting quotes from different insurance providers is one of the best ways to save money and using an online insurance comparison service makes getting quotes a very quick and simple process.
  • Get cover instantly – When you make your first payment for your policy, you will then be covered immediately and be sent your documents by email as well as by post. This gives you peace of mind that if you were to be involved in an accident or pulled over by the police, you would have proof of coverage.

What are some good ways to save money?

Below are a couple of drive ways to save money on young van drivers insurance –

  • Increase excess – Increasing your excess is a very good way to lower the cost of your premium when you first take out your policy.
  • Limit cover options – If you’re happy with a third party only policy then this is another great way to keep the cost of your insurance to a minimum.

Choosing an Office for a Mini Cab Firm

Running a minicab firm comes with many challenges. In addition to keeping your business competitive and dealing with customer and driver issues, you must also make sure you have a good location for your head office.

Some of the key things questions to ask yourself when choosing an office for a mini cab firm are –

  • Is there enough space? – Space is always going to be important when choosing a mini cab office. You want to be sure that there’s enough space and light for your operation to be run from it without any problems.
  • Is it in a good location? – Location is another key factor. Since you’ll need to communicate with your drivers while they’re on the road, the office should be located on high ground, or at least not in a dip.
  • Can I afford it? – Knowing that you’ll be able to afford the rent is another key consideration. Depending on how established your company is, you might decide to invest in the premises, especially if you’re sure you’re happy with it.

Keeping your insurance costs down

A big part of running a successful mini cab firm is to keep the cost of your mini cab insurance to a minimum. Below are some of the best ways to do this –

  • Be selective with who you hire – The drivers you hire to work for you will always affect the cost of your mini cab insurance. This is why most mini cab firms will not hire drivers who are under the age of 25. Age isn’t the only factor though. You also want to consider the experience and attitude of any drivers you hire. Insurance providers will assess your drivers and consider how likely they are to be involved in an accident when coming up with a price for your policy so always bear this in mind.
  • Get quotes from different providers – Getting quotes from different insurance providers will enable you to easily compare them and choose the policy that’s right for your business and at the most competitive price.
  • Pay upfront – Most firms will choose to pay for the mini cab insurance on a monthly basis so there’s no major upfront payment. Although this makes sense, if you can pay for your policy in one lump sum, you’ll be able to negotiate a better rate with insurance providers.

Finding an Office for A Taxi Firm

When you run your own business, choosing a good premises is vitally important. This is certainly is true if you run a taxi firm and are looking for a new head office.

All the administrative side of things are done from your office so you want to be sure you pick a premises that’s conveniently located and that is secure. Below are some of the most important things to consider when looking for an office for your taxi firm.

Things to consider

  • Location – Location is extremely important when choosing an office for your taxi firm. Ideally your office will be located on high ground and also be in a location that’s convenient for people to get to and with plenty of foot traffic. A good location can make or break a business so you definitely want to take the time to choose a premises that’s well situated.
  • Cost – Cost is another key factor when looking for a new head office. You should think about how much you’re able to spend and also consider renting a location for a few months first so you can decide if you’re happy enough with it to buy it.
  • Security – If a building has good security features already in place then this is a great bonus. Things like security lights, a security alarm and working CCTV all help to make a building much more secure and will also lower the cost of your insurance.

Getting insurance

Image result for taxi sign

When you run a taxi firm you have a few different options when it comes to getting insurance. You can choose to get a combined motor trade insurance policy that will cover all your vehicles as well as your premises, stock, tools and cash.

The other option is to get a separate building insurance policy for your office and get your vehicles covered by a taxi fleet insurance policy. Which is the better option will depend and usually it will come down to which is the least expensive. Whichever you decide, you should always make sure you get plenty of quotes from different insurance providers and make sure you have insurance for private hire or public hire as well.

Some great ways to save money on taxi fleet insurance include –

  • Be selective with your drivers
  • Limit cover options
  • Pay annually rather than monthly
  • Get quotes from many insurance providers

Investing in Your First Property as a Landlord

Although certain sectors of the property market are expected to slightly weaker in 2017, investing in property is still one of the best ways to make money in the UK. Residential property is particularly strong as many people are now unable or unwilling to invest while the job market is so unstable.

Below are some of the most important things to consider when investing in your first property.

Location

Location is extremely important when investing in your first property. Many people think of London as being on the best places to invest in property due to how densely populated it is, however that isn’t necessarily the case. A recent article by Money Week explains how Birmingham currently offers a better return for property investers than London.

Type of property

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The type of property you want to invest in is another thing you should think about carefully. Certain sectors are predicted to perform better in the 2017 than others. For example, industrial property is predicted to perform very well, as large retail chains require more stock space. You should do your research and think carefully before committing and never be afraid to ask for advice from people who are currently operating in the property market.

Current state

When considering a property, you should always think about how much work and money it will take in order for you to be able to let it out. If a property needs a lot of renovation then you not only have to think about the time and expense required but also that you’ll need to have it insured while it’s unoccupied. Residential buildings that are unoccupied are at considerably greater risk so you should certainly take this into account.

Insurance

In addition to the initial expense of a property, you also need to think about how much it will cost to insure. Properties in low crime areas typically cost less to insure so they’re usually a wise investment. A good landlord insurance policy will cover you for structural damage, liability claims and contents. The value and security of the property will affect the price you pay for landlord insurance, as well as where the property is located.

 

Economic and Political Uncertainty Predicted to Affect Property Returns in 2017

Given everything that happened during 2016, it was a very strong year for property – something that came as a surprise to many people. The value of the average house increased by 6.5% over the course of the year and although that figure is lower compared to the previous year, it’s still impressive all things considered.

Many people had predicted a poor year for property at the start of 2016 and after the British public voted to leave the EU in June, that feeling only strengthened. It was expected that many of the wealthier people who live in the capital would move and create a trickle-down effect that would negatively impact the entire property market but that did not happen.

Despite 2016 being a strong year for property, many experts predict that 2017 could be quite different. Halifax’s housing economist, Martin Ellis, had the following to say –

“Slower economic growth, pressure on employment and a squeeze on spending power, together with affordability constraints, are expected to reduce housing demand during 2017.

“UK house prices should, however, continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of property for sale, low levels of housebuilding, and exceptionally low interest rates.

“Overall, annual house price growth nationally is most likely expected to slow to between one and four per cent by the end of 2017. The relatively wide range for the forecast reflects the higher than normal degree of uncertainty regarding the prospects for the UK economy this year.”

An article from The Telegraph also demonstrates how property returns are likely to be lower in 2017 compared to the previous couple of years. The lower returns won’t affect all sectors, with industrial property predicted to perform well, not least because of the needs of mega retailers such as Amazon, who continue to expand their operation.

Agricultural property could easily take a hit in 2017 however, as the full effects of Brexit on the farming industry are yet to be seen.

Demand for shared ownership homes highest in the south of England

The Government wants to see a five-fold increase in the supply of shared ownership homes as part of its drive to reverse the decline in home ownership and has committed the most significant ever funding to support this ambition.

A £4.1 billion budget has been announced to deliver a total of 135,000 additional shared ownership homes, equivalent to funding of £30,000 per home.  Significantly, private developers will now be able to bid for grant funding alongside housing associations.  This opens up new opportunities for development and investment into a historically undersupplied market, according to real estate adviser Savills.

In its latest analysis, Savills estimates that there is market capacity to absorb at least 60,000 additional shared ownership homes per year.

There is excess demand across the country, but the greatest volume is in markets where affordability is most stretched and therefore demand is highest, notably in the south of England (see map below).

Build volumes averaged less than 8,000 per annum in the three years to March 2015, suggesting a huge mismatch between supply and demand.

“The Government’s policy and financial commitment to this form of home ownership could be a real game changer,” says Colin Wilkins, head of Savills South Coast Development team.  “Investment activity in the sector has so far been limited, but there is now a clear opportunity for new investment vehicles that will not only accelerate the delivery of much-needed shared ownership homes but also create stable returns to the investor.”

The diversity of subsidised home ownership schemes (Starter Homes, Help to Buy and shared ownership) now available means demand for each may overlap, reducing the potential rate of delivery across a site.  Developers of large sites therefore have a real incentive to retain control of sales to ensure that different products are effectively differentiated. There is also a need for the properties to be insured adequately (more info at propertytoinsure.co.uk).

“We could see developers retaining the first tranche sales of shared ownership homes, but they will then wish to pass on the management responsibility and secure a capital return for the unsold equity,” continues Colin.

“Housing associations are likely to remain best placed to take on the management of the new units, while the unsold equity creates a new investment asset which would go to the highest bidder.  The net result could be a speeding up of delivery.”

Investor returns come in two forms: rental income at a standard 2.75 per cent, index-linked yield, and capital repayments on staircasing, though performance data is to date largely anecdotal.  However, evidence suggests that delinquency rates (occupier default on rent or mortgage payments) are very low, while the fact that the income from shared ownership has rarely been sold by housing associations is a testament to the quality of the asset.

The opportunity is concentrated in high value markets where affordability is most stretched.  This is largely the south of England, although in many parts of London it will be difficult to deliver viable shared ownership below the income caps, except by selling very small initial shares and reducing the rent on the remainder below the standard 2.75 per cent.

Private rented sector minimum energy efficiency standards come into force

The Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 will bring into force minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for the residential private rented sector.

This means that landlords with properties to let which have an Energy Performance Rating (EPC) of less than “E” will have to carry out works to improve the energy performance of the building to a rating of “E” or above or face financial penalties of up to £4,000. The regulations will also make it unlawful for landlords to unreasonably refuse consent to a tenant’s request to make prescribed energy efficiency improvements to properties.

From 1 April, tenants can request permission from their landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their rented properties and the landlord (and any superior landlord) cannot unreasonably refuse consent.

The tenant is responsible for paying for the works and the intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord, unless the landlord agrees to contribute (including unoccupied properties).

Tara Kelly, head of lettings at Savills Winchester, says:  “Landlords should look to carry out any energy efficient improvements to their properties now to avoid having to do improvements when they agree to renew a tenancy or decide to let the property to someone else.

“We recommend landlords start preparing for the new regulations by revisiting the energy efficiency rating for their property and reviewing the recommendation reports attached to the most recent EPC.

“Furthermore landlords should renew their EPC where the property previously had a low energy rating and they have recently carried out works because the rating is likely to have improved, bringing the rating to E or above. In any event an EPC must be renewed after 10 years.

“Over time the minimum energy efficiency standard is likely to rise above the minimum “E” rating. Therefore landlords should also consider whether it is worth doing more than the bare minimum and implement works to improve any buildings that also fall within ratings C and D.”

For more information, contact Tara and her team at Savills Winchester on 01962 834020.

Sunny outlook over the river

This delightful ground floor apartment has all the benefits of a bungalow, with accommodation laid out over a single level and patio doors from the sitting room to a sunny patio which overlooks lovely communal gardens, bordered by the Meon River (flood insurance is available). The situation is ideal for those looking to be close to good local amenities as from here it is a short walk to the centre of the historic village of Wickham where there is an array of day to day shops and places to stop for a coffee or meet friends for lunch.

Entrance to the apartment is protected by a security phone system and the front door opens to the hallway where there is a useful cupboard and doors to all rooms including the sitting room which is double aspect with a feature fireplace and patio doors to the terrace. The kitchen is fitted with a range of units, work surfaces and integrated appliances.

The larger bedroom has the best view over the garden and river, has fitted wardrobes and its own fully tiled shower room. The second bedroom is another good size room, also with fitted storage and there is a fully tiled main bathroom.

Parking for the residents and visitors is provided on a gravelled area at the front of the building and there is an allocated carport for this apartment. The gardens are very attractive and a principal feature of the property, adding to the feeling of space and light and a joy through the summer months particularly.

Watersedge on Bridge Street is a modern purpose built development and ideally located in this picturesque setting close to The Square.

Byrne Runciman quotes a price of £239,950 and will be happy to provide further information about this lovely apartment and its sunny outlook. Contact the team at Wickham on 01329 834579.

Setting Up A Motor Trade Business

If you have a passion for cars and like the idea of starting your own business then setting up a motor trade business could be the perfect fit for you.

Below are some of the most practical things to consider.

What you need to get started

  • A plan – You’ll certainly want to think about how you’ll make your business a success before you get started. You don’t necessarily need to write out a hyper-detailed business plan but you should at least outline things like what your biggest overheads will be, what competition you’ll have and how you’ll go about finding customers.
  • The right insurance – As soon as you start operating as a motor trade business, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered by getting a good motor trade insurance policy. Motor trade insurance is typically very flexible and you can even get part time policies from sites such as https://www.cleangreencars.co.uk if you don’t intend on working full time as a trader to start with.
  • Expertise – In order to make your business a success, you’ll certainly need a minimum level of expertise. In order to work as a mechanic for example, you’ll of course need to have a trained and have a good working knowledge of cars and other types of vehicles. Even if you intend to buy and sell cars i.e. something that doesn’t necessarily need technical skills, you’ll still need to know where to buy, what models you can make the most profit from and how to deal with the legal side of things.

Expanding your business

Once you’ve established yourself a bit, you’ll want to expand your business. There are a couple of ways to do this, including –

  • Hiring employees – Once your business has enough customers, you’ll want to take on employees to help you run it. When looking for employees you’ll typically want people with the right attitude, who have a good amount of experience in the industry and who don’t have any past convictions.
  • Getting a premises – Getting a premises for the first time can be a daunting step for any new business owner but providing you go about it in the right way and do your research, it doesn’t have to be a stressful thing.