UK operators are among the most forward-thinking in Europe when it comes to trailer financing, according to Cargobull Finance, with over half of those applying for finance electing to take up operating leases over the last 12 months.
The provider, which has financed more than 100,000 trailers across 16 European countries since 2002, totalling €3.3 billion in funds, says operators in the UK have a far greater appetite for operating leases than their Continental counterparts.
Hans Mansveld, Regional Director, Cargobull Finance, says: “UK operators are very astute when it comes to looking at whole life operating costs, and particularly for larger fleets, operating leases make more sense. The monthly payments are lower and it is easier for these firms to replace their trailers with the latest equipment after six or seven years. But outside of the UK, the market still prefers to finance trailers through a hire-purchase model.”
55 per cent of Schmitz Cargobull trailers financed through Cargobull Finance in the UK are supplied on operating leases. Comparatively this is a far higher percentage than many markets within Europe – those selecting operating leases number just 40 per cent in Germany, 30 per cent in the Netherlands and just 5 per cent in France.
The significant demand for operating leases in the UK has led Schmitz Cargobull to offer its own range of cooling units exclusively to lease in the UK, and not to buy. The Schmitz Cargobull cooling unit is the firm’s first foray into an own-brand temperature controlled system for its reefer trailers and was introduced into the UK market in summer 2014; there are currently more than 500 in operation on the continent.
Paul Avery, Managing Director of Schmitz Cargobull UK, says the strategy is a perfect fit for the UK market. “The Schmitz Cargobull cooling unit brings a range of new features and benefits for fleets, and as such it commands a premium price in the market. However, because we are so confident in its residual value, we can offer it on an operating lease at a very competitive rate because we know it will retain a large portion of its value even five years down the line.”
Demand for trailers in the UK continues to grow and John Stokoe, Country Manager, Cargobull Finance, says those customers are benefiting from unparalleled expertise.
He says: “No other trailer manufacturer in Europe offers a complete closed loop of manufacturing and finance. That allows us to offer a far better deal to operators than most banks – we genuinely understand what we’re financing, because we built it ourselves from scratch. This means we know precisely how to deliver maximum value as conveniently as possible.”
Schmitz Cargobull is the only trailer manufacturer to provide pan-European financing. Operating in a Joint Venture with Rabobank subsidiary De Lage Landen, Cargobull Finance provides a range of services including hire-purchase, operating leases and tailored service packages.