The recent hail storm has left many Canberra motorists wondering, “What now?” after they were warned it could take up to a year for damage to be repaired.
But a local leasing company has responded to the warning, saying Canberrans whose vehicles were written off could consider a novated lease on a replacement car and potentially avoid long waits like these in the future.
A spokesperson for Alliance Leasing says its existing lessors affected by the January hail storm were able to submit images of the damage and access a new or hire car as fast as possible.
Salary packaging is quite common in the ACT, where people pay for the cost of a vehicle from their pre-tax salary to reduce their taxable income. Associated costs such as fuel and servicing can be added to the package, with the lease generally running for three to five years.
After the lease ends, the lessor makes a payment to keep the car or they choose another car and start a new lease.
Peter Mitchell, who has been leasing his cars through Alliance Leasing for over 5 years, said he chooses to lease because of the tax benefits and ease of having a fuel card included in the pre-tax package.
“I had a car trashed in the hail. With that car, my existing lease had just ended and I was in the process of extending it by a year. But after the storm I decided not to invest any more money in it,” Mr Mitchell said.
“I told Alliance Leasing the make and model of the car I wanted and signed a new lease. I pick up the car next week.”
Guy Ewin, Leasing Manager from Alliance Leasing, said many of their cars were affected by the hail storm.
“Our head office is in Deakin and second office in Brisbane and the phones were ringing off the hook. We have a three ring policy so everyone in both offices were answering phones and giving details about what to do next,” Mr Ewin said.
“We have a great relationship with the insurance company and they allowed us to have customers send photos of the damage and where the car was parked. This expedited the process so they could book their cars for assessments early, get hire cars or opt to start a new lease as Peter did.
“We know many people cannot afford to be without their cars; the nature of their work makes public transport near impossible. So we take steps to get them back on the road fast.”
Mr Ewin said some leasing companies will allow their customers to salary package the insurance excess to reduce the burden of up-front costs.
“It’s about making customers’ lives easier, which is our goal with all novated leases for customers in the public and private sectors. So for those who have thought of a novated lease but haven’t taken the step yet, getting a new car after the hail storm may be the perfect time to consider it.”
For more information, visit Alliance Leasing or call them on 1300 225 582.
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