A YORK businessman has become the local franchisee of national van leasing specialist Vanarama.

Martin Ragg has joined forces with the chain in response to a rise in firms turning to lease agreements for their vehicles as they look to retain capital in the business.

Mr Ragg said: “Small firms and sole traders often rely heavily on their van to carry out their day to day business. They can’t afford downtime, so aren’t willing to risk owning an unreliable vehicle.

"Loans for certain things may still be hard to come by, but in the commercial vehicle sector it is different.

"The finance houses know that their money is secured against an asset so have a healthy appetite to lend and just as importantly, funds available. Moreover, a van is a commercial vehicle and as such business users are able to reclaim up to 100 per cent of the VAT too."

Vanarama started life as an internet based business but the company chose to develop a regionally based team of specialists as there are still a lot of people who prefer to deal face to face when buying a big ticket item like a van or pick-up truck.

Mr Ragg added: "I am looking forward to getting out into the local business community.

"Many of the van suppliers out there are linked to franchised dealerships and tied to one manufacturer, which tend to concentrate on cars. "Vanarama will deal in vans and pickups alone, giving impartial advice on everything from fuel consumption or load capacity, to finance options and tax advantages."