Buy2Let Cars’ founder and chief executive Reginald Larry-Cole, and operations director Scott Martin, explain why they are committed to the idea of compassionate capitalism…
Eight years ago, when Reginald Larry-Cole founded Buy2Let Cars, he had one clear aim – to make car leasing more accessible to the people who need it most. This meant targeting key workers with bad credit and making it possible for them to lease a brand-new car at an affordable monthly rate.
Today – amidst a global pandemic where key workers are more important than ever – the platform has never been busier.
“We started in 2012 and we based the business around serving key workers,” says Reginald Larry-Cole, founder and chief executive of Buy2Let Cars. “They can’t work from home and they need reliable transportation to get them from A to B. That’s what we do and that’s what we’ve always done.”
“We’ve never had as many car applications as we have now,” adds Scott Martin, Buy2Let Cars’ operations director. “It’s been all hands-on deck.”
The pandemic has underlined the importance of Buy2Let Cars’ model, and its ability to handle a sudden influx of requests. “Operationally, things aren’t going to change,” says Martin. “We run a tight ship anyway – we’re very streamlined. We’re not about excess.”
Martin and Larry-Cole have a combined total of 50 years’ experience in the car finance sector. They established Buy2Let Cars after being struck by the inequality which allows wealthy people to gain access to lower interest rates on their loans, while the average worker can be charged as much as 50 per cent on a loan for a car that they need in order to get to work.
“It’s sad,” says Larry-Cole. “Not everyone who has bad credit is ruined. They might have a poor credit rating due to a divorce, or circumstances beyond their control. That’s where we came from.”
Larry-Cole has first-hand experience of wealth inequality. He grew up in an affluent household in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone, but when the political climate changed, his family lost everything. He moved to the UK and worked hard to build up his own fortune, until the 2008 financial crash once again left him with nothing. In 2010 he met Martin, and soon afterwards, Buy2Let Cars was created.
“I have always hated injustice wherever I find it,” he says. “I don’t think the guy who needs credit should be charged 50 per cent in interest, while a guy like me who has good credit is charged next to nothing.” This was the ethos behind Larry-Cole’s book ‘Compassionate Capitalism’, and it is an ethos which still drives the business today.
“We service the credit market, but we do it in a way that our customers are giving us five-star reviews on Trustpilot, in an industry where they are used to getting ripped off,” says Larry-Cole.
“Our margins aren’t high, but we focus on fantastic products and pay a premium to our funders, we look after our staff well, our lessees get a premium product with a premium service, and our funders get a great return.