Coping with the ups and downs of getting finance for new car
It may not be the best of times to be looking for money to buy a new car but Paula McDermott, business manager at Frank Keane Blackrock which sells BMWs and services Mini products, says it's easier than people may think.
Paula has been in her current job for the last four years.
• What's your own background?
I studied Commerce at college and began my career at Ulster Bank in an entry level position.
Having worked up the ranks to a senior position within Ulster Bank, a customer who was involved with a prestigious motor group at the time invited me to talk about a role that would provide finance solutions for motor dealerships' customers.
This was the start of my career as a business manager and since 2004 I have worked for all major brands at Windsor Motor Group, MSL and now Frank Keane BMW.
• What does your job involve?
My job is to offer financial solutions and protection options that are tailored to a customer's individual needs and to explain "what happens now" to a customer once they have placed an order for their new car.
• What do you most like about your job?
Dealing with people and being part of their car-buying process as after a house, it is usually a customer's next big buy.
• What's the most difficult part of your job?
Breaking the news to a customer that their finance application has not been approved.
• how difficult is it for people to get car finance at the moment?
Not as difficult as people might think.
Admittedly the application process is thorough and may require documentary evidence.
However, we had a customer who called in to look at a 3 series yesterday at 11am and is leaving today at 5pm in his new car which he is funding with BMW Financial Services.
• what are the biggest selling models at the moment?
The new model 520D SE launched in 2010 remains popular and with the introduction of the new model 3 series in February this year, we can expect to see a lot of interest in the 316D, 318D and 320D models.
• are you a car person?
Not until about eight years ago when I joined the motor industry. I'm really lucky to be able to test drive a huge variety of cars which has definitely changed my outlook.
• if you could work in another industry what would it be?
I'd love to work in the fashion industry.
• if you had a limitless budget, what would your dream car be?
Mmmm -- it would have to be either an M3 or a 335 Coupe.