As a plumber, you rely upon your vehicle. Whether it’s a van, a ute, or a vehicle you need to modify to cater to today’s modern plumbing challenges, getting a good deal on the vehicle and finance is a must to ensure you make an impact on the bottom line. Here are some tips about car buying and finance if you’re a plumber about to make their mark on the industry.
Selecting the right vehicle
The age-old debate - whether to choose a van or a ute - as a plumber will likely never be resolved. Some prefer the van as it has ample space to store tools; but doesn’t have the capacity to take away fixtures from site. A ute has a tray to get rid of fittings; though it’s a bit of a nightmare to get all your tools and fittings organised. However, there is a solution that gives you the best of both worlds - using a steel canopy.
Reduce risks and become mobile
Reducing risk is the aim of any business, especially in the trades. Your vehicle, if you set it up as a mobile workstation, will likely have most of your tools and general parts or fixtures along with it. Installing an aluminium canopy on to your ute can increase storage space, protects your tools and fixtures from the elements, and are lightweight, so they don’t affect fuel economy. Some service bodies are even able to be transplanted from one ute to the next - so they can be a long-term investment.
Financing your vehicle
Financing any vehicle for business means you can take out business loans - with a chattel mortgage being the most cost-effective and popular option. Chattel mortgages are flexible loan options in which a business (ABN holder using a vehicle for more than 50% business use) can finance more than 100% of the purchase price of the vehicle for a loan term between twelve months and seven years or more, in some circumstances. This allows a plumber to finance added extras such as canopies, insurance, equipment, etc.
Even plumbers who may have bad credit can qualify for chattel mortgages, so there are options for everyone out there.
With a chattel mortgage, you can deduct the GST paid, interest paid, and depreciation on your vehicle through your BAS statements. Motor vehicle expenses may also be deducted as long as any private use does not attract Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). In many cases, the FBT is tax deductible.
To claim the most amount of tax on your vehicle, you should keep a logbook or show the ATO your claim is reasonable if you use the “cents per kilometre” method.
If you aren’t in a hurry to buy a vehicle, approach dealers at the end of Financial Year or at the end of the calendar year. This is when they have their “runout” sales, and you can grab a real bargain. If you can’t wait, try to wait until the end of the month when dealers need to make quotas. They will be very open to negotiation, and you can haggle for an overall better deal.