jimreidvehicle

You won't like this ....but I'm just about to open this can of worms!

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I used to visit this forum a fair bit but like others have become increasingly frustrated with the amount of very basic questions being asked which don't have a place on a "car dealer" forum. 

My mind boggles how part time dealer/traders do it along side a full time job? When do you find time to source stock, collect stock, prep stock, photo and advertise the stock, respond to enquiries, meet customers, deal with warranty/post sale issues, dispose of part exchanges, do the paperwork, do the banking, file your tax returns etc????

Also how do you stay under the VAT threshold? Couple of cars a month, the odd px a month, prep bills paid, advertising bills paid and you're at the threshold.

I've nothing against professional home traders/dealers, it's how I started, gave up work and started full time, but I just don't understand how you can claim to be a bonified, professional trader/dealer while holding down another full time job? I struggled doing it full time and quickly opened up a indoor showroom, no car supermarket glass palace but I'm proud of it.

You do need planning permission to retail cars from home, and as I found councils are very reluctant to grant it, you need public liability insurance, you need understanding neighbours etc

So good luck if you're "getting away with it" and enjoy it while you can because eventually the planning department, vat man, tax man, annoyed neighbour, upset customer who'll be happy to drop you in it with them all will catch you out one day.

 

 

 

You may have needed planning permission from your local council but I can assure you that I consulted my local council before starting trading and I have it in writing from them that I do not require planning permission to trade in the way that I am. If I turned my driveway into a forecourt then obviously that would be a different situation !

I shouldn't have to explain my circumstances on here,but how do you know what my situation is personally ? I have an understanding employer who allows me to be self employed alongside being employed by him,he allows me to have cars delivered to his premises,he allows me to take time off during the day to go and collect cars,time out for someone to come and view a car etc. He's fully aware that I'm considering leaving and doing this full time, I've even discussed renting premises from him !

I have no need to enjoy it while I'm "getting away with it", I run my accounts accurately, I pay my tax and NI (through my employment and self employment I might add) and I will become Vat registered if I think I will hit the threshold or definitely if I start doing it full time.

The people who you lot should really be getting frustrated with are the ones selling 10 cars a month through Facebook for example who are claiming to be unemployed while making thousands per year and there's literally 100's of them doing that !

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When does a business need to be VAT registered?

A business must register to pay VAT when the value of its taxable supplies exceeds the registration threshold (£82,000 per annum in 2015-16).

Please note supplies = sales.  Purchases do not come into it. Direct from HMRC

So someone selling 40 cars a year at 2K a car would not need to be VAT registered. or combination of cars upto threshold.

A dealer selling 30 cars per year at @ 2K and 3 cars @ 8K  would require to be vat registered.

We all hate paying VAT on repairs and costs then giving VAT Man 1/6th of profit.

If someone trades from home, pays all taxes due, maintains vehicle and sell to a high standard I see no problem with them, as majority on here started that way. I did and proud of it.

Problem is we have become a nation that must buy everything cheap. Thats why Lidle, Aldi and discount shops have been doing so well and customers expect it everywhere now. We even expect a great deal when we outsource a body repair or specialist engine repair none of us go for the highest price quote we go for reliability and ROI.

Someone said earlier about trade only auctions I remember when Manheim did trade only auction weekly and had seperate auction days for Public or trade. Problem is like everything it comes down to cost. Why have all the staff required for a auction another day when you can fit it into the auction days you have. ROI again.

However I do have a problem with side of road dealers no warranty and no inspection and sell quick for £200 profit whilst claiming unemployment and do not care if anyones child or family member gets killed in a unsafe car. 1 Guy round here change his trade name 3 times last year.

BASICALLY DO IT RIGHT AND SLEEP AT NIGHT. 

TRADE ONLY FORUMS. THERE IS ONE ALREADY RUNNING. STARTED BY A RESPECTED INDEPENDANT DEALER.

When breaking cars you must be registered with DVLA, COUNCIL and POLICE so why cant they run a register along those lines for car dealers, or say we must register with DVLA, Trading Standards & Police and get a registration number issued by those 3 Bodies, that we in turn have to place into our adverts. This would help when dealing with customers proving we are legally trading.  That in turn should keep unscrupolous traders out.

I have not set out to offend anyone and appologise if my thoughts have done so in any way.

OOPS  I think thats enough. 

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When does a business need to be VAT registered?

A business must register to pay VAT when the value of its taxable supplies exceeds the registration threshold (£82,000 per annum in 2015-16).

Please note supplies = sales.  Purchases do not come into it. Direct from HMRC

So someone selling 40 cars a year at 2K a car would not need to be VAT registered. or combination of cars upto threshold.

A dealer selling 30 cars per year at @ 2K and 3 cars @ 8K  would require to be vat registered.

We all hate paying VAT on repairs and costs then giving VAT Man 1/6th of profit.

If someone trades from home, pays all taxes due, maintains vehicle and sell to a high standard I see no problem with them, as majority on here started that way. I did and proud of it.

Problem is we have become a nation that must buy everything cheap. Thats why Lidle, Aldi and discount shops have been doing so well and customers expect it everywhere now. We even expect a great deal when we outsource a body repair or specialist engine repair none of us go for the highest price quote we go for reliability and ROI.

Someone said earlier about trade only auctions I remember when Manheim did trade only auction weekly and had seperate auction days for Public or trade. Problem is like everything it comes down to cost. Why have all the staff required for a auction another day when you can fit it into the auction days you have. ROI again.

However I do have a problem with side of road dealers no warranty and no inspection and sell quick for £200 profit whilst claiming unemployment and do not care if anyones child or family member gets killed in a unsafe car. 1 Guy round here change his trade name 3 times last year.

BASICALLY DO IT RIGHT AND SLEEP AT NIGHT. 

TRADE ONLY FORUMS. THERE IS ONE ALREADY RUNNING. STARTED BY A RESPECTED INDEPENDANT DEALER.

When breaking cars you must be registered with DVLA, COUNCIL and POLICE so why cant they run a register along those lines for car dealers, or say we must register with DVLA, Trading Standards & Police and get a registration number issued by those 3 Bodies, that we in turn have to place into our adverts. This would help when dealing with customers proving we are legally trading.  That in turn should keep unscrupolous traders out.

I have not set out to offend anyone and appologise if my thoughts have done so in any way.

OOPS  I think thats enough. 

Yip, 100% correct and well pointed out, however remember Sales & turnover also include extended warranties and upsells and if you buy it at £2000 and sell it at £3000 then its the £3000 that goes towards the vat threshold ,so as I suggested it does't take long to get to the vat threshold especially if you are dabbling in £10k cars. But you are right " DO IT RIGHT AND SLEEP AT NIGHT" or as I always say "DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL" amen! But as SK Motors has now pointed out he his looking to go vat registered and trade from trade premises, so I'm sure you will join me in wishing him all the best in his future.

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SK, I wasn't aiming my comments at anybody in particular and apologies if you thought I was. You sound one lucky person though and a very understanding employer. I suppose I only have experience of the guys doing it near me. Our local steelworks recently made a load redundant and 1/2 dozen of them "set up" in the motortrade, no experience of the trade, no real clue of customer care, SOGA, legal responsibilities but it made our job very hard for a short while because they were quite happy selling a car to make £200 - no VAT, no tax, no warranty etc, and once they had the customers money that's where their interest ended. And one local guy that buys anything he can retail for under £1000 and sells it via facebook, classified adds etc and again has no interest post sale. So my comments were made with those in mind - as I said I first started off as a home trader after 20+ years in the motortrade.

When setting up I also contacted my local council who assured me no planning was needed, but 6 months after setting up the local parish council started to take more of an interest and sure enough there is some precedent set and the battle started.......its still going on now some years later, I don't need it anymore but just out of my own pure pig headedness I'm taking it all the way. 

Edited by James Bush
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While I also know a fair few traders who started from home, my own opinion is that no trader should be allowed to sell cars from home, unless your house is big enough to accommodate a premises, Aka Tom Hartley. 

But in reality it will be a 3 bed semi somewhere.

those of us with proper premises even small ones will never be able to compete with those low overheads.

With a second hand car being the most complained about product I would imagine the government will be bringing in some sort of badly thought out legislation soon enough. Then it will be the good guys who play by the rules who suffer, the dodgey Del Boys will carry on and the "part time" traders will simply go back to their day jobs, leave us "full timers" to sort out this mess.

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My thoughts on this. We should encourage all levels of the motor trade. We have competition in all walks of life. We have it in the magazine world and I think it's healthy. That's not to say I would offer them advice on how to run their magazines. But I would offer advice to an aspiring motoring writer - and I do. 

If you don't want to offer advice to the new members on here, don't. Simple as that. If you want to encourage and help new businesses, then do. I don't care either way, all I care is that you all play nicely on here. 

 

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While I also know a fair few traders who started from home, my own opinion is that no trader should be allowed to sell cars from home, unless your house is big enough to accommodate a premises, Aka Tom Hartley. 

But in reality it will be a 3 bed semi somewhere.

those of us with proper premises even small ones will never be able to compete with those low overheads.

With a second hand car being the most complained about product I would imagine the government will be bringing in some sort of badly thought out legislation soon enough. Then it will be the good guys who play by the rules who suffer, the dodgey Del Boys will carry on and the "part time" traders will simply go back to their day jobs, leave us "full timers" to sort out this mess.

It's called the consumer rights act, and its application to used vehicles.

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Hello all,

Interesting debate this;  I’ve observed from the side lines and thought for a while before deciding to contribute because 1) I’m a noob and everyone knows they know nothing J  and 2) I’m firmly in the part time trader category and I’m not here to stir it up or make cyber-enemies.   

I can see why some full time professionals might feel frustrated or aggrieved if they see part timers asking for advice and then not always playing by the same rules but I struggle to believe that manifests itself in any change to their bottom line.  The total addressable market for second-hand cars is massive and quite segmented, so there is room for a lot of people to serve it.  Margins are squeezed due to customers driving down prices (someone nailed it with the Voucher Generation comment) and suppliers maximising their revenue (why wouldn’t they, they also have businesses to run) and somewhere in the middle the best has to be made from it, which presumably, is the challenge and where the fun is and why people choose to run their own business!   The conditions are similar in many markets and the challenges for the businesses serving them are the same too.

 

Maybe a suggestion to reduce this frustration might be to have an Sticky about start-ups at the top of the page, so that the people that are interested in either doing part time or full time dealing have a reference point on their legal and financial obligations, along with some non-specific ‘things to consider’ and FAQs when coming in to the industry – this would probably head off 90% of the queries might even ensure that genuine ‘chancers’ stay off the forum as they are generally only interested in superfluous info anyway.

 

Another possibility is to have a ‘part time’ or ‘start up’ section on the forum where the non-professionals can exchange information about their own challenges and exploits, with the pros dipping in as they wish to give guidance if they want to.  This would also keep the professional area clean from the more routine questions.

Anyway, just a couple of suggestions and I’ll shut up now J  I hope this post is taken as intended and adds some value to the debate… 

Cheers

Pad

 

Edited by brightonpad
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 A sticky or FAQ section sounds good to me, its a common thing on various other forums I've used over the years and seems to work quite well

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I think creating an FAQ section sounds like the best way to go. That way you can choose whether to dive in and answer questions or not and it doesn't clog up the main forum. When I'm back from holiday I'll get this sorted.  And yes, I am reading this on holiday...

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Maybe Will, maybe. But you'll be pleased to hear that despite being on holiday I have created the FAQ forum. I'll move the relevant posts into that section and we'll go from there. 

I know this is a passionate profession but we set this forum up with the distinct aim of helping the industry connect. I'm all for heated discussions, but please try and remember there are human beings behind the posts.

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James you know that everyone is happy to help but when you see our profession that we love being eroded and then some of those very people turn up here sending PMs begging to know where I source my cars and how much I pay, well I'm sorry but that's just taking the piss in anyone's book, if anything I would say until recently we have all been very patient with these posts and PMs, but we all have our limits.

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As I said you don't have to reply to them. I've created a new sub forum which you can easily ignore. PMs are a different subject. Politely tell then to stop and if they don't get the message then report to me and I'll have a word. 

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