15 August 2000

Britain's number two supermarket chain, J Sainsbury, has entered into a joint car-sales venture with its extant banking partner, Bank of Scotland.

The vehicle [aaarrrgghhhh!] for the enterprise is branded Sainsbury’s BankDrive and orders can be placed either by phone or the internet. Customers make a minimum deposit of £215 and pay upward of £152 a month over a two or three year period, at the end of which they have three options: return the car and walk away; order a new auto; or acquire the car at a price agreed at the time of ordering.

The nationwide launch of BankDrive is the culmination of a twelve-month pilot scheme at sixty stores during which, says Sainsbury's Bank chief executive Hamish Taylor, "we found we were financing a wide range of cars from large family saloons to small city runarounds".

The scheme homes in on those who want to drive a new car every two to three years; it does not promise lower-price vehicles, arguing instead that it enables customers to drive a car which they might otherwise find too expensive for outright purchase.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)