Interviews

Carfinance247: The brothers with their foot on the accelerator

5 min read

16 October 2015

Whether it’s the Barclay brothers, owners of the Ritz Hotel and the Daily Telegraph to billionaire property developers Nick and Christian Candy, brothers can make very successful business teams. Could brothers Reg and Louis Rix one day join the exclusive club of millionaire?

Carfinance247 operates nationwide, with partnerships including some of the UK’s leading lenders – Hitachi, Paragon Bank and Motonovo. It helps customers get the best rates of finance to match their personal circumstances and credit rating. 

The business was set up in 2006 alongside the Rix’s online car company netcars.com. “Based on the number of enquiries we were getting for finance, we recognised that there was a gap in the market to create a customer-centric online business to cater for people who want an alternative way of securing finance to buy a used vehicle,” said director Louis Rix.

Now the brothers are focused solely on motor finance after having sold netcars.com to the RAC in February 2013. Managing director Reg Rix said: “We were actually one of the pioneers in the online car finance sector. We sold netcars.com so as to excel in the online vehicle finance market and the opportunity that being a leading fintech firm delivers.”

The launch of a new website in September 2014 was a major turning point. The site has helped the company attract and convert a higher number of customers. It was created by the company’s 15-strong in-house development team and has sped processes up, improved overall customer service and reduced the need to manually underwrite applications. 

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“As well as appealing to a growing consumer audience, who are now getting better deals on used cars as effectively ‘cash buyers’, our unique service is enabling us to attract industry-leading lenders,” said Reg Rix. “We’ve added nine new lenders this year alone, going from five to 14, which means we can offer increasingly specialised products as well as offer deals not available elsewhere online.”

The firm’s strategy has been to use innovative technologies led by consumers to turn the market on its head and change the way the industry is underwriting car finance. The latest fraud detection services are also an important part of the process, providing extra security to protect consumers and lender partners.

Carfinance247 is self-funded. Profit is being invested back into the business, with new offices, industry leading training and development programmes and new functionality and features being added to its website. “In addition to a suite of new services and website features that will go live in the near future, we are investing heavily in our marketing activities in a bid to make Carfinance247 number one in the market and a household name,” said Louis Rix.

“Our brand name undoubtedly helps us be memorable, but at the end of the day it’s our technology, passionate workforce, customer service and brand development that helps us stand out in our field.”

The brothers’ interest in cars came from their father and grandfather – both of whom still have businesses in the motor trade. Louis describes each of them as “an inspiration.”

The Rix brothers have found working together relatively easy. “We’re very different but understand and respect each other,” said Louis Rix. “To be honest, because we have very clear and distinct roles within the business, our paths don’t cross very often day-to-day. Having a family business background, it feels very natural to work with each other.”

Their experience at their previous business has served the brothers well they feel. “We learnt a lot during the early days of Netcars and when we set up Carfinance247 we laid strong foundations born out of these insights,” said Louis Rix. 

“We’ve recruited well and I think this is vital to us achieving our goals, having the best team of people to realise the company vision. We’re committed to ongoing staff training and have invested heavily in the right systems and processes. Similarly, a focus on pushing the boundaries of digital technology to deliver a streamlined efficient customer-facing platform has contributed to our achievements. I believe strong leadership is instrumental to success.”