Any other business

More than half of bosses hire flash cars to impress clients

3 min read

25 August 2015

Former deputy editor

As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” – taking heed of that, 52 per cent of the UK's small business bosses confessed to hiring cars to win over clients.

There are many rules that come with running a business, and we’re not referring to the obvious things like paying your taxes and staff on time.

No, these are unwritten rules, ones that could spell trouble for your enterprise if broken.

Indeed, offering shortbread in a meeting could win over prospective clients, but bringing pink wafers to the table could leave your proposal snubbed – just like the poor excuse for a biscuit you’ve presented your guest.

With the image of something as seemingly trivial as a cookie a factor for securing business, small firm bosses have admitted they hire cars to boost their professional image, according to RAC Business.

The study found that 52 per cent of company leaders have temporarily upgraded their vehicle by hiring a car for important events. In fact, they’re willing to spend over £100 at a time for the chance to improve first impressions during business meetings.

Read more on the car industry:

Interestingly, men are more likely to conduct the facade than women at 60 per cent versus 44 per cent.

On a regional basis, meanwhile, Londoners were most likely to rent some new wheels at 67 per cent. By comparison, chiefs in the south west were the least worried about what other people thought as 67 per cent use their regular car for key appointments.

In addition to sex and location, youth also played a factor as those aged 25-34 were more likely to splash out on a new motor for meetings at 58 per cent, which fell drastically to 28 per cent for those aged over 28 per cent.

“Businesses that run vehicles they feel are not up to the job, should consider a long-term leasing option as it will make sense financially over time, as opposed to one-off hire costs on an ad-hoc basis,” said Jenny Powley, sales director of corporate business, RAC Business.

“The last thing company bosses want to think about when they are trying to make a good impression is unexpected servicing or breakdown costs, which short and long-term hire prevents against.”

On the other side of the coin, employees have confessed to adopting a trend too – stealing from their employers as a “perk of the job”. Items of choice include lightbulbs and teabags.

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