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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Automative Industry Insight

Monday, April 25th, 2022


The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy, involving the design, manufacturing, selling and maintenance of motor vehicles. The industry has an annual turnover Of €74 billion, with vehicle exports worth E27 billion.

Around 80% of cars manufactured in Britain are exported, and the EU is the UK’s largest trading partner accounting for more than half of all vehicle exports. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the industry, with growth in sales, output and servicing down since the start of the pandemic.

However, demand is expected to recover in 2022/23.

• Turnover in 2020 was E74bn, down 6.2% on 2019.
• There were 44, 500 vehicle maintenance businesses in 2020, down 3.7% on 2019
• There was a 6.7% fall in UK car production in 2021
• 1.6 million new car sales in 2021, down 36% on 2017
• 452,527 electric vehicle sales in 2021, up 58.7% on 2020
• 11.5% increase in used car sales year-on-year in 2021

Sales forecasts cut

The automotive industry has cut vehicle sales forecasts for 2022 due to rising interest rates, component shortages and higher costs. While vehicle sales are forecast to increase by 15% year-on-year in 2022, this is 18% below pre-pandemic levels. Demand for used cars is expected to remain strong in 2022, as shortages of key components such as chips and semiconductors will continue to impact new car supply.

Export barriers

Industry experts have warned that the introduction of new customs and export rules in January 2022 could slow growth in the UK electric vehicle sector. Some cars assembled in the UK will not qualify for tariff-free export to the EU due to how components essential for electric vehicles, such as batteries, are sourced. As a result, the automotive industry has called for export rules to be reformed so zero emission vehicles can be exported globally.

Advertising automated vehicles

The automotive industry has agreed a set of principles for the responsible marketing of automated vehicles ahead of their expected introduction to British roads in 2022. The principles will ensure consumers have access to consistent and clear information about automated driving features. The principles have been backed by industry, Government and the Advertising Standards Authority.

Key bodies

Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

Independent Carage Association (ICA)

Electric vehicle adoption

The automotive industry has warned that electric vehicle charging infrastructure must be improved if the UK is to meet zero emission targets and end the sale Of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030.

Currently, there are disparities in the number and cost of charging points across the UK. While some local authorities allow motorists to charge their batteries for free, other areas charge up to €4 per kilowatt hour.

Online car sales

Industry experts have urged traditional bricks and mortar dealerships to develop their online presence after Covid-19 accelerated the shift to buying cars online. The number of cars sold online has increased by more than 1,200% since the start of the pandemic.

Overall, 60% of motorists would now consider buying a car online. In addition, online spending on parts and aftermarket services reached El.5 billion in 2021, up 46.1% on 2017.

Electric vehicle technician shortage

The automotive industry is calling for measures to tackle a significant shortage of electric vehicle
technicians. Overall, 90,000 technicians will be required to service the number of electric vehicles predicted to be on the road by 2030. Based on current training levels, this means there could be a shortage of 35,700 electric vehicle technicians by 2030 and a skills gap will materialise by 2026.

Information for this Industry Report was sourced from:
SMMT: UK Automotive Trade Report 2021, SMMT: Motor Industry Facts 2021, UK Parliament: Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure Report

Spread the cost of your Tax bills

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

You can spread the cost of your HMRC Self-Assessment tax bill, Corporation Tax or VAT bills using a easy to arrange solution that will ease any pressure on your cashflow.

Key advantages of financing your tax bill:

  • Competitive cost – a fixed transaction fee is added to your finance agreement and spread throughout your repayment term
  • Simple application process without the need for supporting projections or complex application forms
  • New, unsecured line of credit with no assets charged as security – existing funding lines are not impacted
  • Preserve you your cash flow and maintain working capital for other areas of your business
  • Flexible repayments – spread the repayments over 6, 10 or 12 months to suit your budget, with an option for reimbursement if you have already paid HMRC in full

Contact us to find out more

New Website Live

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Our new website is live and is now much easier to navigate around to view the services we offer. If you are looking for business finance of any kind, take a look and contact us to discuss your needs.

Motivational Business Quotes

Monday, September 13th, 2021

We all need a bit of motivation at times in business, especially when things aren’t going quite as planned. Here are some of our favourite quotes:

  • A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. ~ Richard Branson
  • You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. ~ Zig Ziglar
  • To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart. ~ Thomas Watson, Sr.
  • Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill
  • Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. ~ John Wooden
  • It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop. ~ Confucius
  • You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~ Steve Jobs
  • Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. ~Henry Ford
  • The essential question is not, “How busy are you?” but “What are you busy at?” ~ Oprah Winfrey
  • Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. ~ Swami Vivekananda
  • The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. ~ Vidal Sassoon
  • The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it. ~ Debbi Fields
  • Have a very good reason for everything you do. ~ Laurence Olivier
  • Capital isn’t scarce; vision is. ~ Sam Walton


Monday, July 19th, 2021

If your business has spent more than £100,000 on R&D in the last five years, you may be eligible for Government Tax Credits, even if the project wasn’t completed.

We handle the claim on your behalf, submit information to HMRC and your credit can be available within 6 weeks.

Depending on your profit levels, there are two options:

  • For profit-making businesses, R&D tax credits reduce your Corporation Tax bill. The rate of relief is 25%. So if your R&D spend last year was £100,000, you could get a £25,000 reduction in your tax bill.
  • If you’re a loss-making business, you’ll receive your R&D tax credit in cash as you won’t have tax liability to offset. The rate of relief is up to 33%. So if your R&D spend last year was £100,000, you could get a £33,000 cash credit.

Contact us for more information and advice.


Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

There are a number of schemes available to UK businesses during this time of uncertainty.


Monday, November 5th, 2018

The Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) is to be increased from £200,000 to £1million from 1 January 2019.  The announcement should provide a welcome boost to business investment during the Brexit transition period and will return to the £200,000 limit in January 2021. Businesses can claim 100% capital expenditure incurred on most items of plant and machinery of up to £1million a year.

In addition, a new allowance was announced – the ‘structures and buildings allowance’ (SBA) which will give tax relief on eligible construction costs on non-residential buildings and structures from 29 October 2018. The relief will be given at 2% a year on a straight-line basis over a 50 year period.

Under the current system, buildings and structures do not qualify for capital allowances, but allowances are available for plant and machinery inside a building.  Structures and buildings qualifying for the new allowance will include offices, retail and wholesale premises, walls, bridges, tunnels, factories and warehouses. Capital expenditure on renovations or conversions of existing commercial structures or buildings will also qualify. The new allowance will not apply to dwellings or to expenditure on the land itself.

Other announcements in the budget affecting business include:

  • The personal Income Tax allowance for 2019-20 will be increased to £12,500
  • Basic rate band increased to £37,500
  • Higher rate band £37,501 to £150,000
  • There is no change to the rate of Corporation Tax, which stays at 19% for the financial year beginning 1 April 2019.
  • Two significant changes to Entrepreneurs’ Relief were announced:  Claimants must have a 5% interest in the distributable profits and the net assets of the company to qualify, and separately that the minimum period, during which certain conditions must be met to qualify for the relief, is being increased from one to two years.
  • From 1 April 2020, the amount of payable tax credit that can be claimed under the R&D SME tax relief scheme will be limited to three times the company’s total PAYE and NIC payments for the period. Any loss that cannot be surrendered can be carried forward and used against future profits.
  • The changes recently made to IR35 arrangements in the public sector are to be rolled out to the private sector. The widening of the off-payroll working rules will take effect from April 2020 for medium and large organisations. Small firms will be exempt.  These changes could see thousands of contractors and consultants paying more in NI contributions and income tax.
  • Smaller retailers in England, occupying shop premises with rateable values under £51,000, should benefit from a cut of 1/3 in their business rates bills for 2 years from April 2019.
  • The present VAT registration limit (£85,000) and deregistration limit (£83,000) will continue to apply for a further two years; until 31 March 2022.
  • The special rate of writing down allowance is being reduced from 8% to 6% from April 2019.
  • From 6 April 2020, the government will change the insolvency rules so that taxes collected on behalf of employees and customers, primarily employees PAYE and NIC and customers VAT, will be treated as a preferential creditor on winding up rather than distributed to other creditors.


XL Business Finance Monthly Newsletter – October 2018

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Our Newsletter this month includes information about a new product providing up to £3million in flexible funding.


Click here to read our October Newsletter

£15 Million secured for UK Businesses

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Small businesses turned down for loans from the UK’s high-street banks have received over £15 million of funding thanks to a government matchmaking scheme.
Over the past 12 months, 670 businesses have raised over £12 million of funding through the Bank Referral Scheme, four times what was raised in the previous year. Since it was introduced in November 2016, more than £15 million has been sourced for businesses across the country.

The Bank Referral Scheme requires Britain’s biggest banks to pass on the details of small businesses they have turned down for loans to online credit brokers. The brokers then help those businesses to source funding from alternative, and often smaller, lenders.

Rejected businesses are now automatically offered the opportunity to be referred to three online credit brokers: Alternative Business Funding, Funding Options and Funding Xchange.  Each platform provides access to a range of lenders and products, including business loans, revolving credit, asset finance and invoice finance.  Loans resulting from the scheme ranged from £100 to £1.3 million and the average size of a loan secured was £17,285.

Revolving Credit Facilities

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Download our Guide to Revolving Credit– a facility that allows you unlock cash tied up in unpaid invoices, stock and/or work in progress (WIP).  The facility is completely independent from your existing business banking with limits of up to £3 million.

It works much like an overdraft: businesses receive a limit and they can draw down funds and make repayments as often as they like in a given month.  If you don’t use the facility there are no charges so well worth a further look.  We manage the application process on your behalf and decisions are made quickly.

Click Here to download our guide and contact us to discuss your funding requirements.


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