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YOUNG AT HEART: Planning ahead on leasing

Date: 26 September 2008

Tristan Young is Editor-in-chief of BusinessCar

After the past fortnight's excitement about the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB and the expected merger of the pair's vehicle leasing divisions, things should now calm down until the banking deal is sealed by shareholders at the end of the year.

However, because the one thing both the business car industry and the banking industry hates is uncertainty, let's hope HBOS and Lloyds TSB spend the next few months working out what's going to happen to the leasing firms.

As Jon Walden said, "there's no plan squirreled away for a moment such as this".

If a plan for the future of the leasing giants isn't forthcoming soon after the deal is approved, then fleet managers (who are used to planning three years in advance) could start either delaying new contracts or avoiding Lex and Autolease until their future is more certain.

If, as a fleet manager, you like the strength of a large leasing firm then you may just want to keep your options open until the details are finalised. We have to trust the banking owners come up with a plan for their leasing divisions as soon as possible.