Specialist Motor Finance’s response to COVID-19

We are in a position today which seemed inconceivable even a few months ago. Coronavirus (Covid-19) is causing changes to all of our lives – and rightly so. We all have a social responsibility to do the right thing, to help protect the NHS, and to do our bit to keep each other safe and well.

How has SMF responded
to the pandemic?

As a business, we wanted to provide you with reassurance that the health and welfare of our staff and customers is our top priority. We have made a few changes within the workplace including ensuring that all of our staff are able to still fully service customer requirements whilst working from home.

Contacting SMF

At the present, we are experiencing an unprecedented volume of telephone enquiries which has at times led to longer waiting times than usual. We appreciate that this is causing frustration and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

If your enquiry is not urgent please contact us via our online enquiry form below.

You may also wish to review our FAQs which provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions that may assist you with your enquiry.

Affected by Coronavirus?

If you are concerned about making payments on your loan because of the continuing coronavirus situation, we can help. We can let you have a repayment holiday for up to three months.

What is a repayment holiday?

This is when you temporarily stop making your usual loan payment for up to 3 months. After that, your monthly payments will start again as before. We will extend the length of your loan at the end. This is so that you can make up the payments you have missed. Please note we will still add interest to your loan during the break.

Am I eligible for a repayment holiday?

You could be eligible if:
• Your income has been affected by the ongoing coronavirus situation.
• You expect this to be only a short-term change
• You have kept up with your loan repayments to date
If you are experiencing longer-term financial difficulties (for example, you are behind in your loan payments), we need to speak to you to help us find the best solution to your situation.

When will my payments stop and begin again?

We will do our best to start your repayment holiday as soon as we have received your request. Otherwise, you will still need to make your next payment. We will confirm your request in an email. If you pay by Direct Debit, we will stop collecting your payments when the repayment holiday begins. If your payment is due within 5 working days and this will cause you financial difficulty, please contact us on 01244 200793.

Can I ask for repayment holiday if I am currently in arrears or have an arrangement on my account?

You will need to call us to talk about your situation and we will assess each individual situation.

What happens if I am approved for a repayment holiday?

If you pay by Direct Debit, we will stop collecting your payments when the repayment holiday begins, and contact you to remind you when we will start collecting payments again.

Will a repayment holiday affect my credit file?

No a repayment holiday will not affect your credit file.

Will I be charged interest on my loan agreement while the repayment holiday is in place?

Yes we will continue to charge interest and will apply it to your loan balance.

How will this affect my loan agreement at the end of the repayment holiday period?

We will be in touch before your repayment holiday ends to tell you what your new monthly payment amount will be and the date payments will begin again.

How will this affect my monthly loan payments?

We will continue to charge interest as normal during the repayment holiday. We will add this interest to the amount that you owe, which will increase the balance we charge interest on. Taking a repayment holiday will not affect your loan agreement.

I have Voluntary Terminated my agreement with you and am waiting for my vehicle to be collected – what should I do?

We are able to collect your vehicle but must retain social distancing, so there are some things you have to do:
• You must complete the G3 ‘Go-appraise’ app – find at the App Store for IOS or Android on Google – Voluntary Termination – Self appraisal information
• The collection agent will call you to advise they have arrived rather than approach your door
• Both the customer and the agent will be required to hand wash / sanitise
• The agent will expect you to place the keys and all paperwork (service history, V5 etc.) in the vehicle (preferably in an envelope) only when the collection agent has arrived
• You will not be asked to sign anything, but it might be possible for an agent to record (on body worn cameras or a telephone) the consent of the customer to take the vehicle or to acknowledge any damage
Your agreement will be placed on hold until the vehicle is sold, in safe keeping, we are currently unable to sell vehicles as all the auctions sites are closed. You will not be charged any late payment fees during this time. We will also ensure that there is no negative impact on your credit file, however, if your vehicle is not in ‘retail’ condition, you may be charged for repairs to place in this condition.

If you have announced and had confirmation of your intention to terminate your contract, you must stop using the vehicle immediately.

You will need to keep the vehicle safe and in your possession until we collect it.

You may declare your vehicle as SORN – not use and store in a secure place, off the public highway, do not change the owner as this affects the re-sale value.

If you are unable to do this you must continue to insure the vehicle.

When you told us that you wanted to terminate your agreement, we wrote to you explaining how this works. In this letter, we explained if any further payments would need to be made. If you were told that you would need to pay further sums, you will still need to pay this. We will contact you about this AFTER the vehicle has been collected and sold.

If you have any questions please email adept.agent@smfmotor.com

Please be assured that as the situation in the UK changes our teams will continue to fully support all our customers.