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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 08:12 GMT 09:12 UK
Mortgage deal motors with new car
Rover 25 - pic from Rover
A bit different from your usual mortgage deal
House buyers taking out a mortgage with the West Bromwich Building Society could end up with a new car.

The building society has teamed up with fellow West Midlands business MG Rover to offer a Rover 25 model as part of one of its loan deals.

The West Bromwich said the idea behind the "innovative product" was to promote a fellow local business.

But critics argue that the mortgage in question offers an uncompetitive interest rate of 5.99%.

There are also redemption penalties which will lock borrowers in for at least five years.

'Cash-back' loan

The idea is not new. A number of lenders in the mid-1990s offered similar car deals, but it is the first such scheme in recent years.

The deal is effectively a cash-back loan, says David Hollingworth of London & Country, a mortgage broker.

The car costs 7,850 excluding tax and registration fees.

I think this deal is not a good option for a first-time buyer
David Hollingworth, London & Country

On the lowest loan size available of 90,000 then the cash-back return would work out as 8.7%.

However on a loan of 150,000, the cash back is only 5.2%.

But Mr Hollingworth is cautious about the overall merits of the loan.

"I think this deal is not a good option for a first-time buyer.

"Given that rates are going to rise, mortgage payments will come under pressure. At which point a shiny new car won't be much help to them."

With rates expected to increase over the coming months, borrowing costs will increase for borrowers on variable rate deals.

Experts said this would effectively cancel out the benefits of receiving the car.

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