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Monday, 14 August, 2000, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Sainsbury's to sell cars
Sainsbury's website
Sainsbury's is leasing and selling cars online
The UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's has done a deal which will see it leasing and selling cars in the UK.

The joint venture deal, with Bank of Scotland, will give potential buyers the choice of 3,500 models.

Sainsbury's Bank Drive, as it is branded, will allow customers to put down a minimum 215 deposit and pay from 152 a month.

The buying process is done over the phone or internet.

Once ordered, Sainsbury's says that cars will be delivered direct to a customer's door within an average six weeks of ordering.

Hatchbacks

Customers pay an agreed monthly amount for the vehicles, and at the end of the two or three-year agreement, they can choose to order another car, hand back their car and walk away, or buy the vehicle at a price agreed when it was ordered.

The scheme's nationwide launch follows a year long trial at 60 stores.

Hatchback cars have proved to be the most popular in the trial.

Sainsbury's Bank chief executive Hamish Taylor said: "From the pilot scheme, we found we were financing a wide range of cars from large family saloons to small city runarounds."

The supermarket's move into car leasing and sales, comes at a time when the UK government is seeking to push down the price of cars in the UK.

The complicated finance system involved in the Sainsbury's scheme does not promise cheaper cars, instead telling potential customers that this is a way for them to drive a car which they might find too expensive to buy outright.

It is particularly targeted at those who want to drive a new car every two to three years.

Sainsbury's move is a logical extension of its existing relationship with the Bank of Scotland, which already runs its other financial services.

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