Street beat: Why do people love cars?

Happy new year! It’s the beginning of the 2019 working year, not a whole lot of people are in town however we took to the streets of sunny Brisbane to discuss the age-old question, why do people love cars?

“I can’t answer this question because I don’t love them” said Panoa, mother of three (cats) from Murarrie.

“They get you from A to B” declared Ewan, car salesman from Daisy Hill.

In 1886, the first true automobile was built by Karl Benz in Mannheim, Germany. It was powered by a 0.75 HP one cylinder 4 stroke gasoline engine. Since then it is estimated that over 1.2 billion passenger cars are on the road around the world today.

By sheer numbers, surely there must be a reason why people love them so much!?

“It’s our pride and joy” described adventuring couple Leigh and Casey from Bourke, proudly showing off photos of their vintage Land Rover Defender.

We came across a passionate millennial by the name of Vivian from Wynnum. “I think they’re a material possession, I see people on social media with millions of car photos and cannot understand why they’re showing them off! #tryhards”

“I don’t really have an opinion, we all need them otherwise everyone would be walking” quipped public servant Oliver from Norman Park.

“I live my life a quarter mile at a time” said Dom from the US.

There’s a huge cross section of people who love, like, dislike or are completely indifferent about cars.

It’s likely you have driven in a car on the way home listening to your favourite music, windows down and not a care in the world. Call it a driving induced trance if you will, it’s actually a form of meditation that you didn’t even know you were doing! Cars bring people together in small spaces which allows for bonding time, cars give people the feeling of euphoria, cars can be used to assert status for the status seekers! Cars can basically be anything you want them to be in your life. Whether it’s your basic form of transport or your life’s pride and joy – make sure you drive safely and always, ALWAYS enjoy the ride!

Thrifty Business – Five ways to save money!

We’re in the business of saving money for you, our customers, however we’re also about helping you use money and other resources and utilities carefully and not wastefully! You don’t have to be tighter than a hair in a biscuit to save money, after all, generosity makes the world go around. Here are five key ways to rescue some dollars, especially around this time of the year!

Prioritise debt
Whether you have credit cards, personal loans or pay day lending loans – make sure you list your debts and sort them in order of annual interest rate. The debts with the highest rates should be prioritised and paid off first. It doesn’t make any sense to invest your money in a term deposit to receive 4% per annum while you are paying a credit card off with an interest rate of 20%.

Budgeting
This big scary word and the meaning behind it can be so foreign to people. Where do you start? You do not need to get out a golden calculator with an excel spreadsheet. All you need to do is break it down to your pay cycle. If you have a monthly phone bill of $100, and you are paid on a fortnightly basis, simply take $50 away from your available funds each fortnight. Do this with all your costs and that will give you your true disposable income (the money you can spend freely) each day pay. Once you’ve worked this out, stick to what you can afford! Sound easy? It’s not. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Make yourself ‘accountable’ to yourself, pardon the pun and you will achieve great money savings results.

Review Suppliers
Have you ever considered comparing costs on your home insurance, health insurance or car insurance? How about your phone plan, or gas and electricity supplier? We live in such a competitive world, transparency is clearer than it’s ever been. Pick up the phone and shop around, negotiate with a few providers, you’ll be surprised on how much you can save –  $10 a month here, $5 a month there, all of a sudden you’re saving $100 a month – there’s your phone bill paid for! Get on the heckle! People want your money more than ever so make sure you’re getting more for less.

Cook up some savings
The delivery of food to our homes has become a regular treat for many Australians. It used to be pizza only, now we can have anything delivered. This unfortunately gives rise to laziness and increased expenditure on household food budgets each week. Let’s put it out there, a kebab delivered for $20 is a bargain. However, you could buy all the ingredients for less than that and have leftovers for lunch the next day. Grab a cook book, even better, read online and get creative in the kitchen. Have a look at some of the existing ingredients in your pantry and fridge and see if you can use them in different ways. This will bring your grocery shop costs down, particularly on weeks that you’re a little ill-disciplined with your money. Don’t forget that people love home cooking, whether you’re cooking for yourself or other people, think about the satisfaction and the savings.

Diarise gift giving
If you’ve got a smart phone or a calendar, start marking 2019 dates. Whether they be anniversaries, birthday’s or even secret santa for next year! When you mark it in the diary you know it’s coming up. By establishing a gift list and setting a budget for each recipient ahead of time, you can progressively buy gifts on sale during the year. This will help your cash flow, especially at Christmas time.

Let’s get thrifty.. Happy Saving!

Defect notices: Takata

This month it’s important we put safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind leading into Christmas, particularly in light of the deadly Takata Airbag crisis. Whilst it has been a known issue for over a decade, Channel 9’s 60 Minutes recently hammered it home further with a riveting investigative journalism piece. Takata was an automotive parts company based in Japan (est. 1933) and have been deemed responsible for fitting deadly airbags in tens of thousands of vehicles worldwide. Their airbags have been exploding since 2009 with many shotgun-like incidents occurring in low velocity accidents and minor prangs around the world.

Reported Deaths and Injuries worldwide
Airbags exist to increase passenger safety and to save lives. In Takata’s case, since 2009 their cheap airbags have been exploding and sending metal shrapnel at over 300km/h into drivers and passengers, causing catastrophic injuries and death. The first fatality occurred in the United States in May, 2009. Australia’s first fatality occurred in July last year. Nearly 270 people have been seriously injured by the killer airbags and sadly the death count currently sits at 24.

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Voluntary recalls made compulsory
Up until January this year, the response to voluntary recalls was not considered to be adequate against the number of vehicles affected (reportedly 12,000+ in Australia). Furthermore, after a rigid investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in February this year, voluntary recalls were made compulsory. The ACCC also warned car manufacturers of tough penalties if they did not fix the airbags. Fast forward to the present day, each owner of an affected vehicle will be issued a defect notice in QLD and SA and will be given 21 days to fix it. Otherwise, the vehicle registration will be cancelled. Registration renewals will also be placed on hold should the vehicle be fitted with a Takata airbag.

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Why were these airbags ever considered to be put in a vehicle!?
Answer – The almighty dollar. Ammonium nitrate was used in Takata’s airbags in a bid to produce a lower cost solution at a price that would undercut all of their competitors. The only catch was that Takata’s airbags were the only ones that contained the chemical compound. No other competitor has ever used this “deadly explosive agent” in their airbags.

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Vehicles affected – Get your car checked regardless!
If you drive a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mazda or Lexus that was sold been 2001 and 2004 you must act immediately. Please visit https://ismyairbagsafe.com.au and enter your number plate details. Once you’ve followed the prompts this website will provide information as to whether your car is affected.

Five feeds on the road

As a nation we love getting out and about, most of the time it involves being on the road and visiting either the beach, bush or city! Generally, when you’re planning a trip you’ll pack a number of edible items for the family. We’ve asked some of our most active road-tripping customers what sort of foods they cook on the road! This is mostly camping based however nothing is stopping you from packing any of these feeds for a day trip! All you need is a pan and a few flames!

Bacon and Eggs – A quintessential Aussie classic. All you need is a good esky for food storage and a half decent cast iron pan, well oiled! Once you build a small campfire you don’t necessarily need a grill, simply sit the cast iron pan directly on some hot coals and away you go. Another way to do your eggs is through the “Egg in the basket” method. Cut a hole in the middle of your bread, throw it in the pan, brown it, then flip it and crack the egg in the middle of the bread.
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Nachos – Yes, you read it, nachos! A great snack, perfect for a road tripping lunch. Staying true to the cast iron pan, pack some nachos, cheese and salsa. It’s all pretty straight forward on what you need to do from there. Apparently the key is to cook this dish on low heat as it melts the cheese perfectly without burning anything else. Therefore sit the pan more towards the outside of the coals and let it do it’s magic with the cheese. For the nacho enthusiasts out there don’t forget to pack your guac!
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Donuts – Who would have thought donuts! A real curve ball of a feed for a road trip, however very easy to put together. Pack some donut dough, vegetable oil and cinnamon. You can once again sit the pan on the coals directly with this dish. Once you’re done with the donuts, a cheeky little addition could be some fried bananas. Simply peel the banana, cut it in half lengthways, sprinkle some sugar on and throw it into the pan. Don’t forget to sprinkle with cinnamon afterwards also. Fried bananas are delicious!
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BBQ Chicken & Salad – Salads are easy, throw one together and place straight in the esky. Marinate any sort of meat in the fridge overnight and throw that in the esky also. All you need to do now is cook it. You can use a cast iron pan again, however if you do not have access to one simply throw your food on some grill mesh. You can find grill mesh at your local hardware store for less than $10! Grilling any kind of food on the road whether it be eggplant, beef or fish just gives the food that smokey BBQ flavor that we have all come to know and love!
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Marshmallows – Finishing on a sweet classic, marshmallows have a way of bringing people together for a most delicious treat. You need not a cast iron pan, but a simple camp fire and a few twigs to place the marshmallows on the end of! Let’s not get too fussy about how to make marshmallows, simply by them from your local grocery store. One of the enjoyable things about having marshmallows is going on the search for the perfect stick!
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Happy eating, and please remember not to eat while driving!!

Novated Leasing: From go to whoa!

Entrée – Quote stage & Finance application
For those who want a taste of novated leasing, it’s important to understand the steps in order to get you in the car. Generally speaking, if you have a car ready to go, whether it be your own, from a private seller or even a dealership the process can be extremely fast and hassle free.

To start off we’ll organise a quote for you. We’ll gather details such as the vehicle you’re looking at, your annual km’s travelled, the lease term (1-5 years) and also your annual salary. These details give us the opportunity to track down the exact make and model of the car, calculate the running costs and outline the tax savings you can expect each year. Remember, you don’t pay GST in a novated lease so the savings can be significant! If you’re buying a vehicle from a dealership it is also at this point that we can arrange a test drive should you be looking at a new, dealer used or demonstrator car.

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Once you’ve seen the quote and you’re happy with the ongoing out of pocket costs (for the car) each pay cycle, it’s important we have your finance approved. This action is completely your call, our finance application does not bind you to anything, it simply gives us the chance to get you approved so if you do want to go ahead you’ll be in a commanding position to move forward. The ‘finance app’ is a basic document and we collect this along with your three most recent payslips and a copy of your drivers license.

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Main course – Finance approval & Purchase order It takes less than 24 hours for your finance to be assessed and approved (or otherwise). In the event that your finance is approved you then place yourself in a very good position. Let’s assume you’re planning to buy your car through a dealership, all we have to do now is organise for a Purchase Order to be signed to secure the car! Our Purchase Order is a one-page document that outlines price and the exact details of what you’re buying. Note: There’s really not a whole lot of muck around in this process, if you’re ready to go we can move pretty quickly. Otherwise, we’ll move at the pace you want to move at. Once the purchase order is signed we then arrange final paperwork for you and your employer to sign in order to arrange settlement. Make sure you get this paperwork back to us as quickly as possible as it is the only thing that can hold up the settlement process. Settlement is simply organising the funds to be paid to the dealership!

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Dessert – Settlement & Delivery By this stage your finance is approved, you’ve signed the purchase order and the final documents have been signed by you and your employer. Once we receive these final documents all we have to do from here is upload them so the dealership can be paid. We will work in conjunction with you to make sure the car is picked up when you’re ready. Don’t sweat we won’t make you pick it up at ridiculous times! It’s your call, if a weekend works better let’s lock in a Saturday! Dealers call it “Delivery” which simply means handing over the vehicle to you, whether it be at the dealership or a place of your choice. It is also at this point that we’ll start organising fuel cards and your Glove Box Guide to go out. Our Glove Box guide covers all bases when it comes to your novated lease. Keep it in your glove box!!

All that is left to do now is enjoy driving the car. If you’ve never had a novated lease, perhaps it’s time to find out more, please use our novated leasing calculator to wet the whistle. Happy and safe driving!

The driver behind driverless cars

Rewind 18 months ago; as part of the World Science Festival Alliance Leasing staff attended the “Automated Autos: The Future of Driver-less Driving and Drones” seminar in Brisbane. It covered key topics surrounding what our future would look like if we were to have flying driver-less cars. It questioned whether Australian’s are ready to share the airways for flying drone taxis, driver-less vehicles and endless amounts of drones delivering food, parcels and potentially medication. The event opened up Pandora’s box in relation to the possibilities but also the threats that such technology would pose to our lives. There are countless questions that we need to ask before we start adopting driver-less flying cars. Australians love the sun. Will we be bothered by the fact that our future sunsets might be full of drones and flying cars? Will our sporting ovals be overshadowed by drone shadows? Computer’s fail occasionally, what happens if there’s a glitch and a drone or a car comes crashing down from the sky?

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Now
Fast forward 18 months to the present day and we find ourselves in the thick of semi-autonomous vehicle trials in Australia across major brands such as Hyundai, BMW and Volvo. These trials wrap up at the end of August. Needless to say, the results will be highly anticipated as our road infrastructure is now being modified to support driver-less operation. As an example, traffic lights are being upgraded in all major states to be able to communicate with vehicles wirelessly. This potentially means that one day, the traffic will be controlled by a computer. An algorithm-driven transport system that communicates with all users.

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What’s driving this idea?
They say driver-less technology promises decreased congestion, increased safety, flexibility and fuel efficiency. As many can appreciate, the trials of these semi-autonomous vehicles still need to consistently / 100% of the time pass basic tests such as correctly identifying speed limit signs, lane marketing’s, pedestrians and animals! Based on the results thus far, we haven’t quite got there yet. As an example, trials in Victoria have found that semi-autonomous vehicles are having increased difficulty picking up yellow line marking as opposed to white. Just like a car, there are many moving parts when it comes to automated autos. In the USA, autonomous vehicles from Google, Volvo, Tesla and Uber are already on the road and are set to drive Americans home within the next five years. Crazy!

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Not yet in Australia
Are we ready to share our roads, airways and personal space with self-flying taxis, driver-less vehicles and consumer drones? Will we ever fully trust a computer over human experience and intuition behind the wheel in a crunch situation? Now is the time to talk and raise concerns. It’s always best to measure twice and cut once, because when this happens it’ll snowball. We’ll very soon discover that computers are doing all the driver-less driving, but they’ll eventually be driving everything one day! It is believed that Australia are the best part of a decade away from fully adopting the technology. It’s great we have a time and date stamp on this, we’ll have to see what happens!

Car sales during EOFY, what’s the fuss all about?

When buying a car sometimes if the price is too good to be true, it generally is. This wise mentality can act as a deterrent in vehicle purchasing behaviour. However, the “EOFY Sales” month of June saw tens of thousands of Australian’s cashing in on some serious and legitimate bargains. In fact, June 2018 will go down as Australia’s biggest month ever in terms of Ute and SUV sales. Unbelievable!

A combination of aggressive selling and discounting can be attributed to the result however the need for families to be in bigger vehicles is also a huge driver. The top three vehicle sales in June were all utes. Surprise surprise; The Hilux, Ranger and Triton got the gold, silver and bronze. Each vehicle can appeal to any and all families as they offer safety, comfort and a very large shopping trolley (tray) in the back!

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The fuss
Are we really getting a bargain? The short answer is yes, of course. Manufacturers are always keen to move old stock, especially in June! At times they become desperate and we start to see optional extras worth thousands getting thrown in. This is great for the consumer and it’s safe to say there are no smoke and mirrors.. Always remember to look closely at the quote though. All you have to do is google a few car selling horror stories to know that sometimes you don’t get the exact car you asked for. So make sure if you want a sunroof and an automatic start button with tinted windows, demand the dealer points out exactly where those items are in the quote before you sign off on it.

What if I miss the EOFYS train?
For the panic-ridden buyer reading this, don’t fret. There are deals going all year round. Whether it’s Christmas and New Year, or Easter, or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day! There are always new and high value incentives being offered as the market has become so competitive these days, particularly with utes and SUV’s. The poor old cash cows such as the Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30 and Mazda 3 were all knocked off their perch in the month of June by utes!

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Experts on savings

The ‘experts’ out there, whoever these people are believe that you can be pretty happy with a deal if anywhere above 10-15% is knocked off the asking price. If you are unable to achieve this percentage, and sometimes it’s just not possible, ask for a few optional extras to be thrown in. It never hurts to ask!
Will car prices rise in Australia?

Tax and GST savings
One way to buy a car at any time of the year is through a novated lease. In a novated lease you own the car like any other normal person would own their car. The difference is you will not pay GST! So there’s your 10% saving right there. Whether you’re a family looking for an upgrade, a couple looking for something new or an individual looking to maximise your savings and have a fully maintained vehicle, a novated lease is for you! To find out more, follow this link! www.allianceleasing.com.au/what-is-novated-leasing

(Car Sales Data Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries)

Banking royal commission: Any impact on getting a novated lease?

It has been nearly 6 months since the banking royal commission was established. At the heart of the investigation is the banking industry’s promotion of an aggressive, sales-driven culture with an emphasis on profit at all costs. For those who don’t know, the “BRC” is simply an investigation into key Australian financial service entities and whether they have historically engaged in any form of misconduct, be it bribery, forgery, irresponsible lending or selling of insurances to people who simply cannot afford them. In April, Craig Meller stepped down as CEO of AMP in light of findings that they had repeatedly lied to regulators. Commonwealth bank found themselves in hot water by conceding they had been charging financial advice fees to clients who had passed away. And to make matters worse, the commission heard damning evidence that staff at a major bank had allegedly been involved in a bribery ring covering multiple branches, forged documents and fake payslips, with bribes being paid in cash to staff who engaged in an incentive program to sign up new customers. Dozens of these staff have since been fired or resigned over the scandal findings since March.

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Where there is smoke there is fire
Things are going to get worse before they get better, for the banks. However, this investigation is long overdue and will ultimately benefit the consumer at the end of the day. After all, it is in our best interests that the royal commission is protecting. The BRC will continue to run into next year with a final report due in February 2019, with an interim report due in September.

What does it mean for me and my novated lease?
Whilst the banks have a magnifying glass cast over their every move, it could mean that they’ll need to see more information, more often when it comes to lending money. Having said this, the novated lease finance approval process thankfully has not changed!

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What’s involved in obtaining novated lease finance?
The banks don’t want to know the colour of your underpants just yet. When you’ve found a car, and we’ve given you a novated lease quote we can then proceed to the financial application process. On behalf of the financier we request your three most recent payslips and a photocopy of your driver’s license. These documents along with a privacy document and a standard application form will see you placed in the approval process which will typically takes less than 24 hours to get a response.

Finance declined
If your finance is declined, this means that the banks are not willing to lend money to you. Unfortunately, it is out of our control and the next steps for an individual would be to seek professional advice on their credit position.

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Finance approved!

Thinking positively, let’s say your finance application is approved, you can then proceed to the next step in salary packaging your new car! It’s pretty much the home stretch from here with final documents being the only paperwork remaining to complete. From time to time the banks may request further information in relation to your financial position, however we’ll keep you informed throughout the whole process so there’s no surprises.

May the finance be with you!

You’re in the public service, what do you drive?

Public service pay week is upon us! What better time to cover some popular white-collar vehicle choices so far in 2018. By no means is this the be all and end all of what is flying out the door however it’s a great indication of the key hot cakes across a few brands.

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Mitsubishi: Gold – Pajero Sport. Silver – Triton. Bronze – Outlander. Dark horse – ASX
We can all hear that song “We’re living out the back of the car!” as the Pajero Sport runs up an impossible mountain in Mitsubishi’s latest catchy television commercials. It appears to be paying off for the Japanese juggernaut with the Pajero Sport proving to be the most popular, closely followed by the Triton and the Outlander. However, the ASX is a power packed dark horse that’s starting to make a run. It is one of Australia’s most affordable and popular small SUV’s and with a starting price from roughly $25,000 it is great value for money. Mitsubishi offer a 5 year/100,000km New Car Warranty and a 5 year Perforation Warranty. Solid.

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Hyundai: Gold – i30. Silver – Tucson. Bronze – Elantra. Dark horse – Accent
Thirty-two years has flown. That’s how long Hyundai have been in Australia. And boy have they come a long way, particularly if you look into the humble beginnings of founder Chung Ju-yung, he came from nothing! Let’s look at the i30, from its release in Australia in 2007 it began the race with a perceived head start for pricing and tried to build its reputation with cheap running and repair costs. Its first 5 years didn’t quite reach the heights the Korean manufacturer may have expected. However, after much time, strategy and resources the i30 and Hyundai brand in general has matured and grown remarkably. This is now showing through its reliability and designs both internally and externally, they are damn good-looking cars. What’s more, the i30 has been voted Australia’s best small car for six years straight, that doesn’t happen by accident. Side note, check out the new i30 N performance hatch, it’s pretty much an i30 on legal performance enhancing drugs. Hyundai offer a 5 year/Unlimited km New Car Warranty. High levels of confidence.

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Mazda: Gold – CX3. Silver – Mazda 3. Bronze – Mazda 2. Dark horse – CX5.
Australia just loves Mazda. The brand has been in the market since the 1960s when it was regarded more as a maker of sound and reliable cars rather than flashy and upper class. In recent years they’ve added a unique class of sexy and sparkling and we’ve ‘zoom zoomed’ towards a range of light, small and mid-sized hatches, sedans and wagons including the ever-reliable SUV range. It’s safe to say the Mazda CX3, CX5, 3 and 2 are going gangbusters with these models floating in and out of the top 10 national sales each month on a regular basis. If you’ve recently bought a new Mazda passenger vehicle, you’ll be backed by a 3-year, unlimited km warranty that covers any defect in material or workmanship in both parts and panels. Very good.

So there you have it, three key brands that all have a range of cars to suit any driver. The biggest draw card has to be the warranties! More and more manufacturers are moving towards better protection for longer. It leaves very little reason not to get a new car when the time comes!

Guy Shepherdson is the new CEO of Alliance Leasing

The board of Alliance Leasing Australia have appointed Guy Shepherdson as the Chief Executive Officer.
Shepherdson, a former Queensland Red, Brumby and Wallaby is excited to be involved with a Queensland based novated leasing organisation.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity, I see a huge amount of potential for continued growth in Alliance Leasing and I look forward to the challenge,” Shepherdson said.

“One of the biggest areas is continuing our outstanding service and commitment to Queensland Government and private organisations within Queensland and Australia-wide.”

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Prior to retiring from professional Rugby in 2012, Shepherdson was part of the Super Rugby Title winning Queensland Reds of 2011 and has since accelerated his career growth within the organisation. Alliance Leasing Chairman Ian Lindgren said it’s a privilege to have a man of Shepherdson’s leadership on board.

“Guy has gone from strength to strength at Alliance Leasing, beginning as a Novated Leasing Leasing Consultant over four years ago, growing into the Leasing and Operations Manager, and now the Chief Executive Officer it is a well-deserved appointment.

“Over the years I have been particularly impressed with Guy’s ability to lead and communicate, as well as the presence he carries in any arena. The senior management team love the flavour Guy brings as a leader along with his competitive spirit that has no doubt developed through his playing days in Super Rugby and with the Wallabies.”

Shepherdson hung up the boots after playing 73 Super Rugby caps and 17 tests for Australia including a Rugby World Cup in France. He will commence the role of Chief Executive Officer with Alliance Leasing effective immediately.