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PERSONAL contract purchase was the answer for cabbie Michele Berti, who was looking to finance a new vehicle for his business.

Often simply referred to as PCP, it allows you to pay low monthly rentals initially with a range of final options that include paying a final balloon to paying the vehicle.

It’s particularly useful for self-employed non-VAT registered small businesses in controlling cash flow: you know the level of payments required, and as business increases, excess can be put away for the final payment. Or you can simply hand the vehicle back, subject to general condition of the vehicle.

It was exactly what was required by Michele Berti, who took advantage of a current Mercedes finance offer of £0 deposit and £15,900 optional final payment over 48 months on a Mercedes finance Agility offer (called Personal Contract Plan by Mercedes).

The vehicle itself is a Vito London Taxi 114CDI Compact, a spacious, air-conditioned taxi that carries up to six passengers whilst also being wheelchair friendly. It includes electrically-operated sliding doors with steps on both sides and a tight turning circle to meet the London Taxi requirements to turn in narrow streets.

Crucially, it complies with the Euro 6 exhaust emissions – vital for him to keep working as London’s new ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) is introduced.

Londoner Michelle, clocks-up approximately 35,000 miles a year in and around the City and West End, so an efficient taxi was important.

Michele Berti said: “I rented a traditional black cab for a few weeks before my new taxi arrived, and reckon it was costing me £70 a week more in diesel than my previous Vito. Yet the new model is even more fuel-efficient than its predecessor!

“I’d never go back to an old-style cab because the Vito is a better vehicle for this job in every respect. As well as being more economical it is also a lot more reliable and in a different league when it comes to comfort.

“There’s none of the bone-jarring ride and heavy steering you’ll find in other taxis, which can take a real toll by the end of a 12-hour shift.

This is Michele’s third Vito taxi which he’ll run under the PCP agreement for 48 months. No doubt the £0 deposit helped cashflow too, while the optional final payment will be £15,900. Michele’s PCP agreement with Mercedes-Benz Finance is based on 30,000 miles per annum.

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