How the RAF FF can help: Car finance

Image of client's car going onto a car transporter in readiness to take with him on his overseas posting.

The RAF FF can help service personnel either as Regulars or Reserves, single or married – together with your families. Here’s an example of how we helped a serviceman obtain authority to take his car overseas on his posting whilst on PCP finance.

The issue

A commissioned officer came to the RAF FF on the advice of his Station Community Support Officer (SCSO) who suggested we may be able to help him.

Evidence Manager, Richard Coleman (pictured below) led on this particular issue. The Officer had a car on PCP finance from a garage that he had previously used to purchase past vehicles. He informed them that at point of purchase that there was potential for him to be posted overseas at some point in the future. The garage reassured him that this would not be a problem and to give them the first refusal on buying the car back should this happen.

He subsequently received an overseas posting and the finance company then stated that he could not take the car with him in case he missed a payment as the cost to recover it back to the UK would be too high. Upon enquiring with the garage about purchasing the car back, they offered him a fair price but he would have lost around £4000 in negative equity and would still need to buy another car when he arrived at his overseas location.

How we helped

The RAF FF contacted the finance company directly and explained the situation highlighting that the client was a service person, informed them of the Armed Forces Covenant and explained that the service person was being disadvantaged through serving in the armed forces, (ie having to be posted through a military operational need, rather than his own choice to relocate to say a new job as one would in a civilian scenario). Even though the company hadn’t signed up to the Covenant, Richard requested they reconsider their decision and allow the car to be taken overseas.

The outcome

Richard was contacted by the finance company and within a few days the original decision had been appealed and the finance company agreed that as long as the vehicle payments continued to be paid from a UK bank account that the car could be taken to the overseas location.  As it transpired, the finance company had not been given the full details by the garage hence their initial reluctance to allow the vehicle to leave the country, but after only a few emails and a phone call with the right information, the issue was resolved with a happy client.  

Not every case ends up with success, but we are always able to explain the reason a decision has not been made in favour of the service person, and their family members – and if an emerging theme of disadvantage can be seen we are in a position to lobby for change.

Contact the team

You can contact the RAF Families Federation on +44 (0)1780 781650 or you can report your own issue online.


The team at the RAF Families Federation provides confidential help and support to both personnel and families in many different ways, and wherever they are in the world. As well as offering advice, ensuring clients are talking to the right people and asking the right questions, all the evidence gathered (stored on an encrypted database) is used to show up potential ‘themes’ of emerging issues in the Armed Forces.  The Families Federation use that anonymised evidence to lobby government for policy changes – all aimed at making life better for the serving community.

Story image: The client’s car being loaded onto a car transporter ready to take overseas.

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