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Would you lease a car from this woman?

This is Ling Valentine. She runs — almost singlehandedly — a car leasing company in the UK that moved £35 million in cars in 2008. She keeps citing that 2008 number, so the crash probably put a dent in her bottom line, but the business is still doing well and growing. She’s internet famous over here.

Ling was born in Chengdu Province, China and worked her way through a BSc in Chemistry in Jinan. She decided to do her master’s in Finland (because it was free) and describes herself standing in the Helsinki airport, crying. She took a course in wood chemistry and flunked on account of her bad Finnish.

But by then she had met and married an Englishman named Jon Valentine and emigrated to the UK. Her English wasn’t so great, either, but she managed to push herself through a Masters in Environmental Quality at Bournemouth.

Which is where she became fascinated with programming and databases. Which is how she swears she’s able to operate the business with such a small staff and undercut the competition — crazy efficient computer systems, designed by her.

All of which leads up to this:

the greatest website on the internet

No, now…don’t be like that. Don’t just scream, “my eyes are bleeding!” and wuss out. I seriously recommend you follow links, watch YouTubes and generally treat yourself to a happy half hour of Ling. (Though I didn’t link directly to the top page — autoplay music warning). You’re welcome.


Comment from David Gillies
Time: February 24, 2015, 7:46 pm

I can top that: Power Chemicals.com. Epilepsy warning.

She’s an interesting character. There was a story on her in the DM a while back about how she’d hired someone to maintain the village where she lived, a job that nominally is done by the council and paid for by Council Tax and business rates. Another link will turn me into a spam fritter, but “ling valentine hires handywoman” on Google will find it.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 24, 2015, 8:54 pm

So, she leases those white vans driven by the suicidal Pakis? Good gig, I guess.

Comment from Randy Rager
Time: February 24, 2015, 11:27 pm

That’s a thing of Beauty.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 25, 2015, 12:01 am

Autoplay music? Would that be Chinese Opera?

and she is leasing Toyotas to ISIS?

Comment from Oceania
Time: February 25, 2015, 1:52 am

She may lease – but she sure can’t fucking drive …

Comment from mojo
Time: February 25, 2015, 3:48 am

Jaguar F-Type 2-dr convertible, petrol, manual trans, 340 bhp

794.86 x3 (up front) = 2384.58

47 monthly pmts @794.86 = 37358.42

for a grand total of 39743.00 (pounds, mind you.)

call it 40 grand. About half what it costs to buy one.

for (one assumes) a 48-month lease. With a 10k mileage limit.

Now, shall we talk insurance? Annual inspection and road tax?

But I love the FAQs.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 25, 2015, 3:59 am

Yeah, her web design is light-years beyond those needy little twats at daily-caller, et al with their “subscribe!” “hey, look, a twiddly thing that makes annoying motions while you’re trying to read” and “shit I just moused over something that gave me a context menu and now I have to kill my browser & restart because I can’t click on anything that isn’t this stupid menu that I fucking refuse to click on you stupid whores”.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: February 25, 2015, 4:49 am

I think she’s brilliant…there really *should* be an epilepsy button to turn off the flashy things though.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 25, 2015, 9:26 am

I still can’t get my head around this leasing and PCP stuff, Mojo. It seems to me, particularly with interest rats as they are, that the simplest way to buy a car is to borrow the sum required from a bank. Presumably, if your credit rating is good enough to get a lease or PCP deal, it’s also good enough to secure a bank loan?

I admit my grasp of finance is a bit simplistic but I still smell a racket at work.

What I like about Ling is her amazing enterprise and sense of humour.

Now, about that Bentley….

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: February 25, 2015, 3:22 pm

I think it’s that as a business, you can write off 100% of the cost of a lease, whereas if you buy the thing outright, you can only take a percentage per year as capital cost allowance so it would take a few years to fully claim the expense off your taxes. Probably a lot easier tax wise to lease.

Comment from Buffalone
Time: February 25, 2015, 7:51 pm

Yeah, I tried the greatest website on the internet on my IPAD mini…I don’t recommend it.

But good for Ling and the entrepreneurial spirit.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: February 25, 2015, 8:17 pm

The problem with American leasing contracts is the mileage—which is generally set very low. Go over the mileage and you incur a hefty financial beating. Very few people drive that little. I happen to be one, but I do not enjoy driving. I’ve put 33,000 miles on my car in 10 years.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 25, 2015, 10:38 pm

1988 Volvo wagon: $650
Liability-only insurance for one year: $900
Repairs (approx. average per year): $100
Tires (again, approx average per year): $200
Gasoline: Oh, Lord, kill me now.

Comment from mojo
Time: February 26, 2015, 2:39 am

On the other hand, you do get to look smug at stoplights and say “Yeah…It’s a JAG.”

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: February 26, 2015, 3:18 pm

I’m not sure if I should send that link to anybody, let alone the Chinese students I know. They may think they’re something wrong in my brain. (The Chinese may think I’m making fun of them.)

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: February 26, 2015, 6:44 pm

When I got to Anchorage, I checked into leasing a car from a Native corporation. The rate was $250 a day, and pick-up and drop off was in Barrow.
I’m betting they don’t lease too many cars.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 26, 2015, 7:42 pm

Comment from mojo
Time: February 26, 2015, 2:39 am

On the other hand, you do get to look smug at stoplights and say “Yeah…It’s a JAG.”

As if the dim headlights & the white smoke weren’t enough to identify it.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: February 26, 2015, 9:22 pm

Uncle Badger @ February 25, 2015, 9:26 am:
Presumably, if your credit rating is good enough to get a lease or PCP deal…

There are drug dealers who sell angel dust on credit?

Comment from TimB52
Time: February 28, 2015, 12:57 am

Ling’s web site is *nothing* compared to Chewy and the Gang


Truly the best site on the web. I did not know that many animated gifs existed on the entire planet, much less at one site.

Comment from paulb
Time: March 4, 2015, 7:57 am

Thank you so much for that. After I visited the website and had a seizure, I had to show it to the other guys on the bridge of my boat. The seaman on anchor watch was doing a round out on deck, and looked up at the wheelhouse windows, 60-odd feet above him, and asked if we were hosting a rave he didn’t know about.

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