Client Spotlight: Deon Hingston, NT Education

Fleet Network recently helped Deon Hingston, Head of English and Humanities at Centralian Senior College in Alice Springs, Northern Territory (NT), purchase her first brand new car: a Toyota Hilux. Born and raised in New Zealand, Deon is no stranger to rugged landscapes. Her teaching career has seen her go from New Zealand to Queensland to the NT, where she currently works and has resided in for 3 years.

With an upcoming move to the southwest coast of Western Australia where she and her husband own property in Albany, Deon knew it was time to invest in a new car that would see her through the rest of her time in the NT and the 31-hour drive to Albany at the end of this year. “I always bought second-hand cars,” she says. “I’m on the other side of 50 years and have never had a brand-new car and I thought to myself, why not?”

Deon had become familiar with local Fleet Network Business Development Manager Zane Ryan through Australian Education Union NT (AEUNT) events over the years. Zane works closely with the AEUNT and consistently makes the trip from Darwin to Alice Springs to support events and support local teachers and education staff with their vehicle needs.

When Deon started considering her next car purchase, she initially spoke with colleagues to get feedback about their experience with novated leasing. “I am probably the last person around Alice Springs to get their car through novated leasing,” she says. Her colleague’s positive feedback encouraged her to look deeper into options, including providers. Already familiar with Fleet Network, she eventually turned to Zane for additional guidance on novated leasing.

“With Zane, I felt like I already knew him because of his presence with the union and around town,” says Deon. In a timely coincidence, Deon spoke with Zane about her interest in getting a new car at a recent event and, later that day, Zane met with both Deon and her husband to review their options for novated leasing with Fleet Network.

“Zane had no problems meeting with us, telling us about the leasing process, the benefits, and how it was all going to go,” says Deon. “We felt very informed on everything, and the tax savings we would get tipped the balance.”

Once her lease was set up, Deon worked with Delivery Coordinator Emily Dudley on securing her car of choice, the Toyota Hilux, and coordinating delivery logistics. The original plan saw the Hilux arriving in Darwin for August and the Fleet Network team flying Deon up during school holidays for pick-up. The ongoing global supply chain issues affecting the Australian car market threw an obstacle in the plan when the car was suddenly made unavailable until March 2023.

The Fleet Network team worked diligently to find an available Hilux and, through its national supplier network, managed to secure one for October well ahead of the amended schedule for next year. Emily coordinated delivery of the Hilux from Darwin directly to Deon in Alice Springs, saving Deon annual leave and travel.

Now nearly 3 weeks into ownership of her Toyota Hilux, Deon is pleased with her new car and the experience she had with Fleet Network. “I like the car, it’s smooth to drive,” she says. “Overall, I am very happy with everything.”