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Trade Press News Round UpBack

nfdaFranchised dealers proving more popular with drivers than independents for servicing

The last six months have seen a small increase in the number of drivers choosing to have their cars serviced at a franchised dealer instead of an independent garage.

The recent National Franchised Dealers Association Consumer Attitude Survey revealed that 35% of people use franchise dealers compared to 30% using an independent. The survey showed that over the past six months there has been a 2% increase in the number of people using franchised dealers for aftersales compared to a 3% decrease for independent garages.

When analysing consumers who have had their car serviced in the past six months, the number of consumers who are using aftersales jumps from 42% in January to 48% today.

What this demonstrates is that when a consumer uses a franchised dealer for aftersales they are more likely to continue doing so in the future, the NFDA says.

Source: AM Online

ftse 250 post brexitConsumers remain confident of car buying decisions despite Brexit vote

June’s referendum vote to leave the EU has not impacted buying decisions that come when purchasing a car.

In a snap survey by, more than 70% of consumers surveyed by the website said that Britain’s decision had not affected the type of car they would purchase and a further 73% said the result had not changed when they planned to purchase.

Some 76% claimed that the result has not affected how the plan to finance a car, but 22% of consumers believe that the referendum has impacted how much they would be willing to pay for a car.

Source: AM Online

PendragonPendragon powers ahead despite Britain’s vote to leave the EU

The Pendragon Group is continuing to thrive despite the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, figures published by the company today reveal.

In an interim management statement, chief executive Trevor Finn said that ‘despite significant commentary on the potential negative impact of the EU referendum, we have not experienced any noticeable change in our customers’ behaviour and we have continued to grow our business’.

‘Like-for-like group sales grew 5.7 per cent in Q3 versus a strong comparator, and group underlying profit increased by 6.3 per cent. We are particularly pleased with our used revenue growth, which accelerated to 8.3 per cent on a like-for-like basis.’

The company, which operates under the Evans Halshaw and Stratstone brands, also reported that:

– Used gross profit grew by 0.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis

– New gross profit increased 4.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis

– Overall in the quarter, underlying like-for-like profit before tax rose by 6.3 per cent

– Online visits to and increased by 16 per cent in the nine months to September 30

– Its financial position is strong, with its debt ratio remaining significantly below the target range

– To date, the company has completed £6.1m of the £20m share buyback programme that it announced in May this year.

The company said: ‘Performance levels in the quarter have remained within our expectations and our business has continued to grow. We expect 2016 full-year performance to be in line with expectations.’

Source: Car Dealer

Plug-inVanGovernment extends plug-in van grant

The Government is committing an additional £4 million to the plug-in van grant scheme extending the eligibility to larger electric vehicles.

Businesses will now benefit from grants up to £20,000 when switching their heavier vans and trucks to electric vehicles, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced during a three-day visit to Japan where he is meeting Japanese automotive companies.

The plug-in van grant has been available to small commercial vehicles of up to 3.5 tonnes since 2012, but sales of new electric vans have remained limited.


The Government is now committing an additional £4m to the scheme so that all vans and trucks meeting the necessary requirements are eligible as part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions from transport use.

It means that N2 vans (3.5 – 12 tonnes gross weight) and N3 vans (over 12 tonnes gross weight), which meet the emissions criteria are now eligible.

The scheme will be reviewed once 5,000 grants have been processed, or in March 2018, whichever is earlier.

Source: Fleet news

LookersLookers to open Jaguar and Volvo dealerships in Glasgow

Lookers is to open Jaguar and Volvo dealerships on a five-acre flagship site in Hillington Park Glasgow.

Planning has been granted with construction due to commence autumn 2016. Lookers has been expanding in recent months. In August it announced that it was selling its parts business for £120m and it would use the funds to buy more dealerships. The same month it bought Warwick Holdings’ seven Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the Midlands for £55.4m.

It also added BMW and Mini to its portfolio with the acquisition of the West Midlands-based Knights North West group for £27.2m. Knights, rated 67 in the Motor Trader Top 200, operates sites in Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe. Knights acquired the Crewe site (pictured) in 2014 from Blue Bell.  And last month it opened a Jaguar Land Rover site in west London following a £12m investment.

Lookers is rated 4 in the Motor Trader Top 200 dealer groups with annual turnover of £3.04bn.

Source: Motor Trader

Basic RGBAuto Trader offers dealers CitNOW videos online

Auto Trader has teamed up with CitNOW to offer dealers videos online. Using the CitNOW app dealers with a video subscription  for can add videos of the vehicles they have for sale alongside still imagery.

CitNOW worked with dealer group Drive Vauxhall to pilot the scheme on

It found that 45% of cars that received one or more video plays at any point went on to be sold. Among cars that did not receive a video play, that figure dropped to 33%.

Alistair Jeff, commercial director at CitNOW, said: “The popularity and importance of video in car sales is only going to rise; forward-looking dealers are already encouraging their customers to use it and, by the end of this year, consumers themselves will be driving the demand for video as it evolves into a medium for a two-way conversation.”

Source: Motor Trader

Classic carWomen buying classic cars up 40% in two years

The number of women buying classic cars has shot up by 40% in the past two years, according to Footman James, a subsidiary of Towergate.

The survey of 2,000 adults also found that the average age of a female owner has fallen to 52 years, and female customers are expected to account for 11% of the market by the end of 2016. Birmingham was the city found to have the largest number of female classic car owners.

Of the people surveyed, women were more likely to correctly identify classic cars that have risen in value, choosing the Lamborghini Miura and Land Rover Defender, the values of which increased 62% and 43% respectively in the last 12 months.

Footman James reported also that men spent £1,700 on classic car maintenance, compared with £1,500 for women, and 21% of women cited nostalgia as a primary influence for buying a classic car.

Source: Motor Finance

Posted by Sue Robinson on 28/10/2016