TrustedDealers.co.uk was launched at the turn of the year, as a landmark collaboration between some of the UK’s leading dealer groups. One of the website’s initial aims is to counteract motorists’ fears over buying used cars. Research by the website revealed an alarming one in six Brits had previously bought a vehicle that had been written off, stolen or ‘clocked’. A further twenty per cent of car buyers had been sold a car with underlying issues that remained undisclosed.
In an attempt to offer consumers reassurance that there is a safe way to buy a quality used car, TrustedDealers.co.uk has brought together some of the UK’s largest dealership groups in a bid to grow their businesses, reduce costs and create new marketing opportunities.
Now, with almost 40 members, the site has built a growing stock of 23,000 cars, and has begun selling commercial vehicles. Four months after launch the site attracts 250,000 visits per month, a number which is rapidly increasing week-by-week.
The TrustedDealers.co.uk website was designed and built by Denison Automotive, on its CMS platform created specifically for car dealer groups. Taking TrustedDealers’ ’10 Point Difference’ as its starting point, the website features a smart, clean design and clear, simple calls to action. Denison Automotive continues to add new features and modules to the site.
TrustedDealers.co.uk is the first car website to be owned by its advertisers, in a similar business model to that employed by successful property website Rightmove.co.uk. Car dealerships advertising on the site are equal owners of the business, paying a one-off membership fee, and rewarded with rebates of profits as the business grows, as well as the appreciating value of their membership.
Members currently include: Arnold Clark, Beadles, Bristol Street, Caffyns, Cambria, Camden Ventures, Cooperative Motor Group, Currie Motors, Drive Motor Group, Eastern Western, Ford Retail, Hartwell, Hendy Group, Holdcroft, Jardine, JCT600, John Clark, John Martin, Johnsons, Lloyds, Lookers, Marshall, Phoenix, Pendragon, Pentagon, Perrys, Ridgeway, Robinsons, Rybrook, SG Smith, Snows, , Sturgess, Swansway and Wayside.
The easy to use website promotes the benefits of buying from a franchised dealer and allows users to compare cars from different dealers, as well as providing updates on relevant news and events. Dealers are required to sign up to the ‘10 Point Difference’ – a guarantee that each car advertised has undergone a number of checks and quality assurances:
1. A theft and write off check
2. An outstanding finance check
3. Full pre-delivery inspection
4. A car mileage check
5. The opportunity to take a test-drive
6. A minimum MOT of three months
7. A warranty as standard
8. The option to part exchange
9. A professional valet pre-delivery/collection
10. The option for finance and service plans.
The project was initially conceived by Ken Savage from Perrys and Lookers’ Peter Jones with Robert Forrester of Bristol Street Motors joining them on the board. The business is run by former Motors.co.uk executives Neil Addley and Andrew Dyson.
Neil Addley commented: “Online marketing is now an essential part of the car sales process. Most buyers expect to search and compare vehicles online before even stepping in a showroom, and in many cases they have made up their minds about the car they want.
“For a long time dealer groups have not been in control of their own destiny when advertising online; never really feeling they had a stake in what was happening. Trusteddealers.co.uk gives dealers a chance to take ownership of marketing.
“As more companies come on board, more money can be invested in marketing the website to consumers – bringing with it more sales. So it’s a win-win situation for all involved. There is also the potential for us to work with other media and suppliers in the future.”
Membership of TrustedDealers.co.uk is currently open to franchised dealer groups interested in working together with like-minded companies to deliver additional value for their businesses. Any dealerships interested in finding out more should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.