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ID50 2017

For the first Independent Dealer issue of 2017, we are again looking in depth at the UK’s biggest businesses retailing used cars.

Each year, Independent Dealer ranks the 50 largest non-franchised motor retailers by turnover, identifies the strong performers among them, and shares insights into how and why they are achieving growth in sales or profitability.

Our analysis on the pages ahead shows a sector largely in good health, albeit in a marketplace that appears to be peaking and becoming more competitive. While finance remains relatively cheap and stock has become plentiful, some of the ID50 have expanded their operations into new regions and markets, in the search for fresh customers and higher profits.

In future issues, the ID50 will bring you even more insight into how some of the used car market’s largest businesses operate, and will illustrate the changes and trends in your sector. If there is a particular aspect we are missing currently, or an area you would like us to expand on in future, do let us know. Email your thoughts and comments on the ID50 to



ID50 growth rate tumbles as used car supply peaks

The UK’s top 50 independent dealers added £300 million to total revenues for 2015, but year-on-year growth has fallen to 9% from 24% last year.


Why JD Classics is turning down the volume

Compared with what he makes selling 170 cars a year, Derek Hood is not tempted by the meagre margins of a franchise.

ID50 in numbers plug

Facts and figures:
The ID50 in numbers

The eye-catching numbers from this year’s
analysis of the UK’s 50 biggest independent
car dealers.

Down on the Ferrari farm with DK Engineering

The Cottingham family explains how a barn in Hertfordshire become a showroom for some of the world’s best-known Ferraris.




Jonathan Dunkley, CarShop’s  chief executive,

CarShop eyes growth in England and N Ireland

Under the control of its new owner, franchised dealer group Sytner, CarShop may be pushing into southern England and Northern Ireland.


car stocking image

Boost your stocking policy profits with detailed data

Putting data at the heart of your vehicle stocking policy will reap richer rewards than relying on gut instinct alone.

The independent dealer's essential marketing guide

The digital route to marketing is increasingly important, but other channels are still effective. The experts point the way to a proven strategy.

car dealer tablet

10 ways car dealers can hold on to their customers

Independent car dealers rely on repeat business, making managing customer relationships crucial to their success.




The ID50 2016

Independent Dealer has identified the 50 biggest independent car dealers in the UK and analysed the best performers by turnover, profitability and stock turn.

The geography of the ID50

Independent Dealer has mapped the locations of every sales site run by members of the ID50 2016 in the UK.

Carbase: confidence is key to  expansion

Customers’ faith in its product are key to Carbase’s ability to ‘deal on the day’, says general manager Gordon Veale.

The Car People: ‘We are entering an aggressive period of growth’

Streamlining and adding capacity will add to The Car People's profitability, say MD Martyn Carnell and director of sales Jonathan Allbones.





Like and RT: how independent dealers can win at social media

Sales on Facebook and Twitter are still rare, but with 38 million social media accounts in the UK, independents would be short-sighted to ignore them.

How independent dealers can succeed at trade auctions

Top tips from some of the UK’s biggest trade auction firms on getting the best out of online stock selling and buying services.

15 ways you can boost your used car profits

From stocking policies to finance, out-of-hours responses to video walkarounds, Debbie Kirlew explores how to increase efficiency in your pre-owned operation.

Used car dealers face greater demands for credit compliance

As used car finance grows in importance, independent dealers face greater demands to comply with the credit watchdog.