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Welcome to the Autumn issue of Independent Dealer. As you are going into that final quarter of the year, there is no time for complacency – the market may experience its seasonal slowdown, but the September plate-change has ensured there are rich used car stocks for the picking.

The data now at the fingertips of large and small independent dealers, thanks to the support of their suppliers, means it is no longer enough to rely on gut feel for what will fit well on the forecourt and make a tidy return.

If you buy well in the first instance, you’re part way to that healthy profit. However, the remaining steps – marketing well, winning the sale and keeping the customer happy and engaged in the longer run – are just as critical. Which is why we’ve gathered advice from experts in these areas to help you understand where your business can improve and ultimately outperform your competition.

We hope you find this best practice edition of Independent Dealer useful, and we welcome any feedback you would like to share. Simply email to get in touch.


How CarShop doubled its profits in 12 months

CarShop chief executive Jonathan Dunkley reveals how his car supermarket group doubled its profits in just 12 months.


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

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 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.