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Few independent dealers can have missed the recent mishap in the SMMT’s reporting of the quarterly used car market, widely covered in the trade press and national media.

One moment the market was down significantly in a mirror image of the new car market. The next – after an incorrect algorithm was fixed – it was flat.

What the turnabout did reveal was a lack of concrete, official information about the health of the used car trade. The best we have, it seems, is SMMT analysis of DVLA data concerning “transactions”.

Alternatives include the major auction groups reporting their annual sales volumes, although these will include stock re-entered after failing to sell on forecourts and problem cars that bounce from pillar to post.

And missing from this picture are the cars traded directly between independent dealers,  many of which are so small they don’t have to report full annual accounts.

So as long as you cannot see the full national picture, it will remain crucial for you to observe your local marketplace, to gain insights from your peers and suppliers, and to apply industry best practice that will make your business stronger.

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Independent dealer auctions

How independent dealers can get more out of auctions

Millions of cars are sold by auction in the UK every year. Here are Independent Dealer's best-practice tips to get the most out of every bid.

ID classifieds feature

Six ways dealers can improve online used car classifieds

Good descriptions, imagery and accurate specifications are the keys to successful online used car classifieds, say experts.

Independent dealer finance feature

Online vs in-showroom finance – which one wins?

Making sure your used car customer gets the right finance offer for them is paramount. We look at what works best in different situations.

Independent dealer stock preparation feature

Time spent preparing stock is well rewarded

Used car dealers have a wide range of approaches to prepping cars, but taking the time to do it properly leads to greater efficiency overall.


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How used car dealers can profit from tech tools

Technological tools can enable used car dealers to make efficiency gains – and bigger profits.


Independent Dealer used car warranties

Independent Dealer's top tips for warranty success

Independent Dealer's eight-step guide to making warranties work for your used car dealership.

Independent dealer aftersales add-ons

Is it time for independents to look harder at aftersales?

A small number of independent dealers boost their bottom line with aftersales. Should more follow suit?

Used car customer service

Show used car customers the love to win more sales

Going the extra mile for used car customers can make a world of difference to your business, and it’s often not expensive or complicated.



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Shak’s Specialist Cars plans to enter the premier league

Shakeel Shah has worked night and day to build his supercar business into a success. Now he plans to take it to the next level.

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

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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.



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.

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.

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.