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Creditors called in as Motoreasy collapses

Motoreasy, the one-stop-shop motoring services operation, has collapsed and the directors were this week forced to call a meeting with their creditors.

Sales and marketing director John Highfield said the meeting was taking place on Thursday of this week, but was unable “at present” to comment on what went wrong.

Mr Highfield launched Motoreasy last August in partnership with managing director David Gerrans. Both men brought years of industry experience: Mr Highfield was founding director of Camden Motors' Car Shop operation, while Mr Gerrans spent three years as Daewoo UK group operations director.

At the time of the launch, Mr Highfield told Automotive Management that the company was not deterred by the failure of White Knight. The private-to-private sales warranty scheme, also designed to remove cost and inconvenience for retail car owners, collapsed in 1998.

White Knight is thought to have attracted only a small number of customers despite significant investment. Bodyshop consultant Robert Hadfield questioned whether the public was willing to pay into such services.

“The concept looks encouraging on the face, but the price is critical,” he said. “The public never wants to pay out any more on their cars than they have to - look at insurance, for example. And with cars becoming more reliable, less servicing is required.”

The Motoreasy programme was intended to give retail owners company car-type “peace of mind”.

It integrated warranty, maintenance, breakdown recovery, windscreen replacement and accident management cover throughout Europe.

Customers were asked to pay from £24.99 up to £79.99 a month depending on annual mileage, type of vehicle and cover. For that, they received free of charge servicing and repairs up to a fixed limit for all items excluding wear and tear parts like tyres, brakes and exhausts.

The annual membership target was 265,000, around 10% of the 26.4m UK car parc. Totals are not known, though it is believed the company fell significantly short of its targets.

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