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Buying groups predict surge in dealer trade

Motoreasy, the one-stop shop motoring services operation which collapsed in August, is relaunching this summer after Castrol provided the investment capital.

The scheme will be rolled out to Castrol's network of independent workshops who will offer Motoreasy customers service, repair and MoT facilities. Monthly subscription payments start at £24.99.

Jason Suckley, Castrol workshop marketing manager for North-west Europe, said the original Motoreasy scheme, launched in 1999, suffered a lack of third party investment.

“With the endorsement of a strong consumer brand such as Castrol, the Motoreasy scheme carries credibility, while at the same time offering clear benefits to consumers and the trade,” he said.

Motoreasy founder David Gerrans remains on the board, which is headed by ex-Mitsubishi Motors managing director Stephen Dixon, who is non-executive chairman.

Mr Gerrans originally planned to attract 265,000 members, but the target is thought to have been scaled down.

Meanwhile Independent Dealer Services, which supplies used cars to franchised dealers at wholesale prices, claims its business is expanding ahead of schedule.

Bob Batty, IDS managing director, said the York-based service, which costs dealers £520 a year to join, was now sourcing UK-specification imports to meet demand.

“IDS membership stands at just over 200 franchised dealers, who are mainly smaller independent operators,” said Mr Batty, a former Kia UK director.

“The business has delivered more than 800 cars in the first five months of trading to the end of May, turning over around £200m.”

Capital Bank provides the funds for IDS to buy stock.

“At any one time we carry between £1m and £1.5m worth of stock. Demand is largely for sub £10,000 retail product, mainly smaller cars,” said Mr Batty.

“We have just completed a deal with a major Japanese insurance company which will enable our members to save around 30% on the cost of their motor trade policies.”

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