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Referral service helps dealers tackle dotcoms

A vehicle sourcing and referral business is helping dealers to challenge dotcom operators for new car sales.

Grey Spear is designed for busy motorists who want to benefit from new car discounts but do not have the time to compare dealership prices or do not trust internet-based sourcing firms.

Founder Karl Grimsey said: “We put together the best prices for the customer's choice of car with a finance deal and link them back to the dealer. The dealer effectively 'owns' the customer and will complete the sale direct with them.”

Dealers pay Grey Spear an introducer's fee, typically around £250 for a £20,000 car. Discounts range from 2-3% on a prestige car to as much as 25% on a volume model – possibly more if it is pre-registered.

“Our buying power gets the customer a better overall deal, though it won't always include a discounted price,” said Mr Grimsey. “Many dealers do not have much margin to play with.

“We will compete by offering a total saving on the entire package, including finance, sourcing cars quicker and making the buying process smoother.”

Grey Spear has supplied dealers with 30 sales since its low-key launch in March. It has established relationships with a number of dealer groups representing prestige marques like BMW, Audi/VW and volume carmakers like Ford, Vauxhall, Peugeot and Renault.

“Dealers like what we are doing and we want more to join,” said Mr Grimsey, who has worked for AFN in Guildford and online used car supplier Onestopcarshop.

“We are helping them to win more business in a more competitive market – it's a no-brainer because they do not have to do endless quotes, they get qualified customers.”

Grey Spear also handles the aftersales business, collecting and delivering customers' cars to dealers. Customers pay dealers for the service, with Grey Spear taking a small margin for passing on the business.

  •, the Bizzbuild-owned online retailer set up by the Consumers' Association, is in discussions for further funding, despite trading in line with directors' expectations.
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