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AutoQuake gets drop-off location in Leeds

AutoQuake has expanded its operations with the opening of a new drop-off location in Leeds.

The company, which sells cars on eBay, already has facilities in London, Homiton in the south west and Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. Its sales to-date this year are on track to top £10m in 2006.

Fredrik Skantze, director of AutoQuake, says: “Our mission is to create an online market place where selling and buying a car is as easy, convenient and safe as it is for any other purchase we make in our daily lives.

“We also want to make the service accessible to all and our new centre in Leeds is another step towards that goal.”

Leeds was chosen as the new outlet site after AutoQuake research showed it had closed the gap on London to take second position in the used car market.

It was also identified as a hot-spot for used car sales activity.

AutoQuake acts as a selling agent for private car owners and business that wish to sell their vehicles on eBay.

Natalie Mead, vice president marketing for AutoQuake, says: “Our business is very evenly split between private car owners and fleet companies.”

AutoQuake works with three major leasing companies and is carrying out a pilot with a fourth, but declines to disclose who these are.

Before being put on eBay, sellers must drop off their vehicles at one of AutoQuake’s centres, where it is prepared for sale. It is then on auction for seven days, with comprehensive guidance on condition and history provided.

Mead continues: “We sometimes get small independent dealers buying cars from private users because on eBay they know they’re getting a fair market price.”

Earlier this year, AutoQuake received $6m (£3.1m) worth of series A funding, with Accel Partners as the lead investor.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” says Mead.

“Accel are good long-term investors and they understand the internet business.

“Our long-term view is to have multiple locations at strategic sites across the United Kingdom. “We’ve just opened in Leeds and we’ll be looking at the Midlands next.”

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