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RAC enters online classifieds market with Netcars acquisition

The RAC will enter the online used car classifieds market following its acquisition of

The brand believes it can differentiate from competitors by leveraging consumer trust with the RAC. will be rebranded as RAC Cars when it launches in April and will integrate vehicles from the RAC’s own network of RAC approved dealers, its new RAC BuySure partners and in time private sellers, to offer a choice of over 100,000 vehicles.

Chris Woodhouse, RAC chief executive, said: “This represents a major new direction for the RAC which will result in a significant improvement to the second-hand vehicle market for our members and other customers.

“We are building on an established online platform but will be bringing a range of added benefits which will give buyers added confidence.”

These added benefits will likely include an offer from RAC Warranty on each vehicle.

The website will continue to operate under the name until the rebrand in April.



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  • Hans - 08/03/2013 13:29

    I don't believe this will be prove to be a wise move. Plus linking in to TWG oh sorry Rac warranty will be disastrous for the customer when they find out how poor they can be in paying out.

    • peter - 08/03/2013 16:24

      @Hans - Fully agree Hans, particularly with their limited pay-out small-print Market-Value only claim reduction GAP products. RAC has (had) a great name and history, pity their products, don't match their name and (past) reputation!

    • Rob Taylor - 10/03/2013 00:20

      @Hans - Sounds like jealousy from where I am stood !

    • Hans - 10/03/2013 11:17

      @Rob Taylor - Not at all. I run my own in house warranty and put all the money in a pot without relying on a 3rd party to guarantee my cars. Personally a great commercial decision and one which i should have done years ago.Net cars is rubbish and still will be whoever runs it. Whether us dealers like it or not Autotrader is the only place to be for internet advertising. Anyway Rob where's your take on it or are you just shooting rubbish comments from your hip as your stood!

    • Rob Taylor - 10/03/2013 16:33

      @Hans - Rubbish comments or opinions - there is a difference. Each to their own, and if it works for them then fine. I am not knocking Autotrader, merely thinking maybe there is room for others in the marketplace to offer a similar service, do you not agree? Each warranty company will have their share of unhappy customers, why pick on one?

  • Nobby - 08/03/2013 16:23

    Has Tesco Cars written all over it. Stick to what you know best, recovering things when they go wrong. To now sell them and be responsible for them going wrong will tarnish the RAC.

  • Patrick - 08/03/2013 16:46

    Nobby - I can't quite see why it's got 'Tesco Cars written all over it.' From what I'm reading, they will not be selling cars themselves. They have purchased the Netcars online classified portal - akin to them buying Autotrader, Motors, Vcar or the like. The RAC has a very strong brand name and I think it's a good move on their part. It would be particularly good if they can make a dent in Autotrader's grip on the online classified market. Unfortunately, no-one has yet!

    • Nobby - 08/03/2013 17:20

      @Patrick - By that comment I meant that straying into an area that was not not their core business. Tesco are primarily a grocers with added value consumer services, they were not car retailers. This might have worked for them if they had chosen to sell new cars only. RAC are a recovery company, whether they are retailing them or not my analogy was that they are stepping out of their area of expertise. By advertising these cars with their name over the site will leave them open to consumer dissatisfaction when things go wrong. I see it very much as public perception....if it works then good luck to them. Regarding making a dent in Autotrader, it has been tried many times and failed. Auto-by-tel, Autolocate, Autoquake and that's just the A's. Autotrader hold the market and subsequently are bullish on pricing (which peeves us all), if we all had the most in demand product we probably would too. Unfortunately, I believe their is a fear factor of not being in Autotrader will mean your dealership comes tumbling down. How many businesses have proper metrics on what is happening with their online activity, many rely on the reports provided by the supplier (Autotrader) themselves! The only way to 'dent' Autotrader is for dealers to look at some of the alternative providers and work more closely with them on SEO, Adwords Targeted Advertising, Reputation Management etc. Many areas that dealers and groups are still very much in the dark over.

    • Patrick - 08/03/2013 18:45

      @Nobby - Agree with most of your points. However, the Royal Automobile Club has far more in common with the retail motor industry than a grocer.

  • Jeoff - 08/03/2013 17:35

    Well, they are rescuing Netcars afterall :-)

  • Ash - 12/03/2013 10:26

    If I were a motor retailer or warranty company I'd be sitting up and taking notice of this move. Woodhouse and his millionaire mates are masters of the retail anyway. They know what they want and they want what they know. Stand by and watch RAC become the pre-eminent brand in auto retailing within 2 years. Forget breakdown services, there's no money there and lots of cost. Woodhouse will have a chain of RAC shops selling everything from RAC branded underpants to premium priced used car and related f&i products.