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Former Auto Trader chief to launch free-to-list rival website

Former chief executive of Hurst Publishing, the business that launched Auto Trader, Steve Edwards (pictured) has announced the launch of a free-to-list rival website. will go live on August 1 and will provide sellers with a lifetime free listing service in a bid to create a market alternative to the industry leader.

Edwards, chief executive of CarMart, said: "The car listing sector has been dominated by a single player who has been hugely successful in migrating from print to web whilst commanding the very high listing prices more often associated with printed editions.

“Our site will be completely free of charge and will offer even more search features to car buyers looking to find exactly the right purchase.

“We're already seeing a massive interest and we expect to be listing in excess of 400,000 vehicles by the end of the year. The new mobile app and web site will enable buyers to perform advanced searches for vehicles, with features and technology yet to be seen on any other car listing sites. To compete with a well-established market leader like Auto Trader requires a very special USP and you can’t get much more unique than offering a free service.”

Robert Nisbet, a former publisher and digital media entrepreneur who founded the magazine app platform Apazine, is now working with Edwards to head up the development of the technology.

He said: "Our developers are working hard to finalise the systems and technology; we're aiming to offer the best available web experience for buyers whist whilst delivering a free service to sellers.

“It's amazing to see the interest in our site already, the volume of pre-registrations on our website is most encouraging.

“We're not planning to plaster the site with adverts or distractions; we want to ensure the whole experience is positive and immersive. The new site will synchronise with social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter accounts and will bring finding a used car firmly into the 21st century."

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  • Isthisnewsworthy? - 10/03/2015 16:33

    Whats the USP? Free is not a USP. How will they compete on the search engine space with the might that is AutoTrader? There have been plenty of free offerings but no real challenge to the incumbent. I'd be interested to hear their thoughts

  • Marshall Cambridge - 11/03/2015 07:52

    What a professional start (not) to your new business Steve. The site asks you to submit your interest but what are you meant to submit? I guess it is your e-mail address so why not say that? Enter nothing and click the submit button and all you get is a white screen with "failfail". Enter "hi" and you get "failsuccess"! The count down timer shows 00 days, 00 hours, 00 minutes. If this is a sign of what is to come I fear that you have bitten off more than you can chew. Please prove me wrong because AutoTrader is now too powerful and needs some rivals to keep it moving forward and prices reasonable.

  • Fako Nameo - 11/03/2015 08:16

    "PLEASE ANSWER THESE SHORT SURVEY QUESTIONS BEFORE WE SHOW YOU YOUR SEARCH RESULTS" But on a serious note, I can't see that free will lead to anything other than an advert filled poor consumer experience. AT goes a little OTT and they charge for the service, I can't imagine how they can drive both traffic and a great consumer experience using only ad revenue.

  • Donald - 12/03/2015 06:47

    Someone has to pay at some stage unless this is a charity site. Either sellers or perhaps by selling advertising space? Maybe subscription from buyers?

    • Isthisnewsworthy? - 12/03/2015 09:09

      @Donald - I imagine they will want to be a big data business, selling users information to create value. I don't see how they will compete with CAP and Glass with their expertise in these areas but if they do think that, its the AT arrogance coming through. I wonder why they're not even watching the comments section on the only place to publish this story and replying to potential customers concerns, oh that'll be it, arrogance

    • iknowabit - 19/03/2015 19:00

      @Isthisnewsworthy? - Surely there will have to be a partnership with either CAP or Glass? Where else would they source vehicle taxonomy information?

  • Craig - 11/11/2015 12:00

    Update on their website as of 11.11.2015......................110 days until launch??