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.
CarMart.co.uk 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."