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Bristol Street Motors embraces online retail with used car sales portal

Robert Forrester of Vertu Motors

Bristol Street Motors claims to be leading online innovation in the motor retail sector with what it has billed as “the UK’s first purely web-based used car sales platform”.

Developed in-house by group owners Vertu Motors the new system allows Bristol Street Motors retailer to offer customers the opportunity to purchase used vehicles through an entirely online system.

Customers to choose from more than 6,500 used vehicles and complete their purchase in under five minutes if they have the funds in place or arrange financial packages if they don’t.

In order to make the process as simple as possible for the customer, the vehicle can delivered to any UK mainland postcode.

Robert Forrester, chief executive officer of Vertu Motors, said: “This is a move by the Group to give customers more choice in how they purchase their next used car.

“I believe Vertu Motors is the first major motor retailer to have created an entirely online buying process for used cars, introducing true innovation to the motor retailing sector.”

Bristol Street Motors’s Buy Online used car retail system embraces a trend exploited by manufacturer online retail platforms, appealing to motorists who do not want to visit a dealership, with the car purchased and keys handed over all without the buyer ever needing to step onto a forecourt.

Forrester said: “Shopping online has only been around for just over 20 years and nobody could have foreseen how quickly it would become the norm for so many people to buy their groceries, clothes, furniture and much more this way, so buying a car online is a natural progression.

“With the launch of Bristol Street Motors Buy Online we are offering customers more choice, enabling them to create a bespoke buying process that suits their needs.”

Austin Collins, managing director of BuyaCar.co.uk, which has Bristol Street Motors' online retail efforts said that he welcomed the group's introduction of its woen web-based sales platform, describing it as "another vote of confidence in the online-only used car sales model".

Collins added: "When we began selling used cars online in 2004 there was a lot of scepticism from dealers and consumers that online motor retail would succeed at all. Now all the evidence consistently shows that it is increasingly the preferred choice for many car buyers in the age of internet shopping.

"Vertu have already benefited from the trend, as one of our own best partners, and consumer sales growth on our own site has been comfortably beating the traditional market all year.

Bristol Street Motors' new platform supports customers' entire retail journey. Those with a vehicle they wish to part exchange can use an online valuation tool and questionnaire, with the value of the vehicle automatically deducted from the cost of their purchase with any outstanding finance settled, if required.

Currently, Bristol Street Motors only offers a PCP finance option via its Buy Online platform.

Customers are able to receive an instant acceptance for finance online then review the documents at home – or in dealership, if they wish – before signing and returning the documentation.

A contact team is on hand to talk through and answer any questions on finance over the phone.

A statement issued by Vertu Motors said that the new purchasing portal is part of a continued investment by the top AM100 group to update its sales and marketing channels “to represent the changing consumer landscape and increasing importance of online sales to the economy”.

The statement added: “Official figures show that online sales are increasing at a significant rate. In September 2017 the average weekly spending online was £1.2 billion; an increase of 14% compared with September 2016 and the amount spent online accounted for 17% of all retail spending, excluding automotive fuel, compared with 15.6 % in September 2016.”

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