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heycar acquires Honest John website from company administrators

The heycar leadership team

Heycar has completed the acquisition of HonestJohn.co.uk just weeks after the consumer advice website slipped into administration due to “significant cash flow difficulties”.

The online car buying marketplace said in a statement issued to AM this afternoon (February 18) that it hoped to cement its intention to “bring greater trust and transparency to the market” and to “continue rapid growth” with the deal to purchase the long-established motoring advice and vehicle reviews platform.

The deal was led by Miles Needham and Simon Carvill-Biggs, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP in St Albans, following their appointment as Joint Administrators of HonestJohn.co.uk Limited on January 7, 2020.

Having delivered independent motoring advice and vehicle reviews for the past two decades, the Honest John brand will provide heycar with access to an audience of more than 25 million site visitors.

Mat Moakes, the chief executive of heycar in the UK, said: “We launched heycar to drive greater trust and transparency for motorists and the industry. That’s exactly what Honest John has been doing for the past two decades. The acquisition of the site will allow us to achieve that mission faster, by bolstering heycar’s growth and industry presence.”

Moakes added: “We're always on the lookout for opportunities to grow and to enhance the experience for car buyers and drive commercial benefit for our dealers, captive and OEM partners, where company values align.”

In the seven months since its launch in the UK market, with the backing of the Volkswagen Group and Daimler, heycar has already delivered growth for car dealer clients with more than 170,000 cars on the site and 3,500 franchised dealers signed up and selling via the platform.

Moakes said that the independence and strong reputation of HonestJohn.co.uk made it “such an attractive opportunity” as the business looked for new ways to accelerate its success still further.

And he insisted that the website would continue to deliver impartial, independent advice to its loyal following.

Moakes said: “We will maintain this independence through the formation of a clear editorial code between the two brands, continuing the impartial tone HonestJohn.co.uk’s millions of website visitors and tens of thousands of newsletter subscribers expect. Users of the Honest John forum will not notice any difference.”

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