Heycar – do we need another used car website?

  14 August 2019

Is there now too much choice for retailers when it comes to used car advertising?

This week has seen the launch of yet another used car website with the introduction of Heycar. The cynic in me says that it doesn’t bring anything new to the market although like several of the others in this space Heycar claims it will disrupt the market with technology. I suspect most of the other online used car websites would argue they’re doing the same.

Possibly the biggest difference with Heycar is not that it’s got clever tech, or even that it’s only covering warrantied cars with a maximum age and mileage criteria (Cinch, which launched a couple of weeks ago has a stronger offering in this respect), but that it’s majority owned by a car manufacturer.

Heycar’s parent company Mobility Trader UK is more than 75% owned by VW Financial Services in Germany.

Heycar has been operational in Germany for nearly two years and clearly Volkswagen now has designs on other countries.

VW isn’t the only manufacturer that’s looking at the used and online car market. Just over a week ago, Mercedes’ parent firm Daimler took enough of a shareholding in Carwow to get a seat on the board.

The moves by both manufacturers shows their want to be involved in more of the mobility world and not just building and selling new cars.

To move back a step though, the question arises as to the likelihood that the UK can sustain an online classified website market with (at my count – see list below) 14 players – four of these launched in the past year.

We already know times are hard with Tootle ceasing trading despite what looked to be a very interesting and different idea in the marketplace.

The question is, with retailers under ever increasing cost pressures they’re going to be scrutinising the value of these sites and any that don’t give a good return on investment won’t be used.

It will be an interesting space to watch over the next year or so.

 

Used car websites

  • Auto Trader
  • Motors
  • RAC Cars
  • Exchange and Mart
  • Heycar
  • AA Cars
  • Cinch
  • CarGurus
  • Pistonheads
  • Cazoo
  • Ebay Motors
  • Gumtree
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Cazana
  • Carwow [not actively in used cars yet]
  • Parkers

 

Tristan Young
Editorial director
Auto Retail Network

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