The change, according to the RAC, could save the average dealer about £50,000 per year.
It says the move is designed to lower the cost of selling cars for dealers and help RAC Cars become the leading online market place of its kind, with a target of 500,000-plus cars advertised at any one time. Advertising for private motorists is also free.
Rupert Keane (pictured), chairman of raccars.co.uk, said: ‘With just a few dominant players in the online used car advertising market, sellers feel they are being held to ransom and paying top dollar to advertise.
‘As the motorist’s champion, the RAC wants to break the mould and offer something different that will benefit dealers and private motorists.
‘Dealers who currently spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds advertising every year with car portals will now be able to do exactly the same for free. There are no catches: you just won’t pay anything for advertising your car.
‘We believe this will revolutionise the car portal sector, passing a huge benefit to the dealer and private motorist. Why would you pay for something you can get for free elsewhere, especially when it is backed by one of the most trusted motoring brands in the UK?
‘Maybe this will lead to cars being advertised at lower prices on raccars.co.uk. Online advertising is a significant cost for dealers and removing it could enable them to offer cars without that amount included. Everyone wins.’
Currently, there are around 130,000 dealer car ads on RAC Cars. These will stay in place and their contract periods will be run out from today. New and existing dealers can find out how to upload their current stock by logging on to www.raccars.co.uk/dealeradvertising (click away now – the link is working).
Keane said: ‘We want to make it as easy as possible for dealers to transfer their stock on to raccars.co.uk and the technology we are using, supported by Starkwood, means it should take minutes for a dealer to complete registration. We’ll do the rest.
‘In some cases where the current stock feed provider may not wish to send a feed to the RAC we shall provide Starkwood Media Group’s Autohub for free – it’s independent, simple and easy to use and can forward stock to other sites, thereby replacing the old stock feed provider. There are no strings attached.’
Using its new business model, racccars.co.uk offers the private motorist a range of car-buying tools including RAC Warranty, RAC Passport and RAC Vehicle Inspections as well as the RAC’s own car insurance and breakdown cover. The site has also received a refresh with the RAC’s new We Love Cars marketing campaign giving it a new look and feel.
Keane added: ‘The impactful website combined with the enticing free proposition for dealers will make raccars.co.uk really stand out from the rest.’
The RAC estimates the new site could save the average dealer £50,000 a year. It said a dealer who has 100 used cars for sale will, on average, turn over their stock every five weeks. Every five weeks they could pay the UK’s current largest search engine £5,000 (£10 per week per car). If they maintained that sell rate across the year, their advertising bill would be £50,000.
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