Auto Trader splashes out £200m to buy leasing business Autorama

  • Auto Trader announces acquisition of Autorama
  • Autorama, through its Vanarama brand, is one of the leading names in leasing market
  • Auto Trader said buy-out will help it appeal to growing number of leasing customers
  • Deal is subject to regulatory approvals

Time 7:24 am, March 22, 2022

Auto Trader has agreed to buy lease deal aggregator Autorama, it’s been announced.

The deal, for £200m and subject to regulatory approvals, will give Auto Trader the opportunity to offer ‘the biggest choice of vehicles’ in the marketplace, it said.

Autorama, under its Vanarama brand, has become of the leading names in the lease deal market, and has sold over 120,000 vehicles to date.

Auto Trader said the buy-out will allow it to ‘help to meet the demands of the growing number of consumers who might consider leasing their next new vehicle’.

Meanwhile, Vanarama said the acquisition will allow it to ‘accelerate its recent expansion, beyond light commercial vehicles, into cars by accessing Auto Trader’s brand’.

Vanarama was founded by Andy Alderson in 2004 as a used vehicle dealer. He saved up to £50k, remortgaged his house and borrowed money from the bank to get it off the ground, he told Car Dealer in 2020.

Vanarama moved into B2B commercial vehicle leasing three years later.

As of December 31, 2021, Autorama had £27m of gross assets and for 2021 made net revenue of £26m, selling around 14,500 vehicles and had an EBITDA loss of £6m.

Announcing the deal, Auto Trader CEO Nathan Coe said: ‘To ensure we have the greatest choice of cars to buy online, we could not ignore the growing demand for leasing deals.

‘In Vanarama, we have found an industry leading leasing platform that delivers a great consumer experience and significant sales for its partners.

‘This acquisition will strengthen our existing leasing business and will enable us to offer both the biggest choice of vehicles and a seamless digital experience from search to sale.

‘I am delighted to be welcoming Andy and his team to the Group.’

Alderson added: ‘As the leading aggregator of leasing deals online, we have sold over 120,000 vehicles for our manufacturer, retailer and lease company partners.

‘Over the last few years we have invested significantly in our technical capability to help our partners respond to consumer demand for a digital buying experience.

‘We are hugely excited about the prospect of being able to accelerate our growth plans and deliver even more value to our partners as part of the Auto Trader Group.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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