You may remember, back in February, four members of the Car Dealer team decided to raise money for automotive industry charity BEN in a unique way.
Over a series of weeks we each hunted down a car costing less than £200 that would take us from our Portsmouth HQ to John O’Groats and back.
But the real challenge wasn’t to get there and back – although for some of the cars that did become part of the challenge – no, the real reason was to raise as much money for charity.
The plan was to sell the cars at the end of the
adventure and hand all the money over to BEN.
Our cars made it (just) and we managed to sell them for nearly £1,700, doubling our original stake.
The adventure proved to be such a success – and BEN were so delighted with the result – we put our heads together to come up with a way to do it again, but this time raise even more money!
THIS time it won’t just be four numpty hacks taking part – we’ve got space for 19 other teams from across the motor industry to take part. We want franchised dealers, independent traders, car supermarkets, car manufacturers and auto industry suppliers to get involved in Bangers4BEN MkII.
The rules are pretty similar to the original, but this time the organisation is being taken care of by BEN – which is good for you because they’ll do it far better than us…
Teams will be made up of two people for a £250 entry fee – this covers accommodation for two nights with bed and breakfast. Teams will then have to find a car to make the journey that costs no more than £250. Before we set off, everyone will have to hand in an invoice or sales receipt for the car they’re entering that proves they paid less than £250.
Then, at the end of the trip, all cars will be entered into a special BCA auction with the aim of making as much money as possible for BEN. The entire sale price, including the original stake, will be handed to the charity.
All cars must be road legal with MOT and tax, but insurance will be covered for a period of seven days (for the trip) by our good friends from HPI using their Driveaway product. Unless, of course, you’ve got your own trade cover.
The £250 limit is a chance to prove to your industry colleagues just how good you are at sourcing cars, because the better the vehicle you find the more you’ll be raising for BEN come resale time. So, if you want to rock up in a £10,000 3-Series we won’t hold that against you – just as long as the sales invoice shows you paid under £250 for it!
Saying that, if you rock up in a rusting Fiat Punto, with just enough MOT to cover the trip, we won’t hold that against you either – just don’t expect us to wait for the RAC man with you!
Entrants are free to decorate their cars as they see fit – as long as it’s easy to remove when you come to sell. All entrants will also be supplied with a large bumper sticker that will promote the Bangers4BEN.com website.
IT’S important to stress this is not a race – we could obviously never condone such a thing on UK roads – but it is an endurance test. Having already
completed this trip in the depths of winter, we know it’s not easy – especially when you take a look at the mileages we’ll be covering.
Day one – Monday, November 9 – begins at BEN’s headquarters at Ascot, Berkshire. After pig in baps and coffee we’ll head off on the longest leg, mileage-wise to Inverness. The 560-mile slog will take a fair few hours, but you can take as many or as little stops as you like. We’ll be staying at the Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel.
Day two – Tuesday, November 10 – we’ll head to John O’Groats, most likely in convoy, and we’ll get together at the tourist spot for pictures. Then we’ll turn around and head to Berwick-upon-Tweed where BEN has a residential centre. We’ll be staying at a Travelodge just down the road, but we’ll pay BEN’s Birch Hill centre a visit in the evening to set off some fireworks for the residents. It’d be great if entrants could bring a rocket (the bigger the better) to set off at the event.
Day three – Wednesday, November 11 – we’ll be heading for our final destination: Brands Hatch racing circuit. If your car hasn’t fallen apart by this point we’ll take to the track for a few celebratory laps, pat each other on the back and look forward to the auction.
Download this feature as a printable PDF document to hand around your dealership here: bangers4ben_cardealer
THIS will take place at a BCA centre. Entrants will be expected to get their cars to the centre in time for the auction, which will be arranged to take place very soon after we’ve all (hopefully) completed the trip. Teams are more than welcome to attend the sale, but Car Dealer will be reporting live from the event if you can’t make it.
EACH team will be required to set up a Twitter account and ‘blog’ while they’re on the event. If you’ve never used the site before, don’t worry, it’s very simple.
Basically it’s an online blog, which you send updates to of no more than 140 characters. It’s easy to do from a mobile phone as you can simply text your update in and it posts on the website. This will give everyone back at home details on our trip as we drive around the country.
Each car will be given a three letter identifying code – we’ll be CDM – so those following our trip will know who it is. Don’t worry though, full details on Twitter will be given to entrants when they sign up.
We’ll be using the ‘tweets’ to report on the adventure in the magazine so the more you update the more you’ll be featured – and there will be a prize for the Top Twit too (see below).
Entry to Bangers4BEN MKII will cost you a £250 entry fee, a maximum of £250 on a ‘banger’, plus fuel and food costs for the three days. If you want to – and we’re in no way forcing you too – you can gain additional sponsorship in the traditional way. BEN can offer advice on this if you need it.
How you promote your participation in Bangers4BEN MkII is up to you too – you can do as much or as little as you want. We’ll obviously be covering the whole event, but it’s worth putting your press agency to work too. Our first trip was covered in the local papers and on our local BBC radio station. It’s a great way to get some added publicity for your dealership. If you need any advice or help, the Car Dealer team will be happy to help.
Corny but true… the real winners here will be BEN, benefitting from a cash injection just when they need it most. However for a bit of competition we’ll be handing out ‘special’ prizes in a few categories.
The overall winner – this will be decided by the team that completes the trip and makes the most profit when their car is sold. The original stake will be deducted from the BCA sale price to reveal the total.
The best decorated car – as decided by BEN. Purely picked by the charity, but remember, you need to put the car back to standard in time for the sale.
The Top Twit – as an incentive to document the journey via Twitter, we’ll be handing out a gong for the team that submits the most entertaining and relevant tweets during the event. This will be judged by the Car Dealer editor.
HOW TO ENTER
ENTRY FORM: booking-form-new
Entry to Bangers4BEN MKII is simple. All you need to do is fill out the entry form (download it by clicking the link above) and send it to BEN with a cheque for £250.
We’ve only got 19 places available – we’ve obviously taken one – so you need to be quick! You’ll be sent a welcome pack with more details from BEN, then the hard part begins… finding a car.
Being in the trade you’re unlikely to be searching the same channels as the Car Dealer Magazine team, so spare a thought for us hunting eBay for a runner!
The idea is to keep what car you’ve bought secret as best as possible until the day we set off – Top Gear style! See you in November on the start line…