Big Motoring World Peter WaddellBig Motoring World Peter Waddell


Big Motoring World boss refuses to rule out rumours he’s buying used car supermarket rival Available Car

  • Waddell refuses to answer questions on whether he is buying rival business
  • Used car supermarket deal would take Big Motoring World to 10 sites
  • Rumours a deal is close to completion as bosses fail to deny claims 

Time 3:51 pm, August 30, 2023

Peter Waddell has refused to comment on rumours Big Motoring World is set to buy used car supermarket rival Available Car.

The used car dealer boss told Car Dealer that a deal like that would ‘make us number one in car supermarkets’ but refused to comment on whether the takeover bid was true or not.

Car Dealer gave Waddell the opportunity to deny the rumours this afternoon but he would not be drawn on the matter. 

Auto Retail Agenda reported senior staff have been called together for a meeting tomorrow to be told about the takeover. Waddell would not be drawn on that either.

David Kendrick, deal maker at UHY Hacker Young, told Car Dealer: ‘This is an interesting move, especially in a market that is facing challenges around used cars currently. 

‘We have seen many used car supermarkets expand and struggle so it will be a very interesting one to watch that’s for sure.’

Big Motoring World has been growing since Waddell sold a portion of his business to venture capitalists. Big recently opened its sixth site in Wimbledon and swallowed up SW Car Supermarket in 2021.

SW boss Anton Khan joined Waddell’s team as COO but the relationship didn’t last and he has since left the business.

Last year Big made £10.9m profit – a rise of 65 per cent on the year before – and turned over £529.7m.

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In April last year, Waddell resigned from his position as a director of failed online used car dealer Carzam and announced he had sold what was rumoured to be a multimillion pound slice of his Big business to VC fund Freshstream.

At the time the fund said it will ‘enable the business to accelerate its growth’ as it looks at ‘new geographies’.

Waddell said: ‘Freshstream’s investment and expertise will allow us to further accelerate our ambitious growth strategy.’

Available Car was established in 2002 and is run by Michael Bell, who appeared on stage at this year’s Car Dealer Live. He has been contacted for comment on the rumours too.

The used car supermarket group has four sites in Cannock, Castle Donington and Sutton in Ashfield and currently has 4,000 cars in stock. It turns over around £330m a year.

The move comes at a time of turbulence for used car supermarkets. Recently listed used car supermarket Motorpoint has admitted it has struggled for stock and has been battered by falling EV prices. It slipped to an annual £300k loss in 2022.

More recently, Peter Vardy closed its large format used car supermarkets in Dundee and Glasgow. He said short supply of retailable used cars and poor demand for used EVs made the businesses unworkable.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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