Luxury supercar dealer Tom Hartley has opened the doors to his £10m showroom as part of our Selling Supercars video series.
The winner of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Used Car Award welcomed the Car Dealer team to his eponymous dealership – and even took us for a spin in a £2.4m Ferrari LaFerrari.
Hartley – who has been in the motor trade for 50 years and now runs the supercar selling estate alongside his son Carl – explains in the piece why he still loves selling cars five decades after he began.
The video is the second in a special series focussed on some of the country’s leading supercar showrooms. The first featured Romans International.
Sat alongside some supercars costing millions of pounds, Hartley says he has sold some of the most expensive cars in the world from his dealership.
He says it is not uncommon for the Swadlincote showroom to have £100m worth of stock tucked behind its electric gates and its customers turn up in helicopters.
As well as the showroom, Tom’s families’ homes are also dotted around the site alongside the famous lake, where a submerged platform allows Hartley to drive cars onto the water for his trademark photos.
In the video, which you can watch at the top of this post, Hartley says he doesn’t think there are any rivals to his supercar business.
‘I don’t see any competition,’ he says.
‘I don’t care what anybody else does out there, it doesn’t really make a difference. It won’t change what we do.
‘We have our own style and our own name.’
He explains his selling technique is simply ‘being Tom Hartley’ and says he treats every customer the same ‘whether they’re buying a £35,000 car or a $30m one’.
‘We have what’s called a reputation and a reputation is something that you can’t buy – it’s been created over a 40 year period,’ he explains in the video.
‘My selling technique is being Tom Hartley.’
Hartley has bought and sold cars from the rich and famous including Elton John, Rod Stewart and countless footballers.
His office is covered with memorabilia from newspaper and magazine articles documenting his many deals over the years and he talks about his most memorable sales in the video.
But he freely admits he’s no petrol head – admitting he drives a VW Golf diesel most of the time.
‘I appreciate nice cars and I enjoy driving nice cars, but I’m not a petrol head,’ he tells Car Dealer.
‘I’m an entrepreneur, who happens to buy and sell luxury performance cars – full stop.’
Hartley took Car Dealer out for a spin in his ‘favourite supercar’, a £2.4m LaFerrari – the very first one off the production line.
It was a car Hartley had bought and sold once before as he made a promise to himself he would be the first to retail one of the exclusive cars on the open market.
When the car was launched at the Geneva motor show, Hartley says he was asked to leave the stand by Ferrari top brass.
Despite that incident, he told Car Dealer the LaFerrari has always been a personal favourite of his and if he were to keep a supercar it would be one.
However, he’d much rather sell it to one of his returning customers.
‘I don’t think we have such a thing as a “best customer”, but we have a lot of loyal customers who come back to us because we take care of them,’ he explains.
‘We give them a good deal and good service. But we’re in business to make money. We’re not greedy and we like to pass a good deal on.’
Hartley claims his net worth is now in excess of £250m, thanks to his car dealership and property businesses. But despite his wealth he insists he won’t be giving up work anytime soon.
He said: ‘I do this every day of my life. I do it seven days a week, 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. That’s what I do. That’s why I’m called the Dealmaker.’
Watch the video in full at the top of this post.
Hartley will be appearing at next year’s Car Dealer Live 2024 event speaking on the stage about his business. Tickets are available now at Early Bird prices. For full details about the event and ticket bookings visit the dedicated website.