Available Car Castle Donington June 2021Available Car Castle Donington June 2021


Used car group Available Car suffers pre-tax loss of £7.3m after £2.1m profit year before

  • Available Car swings to huge loss despite rise in turnover
  • Continuing problems with used car supply and rising prices cited among factors
  • Bank loans soar from £1.5m to £7.2m
  • Directors still awarded massive pay rise
  • Dividends of more than £500,000 also paid

Time 12:20 pm, January 2, 2024

Used car retailer Available Car suffered a pre-tax loss of more than £7m in 2022, its newly published accounts for the year show.

The family-run car supermarket group’s accounts for the year ended December 31, 2022 show its turnover rose from £329.7m the year before to £335.7m.

Borrowing costs, however, almost doubled from £964,000 to £1.67m and it posted a pre-tax loss of £7.3m versus a healthy profit of  £2.1m in 2021. It also went from an operating profit of £3.1m to a loss of £680,000.

Available Car blamed continuing problems with used car supply, increasing prices and tough economic conditions, and said the poor performance had led to it selling off two of its four sites last year.

Bank loans soared from £1.488m in 2021 to £7.248m in 2022, while other loans rose from £41.497m to £58.03m

Nevertheless, dividends of £582,000 were paid during 2022 – the same amount as in 2021.

Meanwhile, the directors received emoluments totalling £737,000 in 2022, which was a 24% increase on the £595,000 they got in 2021, with the highest-paid director receiving £317,000 – a 20% rise on the £264,000 they were given the year before.

It received £1.044m under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in 2021, but no such grant in 2022.

Available Car now runs sites in Castle Donington and Sutton-in-Ashfield, having sold its Cannock and Leeds showrooms to Big Motoring World last October, as exclusively reported by Car Dealer.

The Castle Donington operation is its original and flagship location, which opened in January 2002 and is currently said to employ 200 people and stock 1,200 cars.

The Sutton-in-Ashfield site, meanwhile, has 135 members of staff and 850 cars.

Available Car says it has pioneered a non-motor trade retail concept whereby customers aren’t sold cars but are helped to buy them.

It was formed in 2001 by Graham Bell, and his son, Michael, currently holds the chief executive role. The company is controlled by Graham and Alison Bell.

In the accompanying report, which was signed on the board’s behalf by Graham Bell, Available Car says it sold 19,358 cars in 2022 and averaged 3,980 units in stock.

It added: ‘2022 followed on from the previous year as another challenging year for the company. The ongoing challenges around used car supply, rising prices and difficult economic conditions resulted in a trading loss.’

Pictured at top is Available Car’s Castle Donington site

Car Dealer reveals the most profitable dealers in its Top 100 list every year. Find out who the latest ones are here.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

More stories...

Server 108