Tony Bramall Drive FuzeTony Bramall Drive Fuze


Former Lookers director Tony Bramall invests in car subscription firm

  • Former car dealer ploughs cash into car subscription start-up
  • Near 90-year-old investor has made millions in car dealerships
  • He backs firm that provides cars for a monthly all-in payment

Time 2:50 pm, June 17, 2024

Octogenarian veteran car dealer investor Tony Bramall has splashed out cash backing a tech start-up.

The former car dealer, 88, has ploughed cash into Drive Fuze, an online car subscription service.

The firm offers cars for a monthly payment that includes comprehensive insurance, servicing, road tax, breakdown cover and allows drivers to cover 1,000 miles a month.

A Citroen C1 is available on the website for £379 per month, a Kia XCeed for £519 per month or an Audi e-tron 300kW for £1,995 per month.

Peter Jones, the former Lookers CEO, is a director of Drive Fuze as well as holding a directorship on Bramall Properties Ltd.

The car subscription business is run by Nick Rothwell who used to head up Ford of Europe’s car finance arm.

Bramall left the board of Lookers in 2020 and made £80m from the sale of his shares in the group to Constellation Automotive Group in 2022. Lookers was eventually sold to Canadian firm Alpha Auto Group for £465m.

He previously cashed in to the tune of £240m selling another business, CD Bramall, to Pendragon in 2004.

His investment in Drive Fuze, first reported by This Is Money, shows the Yorkshireman has not given up on investing just yet, despite approaching 90.

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He told the website: ‘Most people in their 60s and 70s still have a lot of expertise to give.

‘People my age like to pick up a car, drive it and own it, but there’s a trend towards using a car rather than owning it, especially among younger people.’

However, car subscription services have not been particularly successful in the UK thus far.

Onto headed into administration owing £121m to creditors in November 2022 while Cazoo shut down its UK offering – formerly known as Drover – and its German business, Cluno, soon after acquiring them as part of its ill-fated growth.

Bramall admits that it may take time for Drive Fuze to take off, but he is hoping it has similar success to a Spanish business the founder’s started which was sold to Renault for £90m.

On the investment, he added: ‘I’m convinced I’ve made a decision I won’t regret. Time will tell.’ 

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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