The Trade Price Cars team with Tim Smith, left, and Mike Brewer, right, UCA 2021The Trade Price Cars team with Tim Smith, left, and Mike Brewer, right, UCA 2021


Inquest rules that used car dealer Dan Kirby committed suicide after business went into liquidation

  • Inquest held into the tragic death of Trade Price Cars founder Dan Kirby
  • Coroner concludes that used car dealer committed suicide last September
  • Hearing told that 37-year-old was struggling with his mental health after liquidation of his business

Time 7:08 am, April 15, 2024

Trade Price Cars founder Dan Kirby took his own life after his business went into liquidation, an inquest has heard.

Car Dealer reported the tragic news that Kirby had passed away last September, with tributes pouring in from across the automotive industry.

An inquest into his death was opened on October 10 and a full hearing has now taken place at Essex Coroner’s Court in Chelmsford.

The documentary inquest, overseen by Coroner Michelle Brown, heard that the much-loved father-of-two was found in an unresponsive condition by his brother Chris at around 11.50am on September 18.

He was rushed from the scene, within the grounds of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hyde Hall gardens, via air ambulance but tragically passed away in hospital the following morning.

Brown told the inquest that one of Kirby’s businesses had been recently liquidated, adding: ‘He was struggling with that, I think it’s fair to say.’

A voluntary liquidator was appointed to Trade Price Cars on September 13 of last year – less than a week before the sad death.

The inquest also heard that Kirby had previously had issues with addicted and was receiving private psychiatric and mental health support, the BBC reports.

After hearing all evidence, including testimony from Kirby’s father, Kevin, Brown concluded that the 37-year-old committed suicide.

Coroners in the UK can only reach such a conclusion if they are satisfied that ‘there is evidence beyond reasonable doubt that the injury was self-inflicted and the deceased intended to take their own life’.

Speaking about his son during the hearing, Kevin Kirby said: ‘It’s only since this has happened that we learnt so much more about him; he was a businessman, a family man, but he was a generous person, a very generous person.

‘If you were in trouble with anything he would help financially, or with anything.’

He added: ‘[Dan] was helping other people right up to the very end, he was still going and doing things for people.

‘And yet the one person who needed that [help] was sadly himself.’

After the inquest, Kevin Kirby told the BBC: ‘He was just an amazing person who would just do anything for anybody.’

News of Kirby’s death rocked the motor trade last year, with tributes pouring in from throughout the industry.

Kirby, a former Car Dealer Used Car Awards winner, appeared on Car Dealer Live in 2020 and led Trade Price Cars’ racing team in the 2019 and 2020 BTCC seasons.

Such was his popularity among his peers, used car dealers raised more than £5,000 in his memory at last year’s Used Car Awards.

Kirby’s business, won the Used Car Dealership of the Year Over 100 Cars category at UCA in 2021.

Anyone in the motor trade who is suffering with their mental health can contact the industry charity Ben for help.

The organisation runs a specialist hotline that can be contacted on 08081 311333, as well as an online chat service.

Everyone at Car Dealer sends our heartfelt condolences to Dan’s friends and family at this very difficult time.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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