Used car dealer Tom Blackmore believes interest in rare, modern classic cars has been particularly strong since lockdown.
The owner of Divine Automotive, based in Harrogate, says modern classic and used supercars has been healthy and he has experienced strong demand since reopening on June 1.
Speaking to Car Dealer Live yesterday – the full interview you can watch above – Blackmore explained how he built his business around finding great examples of sought-after cars.
He explained how he deals in low volumes, had money in the bank and shut the business completely during lockdown as it was ‘the safest thing to do’.
However, since reopening on June 1, he’s seen high demand which has been particularly strong on some of the unusual cars he specialises in.
He said: ‘I think the market is actually quite strong at the moment.
‘There’s a lot of people who’ve been sitting at home for three months that are still financially fine but they’ve not been able to buy a car and suddenly we’re all let loose, and people are buying.’
Speaking to host James Batchelor, he explained that the used car stock he likes to buy is the rare, low mileage or delivery mileage cars ‘but then I get two or three of those a year’.
He said: ‘I buy everything privately, I do not buy from trade. I do not buy from auctions, I do not buy from anywhere that isn’t the person that has owned the car and their name is on the V5. I like the story I get from buying the cars.
‘Because I buy such specific things, I buy them as and when I can. I can’t go to an auction and buy because there are so many avenues before that where people dispose of their cars. So I just buy what I want when the time is right.’
Blackmore added: ‘More often than not, people are happy to sell a car to me. They will contact me and say they’d like to sell it. They know they’re not getting the best price in the world because I’m a dealer and that’s how it works but I like the story.’
Divine Automotive began as Divine Detailing, when Blackmore worked as a mobile detailer travelling around Yorkshire.
He said he started, as many do, by cleaning his own cars, then his families and neighbours before being recommended to people he’d never met before.
When he decided to move into car buying and selling, the opportunity came from one of his detailing customers who was selling a car he’d just cleaned.
He said: ‘A customer brought their car to me for some detailing work and when he came to pick it up he was taking pictures, which is what most people do, and he said something like “I’ll send these to the dealer that’s interested in buying it”.’
When Blackmore found out how much he would be selling it for, he checked the retail value and then borrowed the money from his dad to buy it.
The following day Blackmore sold the car for £4,500 more than he paid and that was the start of his switch to car dealing.
‘I figured that that was quite easy,’ said Blackmore. ‘It’s not but that particular one was an easy one to do.’
He explained: ‘My biggest battle is getting hold of stock. That’s the hardest. All the stuff I want to buy is difficult.
‘Once I’ve found the cars I want to buy, getting them in the condition I want is even more difficult. Then it’s dealing with people. I have to deal personally with the person who’s selling it and sometimes that is the biggest battle.’
You can watch the full video interview above
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