Alex Chesterman and Cazoo transporterAlex Chesterman and Cazoo transporter


Peter Vardy in advanced talks to buy two sites from used car dealer Cazoo

  • Franchised car dealer wants to acquire Grangemouth customer centre and a prep site
  • Used car seller Cazoo in talks with 3,000 staff across the UK about job losses
  • Cazoo planning to slash number of sites it operates after cutting sales targets for 2023

Time 8:03 am, February 15, 2023

Peter Vardy is in talks to buy two Scottish sites from troubled used car dealer Cazoo.

The successful franchised group confirmed to Car Dealer it was ‘in discussions’ with Cazoo over its Grangemouth customer centre and Livingston prep site.

Cazoo invested £1m in the Grangemouth site and opened it in December 2020. It was the 13th customer centre the used car dealer set up and is based on Glensburgh Road, Falkirk.

The Livingston prep site was snapped up when Cazoo bought SMH Fleet Solutions for £70m in 2021 as it ramped up its ability to recondition hundreds of thousands of cars ready for sale.

However, the used car dealer has announced a swathe of proposed job cuts across the UK as the empire it built slowly unravels.

The move comes as Cazoo – set up by Alex Chesterman (pictured) – slashed its sales targets from around 65,000 used cars sold in 2022 to just 40,000 this year.

Cazoo is consulting with staff across the UK on its plans to close 15 of its 22 customer centres and slash the number of prep sites it has down to three.

Car Dealer understands Cazoo only wants to keep its prep sites in Portbury, Cold Meece and Bedford open. 

The consultation period runs until March 4, but some staff have already heard rumours sites are being lined up for sale.

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A source said: ‘Peter Vardy is believed to be taking over the Grangemouth site on on March 1. It’s believed there will be redundancies, but Peter Vardy have said they want to keep as many staff as they can. 

‘They have also taken the old SMH site at Livingston that Cazoo owned and will use this for repairs and car preparation.’

A spokesperson for Peter Vardy confirmed the talks to Car Dealer: ‘Peter Vardy are in discussions with Cazoo regarding a potential sale of the Grangemouth and Livingston sites and are working through the details including the scope of a potential TUPE transfer of staff.’

Vardy holds a variety of franchises including Porsche, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and operates the Carz used car network.

Ironically, the latter lets customers buy their cars online and have them delivered to their door, just like Cazoo. It has 3,000 used cars for sale on its website and donates 10 per cent of its profits to charity.

Peter Vardy was the 36th most profitable car dealer in the Car Dealer Top 100 with EBITDA profits of £14.7m in 2021.

The extent of Cazoo’s job cuts are not yet known in detail, but an all-hands call leaked to Car Dealer revealed 15 of its Customer Centres were facing the chop across the UK.

Only those in Bristol, Birmingham, Chertsey, Lakeside, Manchester, Northampton and Wembley are likely to remain open.

Just three of its preparation centres – snapped up as part of a host of multi million pound deals as the company grew rapidly – are set to remain open.

Four are earmarked for closure under the proposals – Westbury, Long Bennington, Livingston and Gloucester.

More than 3,000 staff across the UK, including those at its head office, are said to be currently being consulted. The consultation period is due to end on March 4.

Cazoo has been contacted for comment.

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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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