Drive Assist’s turmoil

Time 9:44 am, December 11, 2012

SOURCES have confirmed to Car Dealer that accident management firm Drive Assist UK is in administration.

The news – confirmed to us by sources at the firm – means the group’s dealership, Nottingham Auto Park, is also facing closure.

Staff have told Car Dealer Magazine that they were told to leave the premises yesterday in a bitter blow just before the festive season.

We exclusively revealed yesterday, that Drive Assist UK was heading towards administration.

The firm is the UK’s fifth largest accident management company. A mole who tipped off Car Dealer told us the firm’s directors consider Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP to be the ultimate controlling party. They funded a £250m buy-out of the company in 2007.

However, losses have been increasing in recent years. Drive Assist figures for the year to May 2011 showed turnover down 32 per cent to £107.3m. Pre-tax loss for the year was £233.4m (the previous year was £24.9m) due to a £188m hit on a ‘permanent diminution in value of goodwill’.

The firm’s balance sheet value shows a negative value of £320m – the previous year negative value of £89m.

The sad news follows a string of recent administrations in the motor trade. Nidd Vale was placed in administration only last week.

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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