News launched – as we predicted!

Time 4:26 am, April 3, 2011

tescoSupermarket giant Tesco launched a used car sales website this weekend, as predicted by Car Dealer.

The partner we suspected to be in cahoots with Tesco all along, Carsite, looks to be correct. That website no longer works and instead all its technology has been plugged into

The website promises to make buying cars easy giving customers the pick of ‘thousands of used cars’.

Customers find their car online, secure it with a £99 deposit, then receive a full RAC report with video and photo gallery. If the customer is happy they can collect it or have it delivered to their home for just £149.

It’s the model many in the industry predicted would happen and could shake up the way cars are sold online. As predicted, Tesco’s finance arm is heavily plugged into the offer with car insurance and breakdown cover both promoted heavily.

Currently there are only 50 cars for sale but it’s likely these will grow quickly. It’s rumoured that Tesco will not actually hold any stock – buying instead on demand from customers.

This is easily possible with the ex-lease cars bought from Motability, the probable source of all cars. MFLdirect offers trade buyers the chance to buy cars on demand from its website, perfect for Tesco’s offering.


The trade is already having its say on the new website – with many angry that the site has eight pages of testimonials, all from former Carsite buyers. On Saturday night, when news broke the website was live, many in the trade were furiously debating the latest entrant to the market on Twitter.

tesco_logoDaksh Gupta, chief executive of Marshall Motor Group tweeted: ‘You will get 2,000 club card points, which I think is worth £20? Reading the terms and conditions Tesco are NOT the seller they are agents on behalf of fleets. And there’s no test drives. Would you buy a used car without test driving?’

Steve Fowler, editor-in-chief of What Car? said he thought the site looks ‘okay’ and the cars were ‘well priced’ and overall it was a ‘decent offering’.

While traders were in two minds as to whether it will affect their business or not. Car Dealer columnist James Litton, a used car dealer, tweeted: ‘Just been reading RAC reports on Tesco Cars. Tryes on the legal limit, poor wiper blades, stuff not working. Game changer? Not with this model.’ Litton’s full rant will appear in the next issue of Car Dealer Magazine.

Meanwhile, founder Ling Valentine, who specialises in leasing, tweeted: ‘I am waiting for the UK franchised car dealers to start boycotting Tesco. They think used cars can’t be shelled like peas. Wait for the hysterics.’

Full analysis, comment and opinion from the industry’s biggest names will appear in the next issue of Car Dealer Mag, out on April 17. To subscribe for £24.99 and get free legal advice, click here.

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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