CAR Dealer Magazine’s popular Trading Up feature is back again. Well, we say popular. We have no proof of that, but we’ve used it as an excuse to have some more fun trying to turn the sum of £2,000 into something vaguely supercar-shaped.
You might remember that last time we did this, Car Dealer’s MD James Baggott and TV’s very own Mike Brewer were engaged in a mighty battle to see who could turn the biggest profit with a succession of shrewd and clever deals.
Well, Mike emerged triumphant and kindly donated his spoils to this fresh challenge, which is taking place in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
This time, the format’s slightly different.
Car Dealer’s very own Brewer wannabe, ops director Andy Entwistle, is taking the reins and flying solo (apologies for the mixed metaphor) and he’s convinced that he can do well.
He has certainly got a challenge on his hands! And from now on, he takes up the story…
Why I must beat Mr Baggott
To pull this off would clearly be no mean feat and I’m putting my head well and truly above the parapet.
If I can’t beat Mr Baggott at this game given my past life, then I’m never going to live it down!
Firstly, I’ve set myself up with all the normal tools that dealers need. Online trade accounts – check! Provenance and valuations tool courtesy of HPI – check! And the all-important trade insurance, courtesy of Unicom insurance – check!
As soon as they found out it was for charity, the guys at Unicom set us up with an all-singing, all-dancing policy, covering me and Mr Baggott, though why exactly he needs to be on there is beyond me. I don’t want him sabotaging my plan!
We secured our first stock before Christmas, in the shape of a 2003 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
This came with low mileage and was in far better condition than you might expect.
We paid a little over the odds for the car, simply down to the lack of older, cheaper stock out there. We were also keen to try to take advantage of the terrible weather we’ve been having, as you’ll all know.
Decent older stock is hard to come by, but this Vitara was a great little runner and certainly got me out of a hole or two over the festive season when the floods hit the New Forest.
Sadly, luck wasn’t on my side at the end of December. During a particularly ferocious storm on Christmas Eve, a large branch was broken off a tree outside Entwistle Towers. It clouted the Suzuki square in the face, cracking the windscreen – and it even went on to dent the side of the wife’s car.
After a call was made to a friend for a deal, £200 later we had a new screen.
Needless to say, all this was bound to have an impact on our hoped-for profit margin.
Added to which, although it has certainly been wet and windy for weeks on end now, snowy and icy conditions were noticeable only by their absence, meaning our plan to cash in on the Grand Vitara’s 4×4 credentials took a bit of a knock too.
Still, it’s early days in this whole challenge, so we mustn’t get too downhearted.
And as we speak, the guys at Auto Trader have kindly given us some space on their site in the form of a free advert to move the car on, so hopefully by the time you read the next episode the little Suzuki will be gone with a little profit and we’ll be on to the next step. I have 12 months to get us something fancy – anything better than an early 996 will do.
So now the begging bowl comes out. If you fancy helping us reach our target and have any little PXs that you don’t know what to do with, drop me an email! Anything that’s a bit of a bargain would be great.