Discussions on whether to cut car dealers’ advertising bills ongoing at sites including Auto Trader and Cargurus

Time 12 months ago

Classified advertising portals – including Auto Trader and Cargurus – are discussing how they can help cut car dealers’ bills during lockdown MK2.

Car Dealer contacted Auto Trader, Cargurus, eBay Motors Group and others to ask what their plans are to help dealers out during the second shutdown which starts Thursday.

It is believed Auto Trader is waiting to see the results of the discussions in Parliament tomorrow for confirmation that car dealers must close before acting.


Discussions are believed to have been on-going since the weekend and a decision is being held off until MPs vote on the lockdown tomorrow.

With the SMMT, trade bodies and car dealers fiercely lobbying for their Covid secure dealerships to stay open during the lockdown, many in the industry are holding their nerve before acting.

Auto Trader did not charge car dealers for their advertising packages in April and May, during the first lockdown.

Big Motoring World boss Peter Waddell said: ‘I think Auto Trader and Cargurus should cut bills again – it’s going to be difficult for dealers during this lockdown and the help before went a long way.

‘Auto Trader could say we should pay for November and then give us December free to advertise as much stock as we want to get the market moving again when we reopen properly.

‘I hope they do something.’

Other car dealer group bosses have told Car Dealer that they also hope help is offered by the classified portals.

Cargurus told Car Dealer that no ‘decisions had been made yet’ but the senior team are ‘working on it urgently’.

With polling stations open in the States, Cargurus offers its American head office staff a day off but, despite this, conversations among the senior team are ongoing.

Cargurus was one of the first to act during the first lockdown, cutting bills for retailers by 50 per cent in April, May and June.

eBay Motors Group issued a statement to Car Dealer.

It said: ‘Following the announcement on Saturday concerning a four-week lockdown in England in November, we are currently reviewing the government guidance available to decide on the best course of action to support all of our clients.’

Heycar and AA Cars have also been approached for comment.

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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