Car Dealer Podcast Episode 162Car Dealer Podcast Episode 162


From driveway sales to used car supermarket success – how V12 Sports & Classics did it

  • Farhad Tailor charts the rise V12 Sports & Classics, from the early days of driveway sales to turning around 1,400 vehicles a month
  • Mastering eBay laid the foundations for rapid expansion
  • Auto Trader data has been key to succesful strategy

Time 11:53 am, June 17, 2024

Farhad Tailor, managing director at V12 Sports & Classics, tells the CarDealer podcast how he turned a passion for cars and an eye for an eBay bargain into a hugely successful and profitable used car business.

Talking to James Baggott and Jon Reay on the most recent episode of the Car Dealer Podcast, Tailor spoke candidly about the humble beginnings of his operation, selling vehicles from his home and garden, and the pathway to today’s behemoth of a used car business.

‘It all really started when platforms like eBay were quite new to the market, people didn’t really understand it. So I took advantage of that situation, where I was able to buy on eBay, bring that car back home, give it a good valet and give it a good prep,’ he said.

According to Tailor, understanding the importance of high quality images and a good product description enabled him to distance the burgeoning business from rival seller competition on the site, and it wasn’t long before he had garnered a great deal of positive feedback and even started to receive enquiries from abroad.

‘A lot of my car dealer friends saw eBay as just another auction site, and would throw stock online. It wasn’t long before they started receiving negative feedback,’ he adds.

‘I took the opposite approach, where the customer would come to view the vehicle and I would make it clear to them that they were under no obligation to buy it, even though it was sold via an auction format. It resulted in 100 per cent feedback pretty quickly,’ he says.

The business subsequently grew at speed from an operation that Tailor was running from his driveway, garden and a friend’s farm (where he stashed some 140 vehicles), to a business that now sells around 1,400 vehicles a month over six retail sites.

Tailor says that the original trust and positive feedback his business managed to accrue during those early days has remained an integral factor to its success, with the company currently enjoying some 9,000 Google reviews and an average feedback score of 4.6 out of 5.

‘We are one of the only car supermarkets to offer a full AA inspection,’ Tailor says. ‘It is not easy to run a business of this size and offer the full 128 point check service, but it has allowed us to scale rapidly,’ he adds.

Operating a prep centre in the Midlands that turns around at least 70 vehicles a day, as well a separate central office building that houses a contact centre that deals with finance applications and more, has also helped fuel this rapid growth.

‘Every site that I’ve ever opened has always hit target from month one, so there’s no lag time,’ Tailor reveals.

‘Because we operate the centralised prep centre, it is literally like replenishing the shelves the next day. So as a group, if we were to sell 40 cars today, tomorrow morning, 40 cars would need to be replenished, and advertised back on site, ‘ he says.

Trusting Auto Trader data has also played a huge part of the success story, with Tailor admitting that every buying decision the company makes starts from the ‘days-to-sell’ figures.

‘We are comfortable to stock any make and model. Desirability scores are not that important for us. We are looking at the days-to-sell data and that gives us the ability to retail a £60,000 car in the same way that we’d retail a £15,00 car,’ Tailor admits.

Naturally, the company has had to learn to rely on a number of auction houses to help replenish the rapid stock turnover. Tailor says a long-standing relationship with BCA provides around 75 per cent of his stock, although Aston Barclay, Mannheim and City Auctions are also named as key suppliers.

But Tailor is keen to consolidate the wholesale vehicle buying process, revealing exclusively to the podcast that he is one of five shareholders in a new venture dubbed, an online platform that aims to provide a Right Move or experience for the UK vehicle wholesale market.

Ensuring that MOT history checks, Auto Trader data and specification checks are all in one place means buyers don’t have to leave the portal when searching for quality stock, streamlining the entire process.

‘The utopia for us is to have every wholesale vehicle available in the UK on this one platform, while allowing users to make the most of these key tools when making buying decisions,’ Tailor says.

You can listen to more of the fascinating interview by pressing play on the podcast button below:

The Car Dealer Podcast, sponsored by JATO, sees an industry guest join our hosts to discuss the motor trade’s biggest headlines of every week.

Among the topics up for discussion in the latest episode were the deepening losses suffered by Motorpoint, Labour’s pledge to reinstate the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles, as well as JLR’s pledge to invest more than £1m to crackdown on thefts.

A full list of the stories discussed can be found here:

You can listen to all episodes of the Car Dealer Podcast on Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

On last week’s episode, Jeremy Evans from Marketing Delivery revealed all about a new partnership with Swansway Motor Group and how it aims to help car dealers improve customer retention via bespoke communications programmes.

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