Biggest stories of the year 2023Biggest stories of the year 2023


What were the biggest stories of the year on the Car Dealer website? Here’s our top 10

  • Car Dealer website hits an incredible 12m visitors in 2023
  • Visitor numbers are the largest ever recorded by Car Dealer 
  • In this post we recount the year’s top 10 most popular stories

Time 10:58 am, December 31, 2023

This year the Car Dealer Magazine website hit a magic number – 12m visitors for the year!

The figure makes 2023 the biggest year ever for the Car Dealer Magazine website and one we are very proud of indeed.

But what have those visitors been reading? 

Here, in our annual run down of the most popular stories of the year we look at the headlines that engaged our readers the most. 

Together, these top 10 stories accounted for some 1.5m of the visits the Car Dealer website had in 2023…

10. Used car dealer’s MOT tester ‘forced’ to issue fraudulent certificates after being given ‘kicking’

In at number 10 with 123,902 views is the story about an MOT tester who said he issued hundreds of fake certificates after being given a ‘kicking’.

David Carden, 53, told Bristol Crown Court a ‘mystery man’ put him under pressure to issue the fraudulent certificates.

The father-of-two said that when he refused, he received a ‘kicking’, so continued issuing them as he not only feared for his safety but that of his family as well. 

He admitted 12 charges of fraud committed between August 2021 and January 2022, and asked for another 809 offences to be taken into consideration.

Carden was given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, as well as being told to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work, undergo 10 days of rehabilitation and pay £2,250 costs.

9. Car dealer worker facing jail after admitting stealing more than £450,000 from employer

Clocking up 129,630 views in May was this story about a worker at Ulster car dealer Edwin May who admitted to pocketing £456,403.47 over a seven-year period.

Norma Smyth abused her position of trust to access company accounts to secure the money for herself from the VW dealer. She was later sentenced to three years with 18 months to be served in jail.

DVLA clamp

8. Kent used car dealer has Fiat 500 clamped by DVLA despite being parked on its private land

In September, a baffled used car dealer missed out on a sale of a Fiat 500 because it had been clamped on its own land. The story clocked up 133,210 views.

Strood Motor Centre thought someone had been playing a practical joke, but it turned out to be the DVLA who had targeted the car who said they’d only remove it if the dealer could prove it owned the land.

The used car dealer was forced to find its deeds via its solicitor and send it to the DVLA who eventually removed the clamp. 

7. Car dealership pulls out of new car sales completely following the loss of third franchise this year

This story clocked up 138,693 views back in April and was about car dealer group Underwoods Motoring pulling out of new car sales completely after changes with its manufacturer partners. 

The car dealer, which has locations across Essex and Suffolk, put a statement on its website saying that it would be moving to only used car sales and garage services. Reports suggested it had lost its new car franchises for Skoda, Kia and Vauxhall in Colchester.

The firm wrote on its website: ‘Like all things, change is inevitable. We are moving away from representing car manufacturers.’

6. Directors of dodgy family-run dealership fined for selling ‘dangerous and unroadworthy’ used car

With 142,422 views, this story about a dodgy used car dealer followed a court case that saw the firm admit to selling a ‘dangerous and unroadworthy’ vehicle and then refusing to honour its warranty. 

David, Susan and James Bonner-Evans all pleaded guilty to breaching consumer protection regulations in relation to NRJ Motor Company in Llanelli. The firm has now shut down.

Following the guilty plea, the trio were fined £1,500 each and ordered to pay costs totalling £6,678.60 with one third to pay each. The victim was awarded compensation to the tune of £1,760.75.

New JLR branding with Land Rover small

5. Land Rover name killed off after 75 years as part of JLR’s dramatic plans

In April, JLR baffled the world with an announcement about its future plans – which mysteriously relegated Land Rover to a bit part. The subsequent story clocked up 162,993 views on our website.

Detailing its House of Brands strategy to the world, JLR said it would focus on four brands in the future – Jaguar, Range Rover, Defender and Discovery. Land Rover was a tiny logo lost under them all (above).

The firm said the Land Rover name would become a ‘trust mark’ and explained in a statement they were ‘not losing the Land Rover name’ as ‘its spirit will continue to be a crucial part of our DNA’. Executives later told Car Dealer that there was ‘work to be done’ explaining how this will work to customers.

4. Burning freight ship was carrying more electric cars than first reported, shipping company says

There’s nothing that sets the internet ablaze like a burning electric car story – and this one was our fourth most popular of the year with 165,972 clicks.

In July, the car carrier Fremantle Highway caught fire en route to Egypt from Germany, killing one crew member and injuring others. At first, reports suggested it was one of the electric cars on board that had caused the disaster. 

The ship was carrying a total of 3,783 new vehicles, including 498 electric vehicles. Investigations have still not found the cause of the fire, with some blaming an ICE vehicle on board and others citing the blaze was unconnected to the cargo and started by something else entirely.

3. Used car dealer closes after 30 years citing ‘failing Jaguar Land Rover’ models cost it £198,000

Our third most popular post of the year – with 177,751 views – was about a used car dealer that was forced to close in February. 

Not going out quietly, Autovogue took a swipe at Jaguar Land Rover on its website and social media blaming the car maker’s ‘failing’ used vehicles as a major contributing factor for its closure.

The firm claimed it had spent £198,000 in 2022 on repairing JLR cars and as a result it was ceasing trading. Autovogue had been in business 30 years. 

2. Car dealership ordered to pay more than £1,000 after they would not disclose who was driving a vehicle

Second in our list – with 179,621 views – was a story about a Telford used car dealer who had to pay £1,000 because they couldn’t disclose who was driving a car when an ‘offence’ was committed.

Anjum Gill, director of Top Cars Telford Ltd, based on the Heath Hill Industrial Estate in Dawley, appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court in May and entered a guilty plea on behalf of the dealership. 

Top Cars Telford was fined £666, court costs of £136 and a victim surcharge of £266. In total the dealership was ordered to pay £1,068. All because it couldn’t reveal who was driving the car at the time.

1. Car dealership begins making staff redundant after uncovering £3.7m stock discrepancy

Our biggest story of the year – with 190,422 page views – was a piece about a franchised car dealership which fell into administration after finding a £3.7m stock discrepancy. 

CMS Kidderminster began winding down its operations in September and making staff redundant after it failed to find a buyer. 

The dealer was forced to call in professional advisers after directors found an unexplained £3.7m discrepancy in its accounts.

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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