Auto Trader accelerates into car leasing sector with Vanarama acquisition

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Auto Trader assume ownership of the Vanarama leasing business after agreeing a deal to acquire its parent business Autorama.

The online automotive marketplace will accelerate into the car leasing sector through the acquisition of the entire share capital of the business, founded by its chief executive Andy Alderson, in a deal which remains subject to regulatory approvals.

Auto Trader said that – under the Vanarama brand – Autorama had become “one of the leading platforms for aggregating leasing deals from multiple funders and OEMs and retailers” and has successfully sold over 120,000 vehicles to date.

It added that the acquisition would present clear opportunities to expand these partnerships, and to create new ones, transforming Auto Trader’s existing leasing proposition and help to meet the demands of the growing number of consumers who might consider leasing their next new vehicle.

Autorama’s acquisition comes less than a year after Alderson revealed his plan to achieve five-fold growth in the next four years in a profile interview with AM.

Alderson said he wanted to double 2019’s lease deal volume of 12,000 in 2021 and increase turnover from £150m to in the region of £2.75bn by 2025.

“I’m confident we can achieve the numbers,” he said at the time. “We’re on the front foot, we’ve adapted the business to a point where it’s ready to scale and we’ve had a record Q1 to start the year in a period of lockdown.”

Auto Trader said that its acquisition of the Autorama business would allow Vanarama to accelerate its recent expansion.

Commenting on the acquisition, Auto Trader chief executive Nathan Coe said: “To ensure we have the greatest choice of cars to buy online, we could not ignore the growing demand for leasing deals.

“In Vanarama, we have found an industry leading leasing platform that delivers a great consumer experience and significant sales for its partners.

“This acquisition will strengthen our existing leasing business and will enable us to offer both the biggest choice of vehicles and a seamless digital experience from search to sale.

“I am delighted to be welcoming Andy and his team to the Group.”

Alderson said: “As the leading aggregator of leasing deals online, we have sold over 120,000 vehicles for our manufacturer, retailer and lease company partners.

“Over the last few years we have invested significantly in our technical capability to help our partners respond to consumer demand for a digital buying experience.

“We are hugely excited about the prospect of being able to accelerate our growth plans and deliver even more value to our partners as part of the Auto Trader Group.”

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