Con­ deal and Covid bounce put used car start-up Mo­tor­way in the fast lane

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By James Cook

A START-UP seek­ing to trans­form the used car mar­ket has struck a deal with Con­ af­ter han­dling more than £1.8m of sales ev­ery day dur­ing lock­down.

Mo­tor­way – which al­lows sell­ers to get a quote from sev­eral dif­fer­ent deal­ers – is now be­ing rec­om­mended to users of price com­par­i­son site Con­fused.

De­mand for its ser­vices jumped at the height of the Covid pan­demic, when phys­i­cal deal­er­ships shut. Tom Leathes, its boss, said: “The car in­dus­try is a very old-school in­dus­try.

“Most things hap­pen off­line – there’s very lit­tle trans­parency, very lit­tle tech­nol­ogy in­volved, and lots of mid­dle­men.”

Mr Leathes said he be­lieved there was an “in­her­ent lack of trust” in the used car in­dus­try, which meant the com­pany re­lied on in­ter­net re­views.

The start-up has raised £14.3m from in­vestors. Back­ers in­clude Lo­calGlobe and Alex Ch­ester­man, co-founder of prop­erty web­site Zoopla.

Mo­tor­way has en­joyed a sharp rise in busi­ness since the eas­ing of the most strict lock­down mea­sures. Mr Leathes said: “We re­alised there was go­ing to be a shift be­cause peo­ple who had tra­di­tion­ally used pub­lic trans­port were prob­a­bly go­ing to look at driv­ing.”

The start-up hired an­other 30 staff mem­bers to cope with the in­creased de­mand, mean­ing it now has around 100 work­ers.

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