Autotrader.co.uk is set to re-launch its consumer website after a £5 million pound revamp. motoring.co.uk’s compatriot website for the ‘used car’ market has responded to consumer demand for better search tools, by re-vamping its ‘used car’ search functionality. Now offering more reviews, news and video content, the site still retains the traditional Autotrader classified format.
There is also more emphasis on technical data and usability, and many used cars feature fuel economy figures and standard specifications. The search is postcode based, so it is easy to find cars in your area, and the cars are listed in price order. There is also a keyword search for finding individual features you may be looking for.
The ‘blog’ style news hub is a definite improvement, with lots of celebrity cars, video and road tests to choose from. But the site has a long way to go to compete with the likes of Fifth Gear, What Car and Top Gear in terms of lifestyle and video content. That said, this is understandable given the BBC and Channel Five spend millions paying high-profile personalities, such as Jeremy Clarkson to test-drive and promote newly released cars.
The Autotrader concept was originally launched in 1977 as Thames Valley Trader, a consumer magazine. After growing under the stewardship of GMG and Hurst Publishing as a joint venture, the portfolio grew to include vans, motorbikes and even boats. In 2007 APAX partners bought a minority stake of 49.9% in the group for £760 million.
The site remains the most visited ‘used car’ portal in the UK, while motoring.co.uk remains the number one choice for main dealer new cars.