Motorway, Are They the Estate Agents of the Motor Trade?

There is no denying that the industry has witnessed its fair share of new kids on the block, but many fail when the venture capitalist investor looses appetite, especially when they start to haemorrhage £millions. In recently submitted accounts Motorway lost a huge £43.6 million!

12 October 2023 · Eldon - Barnfield Cars

sell your car to motorway

Does the Motorway algorithm overvalue to get an instruction?

Many of these start-ups aren’t seasoned and rely on previous retail or internet marketing expertise, they have little to no motor trade knowledge and have no realisation of how specialist the acquisition and disposal of prestige automotive brands can be.

The niche prestige market is different from any other, where colour, specification, history, and provenance add or detract £thousands from a car’s value, no two cars are the same, hence, an algorithm cannot differentiate between a standard car and one with numerous factory cost options, in the case of Motorway.co.uk their online valuation tool is 100% reliant on that algorithm.

Many of you ask, “What is Motorway?”, the answer is simple, it’s a London headquartered young company of non-motor trade individuals operating out of rented office space who have an online auction platform where private sellers can submit their car to attract offers from dealers, your car is published on a “dealer only” platform called Motorway Pro where auctions run daily.

All sounds wonderful but there are many negatives, see below.

  • Your car’s value is estimated by an algorithm, not a real person.
  • Motorway.co.uk are not buyers and their values are estimated not an actual cast iron price.
  • It is very time-consuming to submit photographs, service history, description, tyre depths, copy of the logbook, proof of I.D., etc.
  • There is typically a delay of up to 7 days to get your car listed on Motorway Pro for dealers to see.
  • If, and if only, successful the dealer can take up to a further 10 days to physically inspect, pay, and collect your car.
  • Just like a house sale, your car isn’t sold until you have the money in the bank.
  • If your car isn’t 100% accurately described the price will be re-negotiated, even the odd unintentionally missed stone chip can cost a few hundred pounds.
  • Once your car is listed and doesn’t achieve an acceptable offer, as it is seen by thousands of dealers, most of the market will know that it has failed, thus, leading to lower future offers.
  • Many cars don’t even attract an offer on Motorway Pro as the algorithm can be literally £thousands away from reality. Some days hundreds of cars don’t receive a single offer.
  • As dealers must pay Motorway.co.uk a commission of up to £1000 it could be argued that you aren’t getting the dealer’s best price as they are leaving some in reserve to cover fees.

If the private seller understands that the Motorway process does not guarantee a sale or a hassle-free transaction, then all you can lose is time. However, if you don’t have the patience of a drawn-out sale or wish to deal directly with an established, professional buyer, like Barnfield, then we would very much like to hear from you.

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