From humble beginnings, we’ve
evolved from an entrepreneurial print
media business into the UK’s largest
digital automotive marketplace.
Looking back over the years,
we’ve come a long way...
Launched digital retailing capabilities
Launched two digital retailing consumer journeys: a used car Deal Builder journey and a fully online retailing journey for new vehicles on Auto Trader.
What Car? partnership
As of July, we began powering the used car search function on both What Car? and its sister site, Autocar.
We acquired Autorama, one of the UK’s largest transactional marketplaces for leasing new vehicles.
Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit
At COP26 we launched the first ever Automotive Carbon Literacy Toolkit, funded and developed in partnership with the Carbon Literacy Trust, and designed in close collaboration with leading retailers and manufacturers.
Auto Trader Connect
We launched a powerful stock management solution designed to enable retailers to update multiple back-end and consumer facing systems with advanced data in real-time.
We launched our Guaranteed Part-Exchange (‘GPX’) and Instant Offer products. GPX enables the consumer to get a guaranteed price for their part-exchange, while Instant Offer enables private sellers to sell their car at a guaranteed price.
Retailer COVID support
Throughout the pandemic, we supported the industry in every way we could, including product developments to enable digital retailing, regularly sharing data and insight to support our customers’ business decisions, through to financial support provided with discounted packages, free periods, and deferred payment terms.
We acquired AutoConvert, a finance, insurance, and compliance software platform with integrated customer relationship management solutions.
Market Insight tool launched
We launched Market Insight, a powerful tool to help retailers identify and adapt to market trends as they happen.
We acquired KeeResources, a trusted provider of software, data and digital solutions to the automotive industry — further supporting our taxonomy and pricing data solutions.
Launched new retailer products
We launched two new products to retailers: Text Chat and Vehicle Check. These products benefit both consumers and retailers, helping build trust between the two.
New Car launched
We launched our brand new car proposition, to make us as synonymous with new cars as we are with used.
Joint venture with Cox Automotive
We created a joint venture with Cox Automotive, Dealer Auction, to provide an innovative digital marketplace for wholesale vehicles.
Re-launched our Managing products
i-Control became Retail Accelerator, our most powerful tool yet, which helps retailers manage their forecourts using unrivalled data and insight.
Monthly price calculator launched
We extended our finance solution to allow consumers to search for their next car based on their ideal monthly budget, reflecting the changing way that consumers are buying cars.
Acquisition of MTD
In April 2017 we welcomed Motor Trade Delivery Ltd into the Auto Trader team, helping to grow our trade-to-trade proposition.
We launched Price Indicator labels on our adverts to help consumers see whether a car is priced competitively.
Driving into finance
We gained FCA authorisation, enabling us to show the monthly borrowing cost of a vehicle based on a retailer’s preferred lender. This marked another step on our journey of making the process of buying and selling a car smoother and easier.
Market Report launch
In February 2016 we launched the first edition of our Market Report, a biannual review of the UK’s new and used car market. The report quickly grew in scale and influence offering data, insights and market commentary from Auto Trader and our industry peers.
Whilst the report has now evolved beyond standalone editions, we continue to share our data and industry insights on a variety of topics — such as the Road to 2030, on a regular basis.
Admission to the London Stock Exchange
On 24th March, Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange.
We launched our free valuation tool, giving consumers the most accurate view in the market of the price of their car.
New offices open
We created new working areas by moving staff to state-of-the-art offices in central Manchester and King’s Cross, London.
Happy 35th birthday
What started as a regional magazine had become one of the UK’s most recognisable automotive brands. Happy birthday!
The presses go quiet
In June 2013, the final print edition of Auto Trader rolled off the presses. The time was right to become a 100% digital business.
A fresh look
We enjoyed enormous brand awareness but our logo was ageing by the day. We created a modern logo that’s still recognisably Auto Trader.
We began disposing of the parts of our business that addressed non-UK markets. This was completed in 2013, giving our team renewed focus.
Customers share more
Customer reviews were introduced to Auto Trader, allowing owners to start telling others what they really think of their cars.
For Android and iPad
Having proven the value of our iPhone app, we developed dedicated apps for the popular iPad and Android platforms.
Bigger on the small screen
Now there’s an app for that: 300,000 people downloaded our iPhone app in the first 30 days after it was launched.
Helping dealers online
Our Dealer Websites platform launched, making it easy for dealers to create professional websites.
Big on the small screen
With smart phones becoming widely used, we launched a dedicated mobile website to help people search on smaller screens.
Hinting at the future
We added co.uk to our logo, acknowledging that people preferred to search for cars online rather than in a magazine.
Digital matches print
Our digital revenue matched our print revenue for the first time. It was clear where the future lay, and we accelerated our digital transition strategy.
Like us or follow us
As Facebook and Twitter use exploded, we joined these social networks and started posting to them. Can we get a retweet?
A brand-new website
We put enormous effort into creating our new website, which allowed us to show the exact number of vehicles available for every selection.
Two become one
In 2000, the two separate parts of Auto Trader merged into a single company, called Trader Media Group.
Our first website
A small team created the first Auto Trader website — two years before even Google was conceived.
The magazine goes digital
Well, sort of. We became the first UK publisher to switch to automatic layout software to produce our magazines.
We cross the Irish Sea
By 1995, Auto Trader titles covered the whole of the UK. The magazine also became available in Ireland for the first time.
Auto Trader is born
We became Auto Trader in 1988, after a short spell as Auto Mart & Trader. At this point we had a number of regional magazines, which were all renamed.
Guardian Media Group joins
Guardian Media Group (GMG) joined Auto Trader, as it had been considering launching a similar venture in the north of England.
Our entrepreneurial roots
The history of Auto Trader starts back in 1977 when entrepreneur John Madejski launched a small regional classified advertising magazine called Thames Valley Trader. He brought the idea to the UK after a visit to the US.
Today's automotive market
Staying ahead in a competitive marketplace requires constant evolution, agility and relentless tech-led innovation.Read More
Engaging with stakeholders
Maintaining a clear, consistent dialogue with our stakeholders is key to fulfilling our purpose and ensuring the long-term success of our business.Read More