Motor dealership driving forward

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An ambitious north east car-buying company is accelerating its 2015 development plans after opening three new branches.

Car-Ching has established operations in Blyth, Alnwick and Darlington, as the first stage of its plans to set up 60 new offices across the UK in the next three years.

And the Shiremoor-headquartered firm is already looking at opening half a dozen further branches in the first half of the year, both within and outside the north east, as well as recruiting the staff required to run them.

Car-Ching was set up last year by experienced motor industry professional Jason Miller, who runs the business with his wife Niki and who also owns the Overdrive North East car dealership in Morpeth.

The new Alnwick branch is the first of its kind anywhere in North Northumberland.

As part of the firm’s development, Car-Ching has recruited Doug Lawson, who previously worked as a buyer and mentor with webuyanycar.com, to help manage operations and develop a car-buying service that’s clearly differentiated from the competition.

An initial valuation is provided over the phone or via the www.car-ching.co.uk website on the information provided by customers, in order to make the service as efficient as possible when owners bring their vehicles in for a full evaluation.

Home visits can also be arranged if an owner cannot bring a car into a branch for any reason, and owners will even be given a lift home afterwards if they agree a branch sale of their car.

The Car-Ching management team is working with RMT Accountants & Business Advisors on the business’s development, as an extension of Jason Miller’s long-term relationship with the firm through Overdrive North East.

He says: “Our aim is to provide a stress-free, easy and efficient way for people to sell their cars, and while we were confident that we’d developed the right business model for Car-Ching, the way it’s taken off has surprised even us.

“The three new branches are already trading strongly, and we’ve got half a dozen further locations in mind where we’re looking to open branches in the next six months that we think have the potential to do just as well.

“Bringing Doug on board adds a huge amount of sector knowledge to our operation, and will help us shape the ways we work to match what customers want.

“Setting ourselves the target of opening 60 branches in the next three years is ambitious and will require a lot of hard work, but we’re convinced there’s a strong market out there for us to develop and have drawn a lot of encouragement from the way things have gone so far.

“Having used RMT as Overdrive North East’s advisors for several years, it made sense to bring them on board for this new business, and their sound advice will be one of the foundations on which we build our future growth.

Greg Bolton, head of corporate finance at RMT, adds: “The Car-Ching team’s motor industry knowledge and clear vision of how they want to operate is already reaping commercial rewards, and it’s exciting to be involved with a concept that has such huge potential for growth.”