eBay revs up to take on Auto Trader in car ads

Online marketplace eBay says it is acquiring the Motors.co.uk website, making it a “leading alternative” to Auto Trader as an ad site for cars.

Under the deal, Motors.co.uk would become part of classified ad site Gumtree UK, also owned by eBay.

The combined group would offer more than 620,000 car listings, against Auto Trader’s 500,000.

The deal is subject to approval by regulators and is expected to be completed early next year.

Auto Trader says it attracts 10.3 million unique users a month, while eBay says its combined business “via three shop windows” will reach 10 million.

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Motors.co.uk: Facts and figures

  • Based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  • Founded in 2007
  • Acquired by Cox Automotive in 2012
  • Has more than 350,000 used car listings
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Motors.co.uk is currently owned by Cox Automotive, whose chief executive, Martin Forbes, said the deal would “enable the business, the brand and the team to grow under new ownership where the focus is more consumer-led”.

Gumtree UK general manager Matt Barham said the acquisition would “finally present a viable car selling and shopping alternative for car dealers and buyers”.

He added: “By combining Motors.co.uk’s extensive inventory, dealer engagements, traffic and cutting-edge tools and services with the considerable audience of in-market car buyers provided by eBay and Gumtree, this acquisition would give UK car dealers a significantly broader reach.”