Essex car auction firm buys up fast-growing online car retailer

Neil Hodson CEO of Aston Barclay and Tom Marley CEO of The Car Buying Group

Neil Hodson CEO of Aston Barclay and Tom Marley CEO of The Car Buying Group - Credit: Archant

An Essex auto auction company, Aston Barclay has acquired The Car Buying Group (TCBG), one of the largest independent consumer car buying companies in the UK.

TCBG, which has a turnover of £39m, sells over 10,000 cars nationwide on behalf of car owners.

TCBG features at number 20 in the 2018 Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list of the fastest-growing private technology companies and was voted the 2017 Northern Tech 100 League Table fastest-growing tech company.

It has developed new technology, including an online vehicle pricing tool, which will enable Aston Barclay to widen the breadth of new products and services it offers to its customers, while TCBG will benefit from the group’s strong IT reputation for launching new technologies designed and developed in-house.

Although Aston Barclay is headquartered in Chelmsford, it’s new Wakefield Mega Centre will become home to TCBG, with current chief executive Tom Marley moving his 30-strong team to the 18-acre site when it opens in quarter four.

Mr Marley will continue to run the business with his current management team and there are plans to double the size of the company and its workforce over the coming years.

Aston Barclay already has a strong relationship with TCBG, selling used cars on its behalf at Donington and Chelmsford. All used car volumes will move to Aston Barclay by the end of 2018, with an increased focus on further building the TCBG brand with buyers across the UK.

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Mr Marley said: “We have had a great journey over the past few years in launching and building the business.

“Becoming part of the Aston Barclay family will provide further support and investment to speed up that growth, and for our brand to become a household name with consumers,” he added.

Aston Barclay’s chief executive Neil Hodson explained that his senior management team have known and worked with TCBG for several years. “We have admired what they have achieved whilst up against bigger corporate competitors,” he said. “The acquisition is a perfect fit for the group as it provides us with extra volume and access to new technology which we can offer to dealer and vendor customers. We will grow the business on a national basis over the coming years.”

The TCBG team will join the 40 staff from Aston Barclay’s Leeds auction at its new Wakefield Mega Centre. “With 75,000 square feet of auction and office space, we have plenty of capacity available for further growth,” Mr Hodson added.

As part of the acquisition Aston Barclay were advised by Dentons UK and Middle East LLP and FRP Debt Advisory. TCBG were advised by Freeths LLP and Dow Schofield Watts.