A COMPANY that buys used vehicles is hoping to change the perception of the industry with its new way of working.
Nationwide Vehicle Buyers, based throughout Essex, is an online platform that allows users to sell their cars and vans in as little as 20 minutes.
Director David Collins launched it a year and a half ago and now has offices in Harlow, Chelmsford, Cambridge and is planning on opening a fourth office in Basildon.
David, from Harlow, has worked in the industry for 25 years, having owned four car sites across the region.
He set up Nationwide Vehicle Buyers, which works in a similar way to We Buy Any Car, to allow people to use the service without having to pay hefty fees and to help people get a true market value for their vehicle.
He found that a lot of people were coming to him with stories about being taken advantage of elsewhere and not getting the right amount for what their car was worth.
He said: ‘People will get an on-screen valuation for their car and when they take their cars in the price will dramatically reduce.
‘The difference with us is that we really do care, we build genuine relationships with our customers and we’ll give a proper personal customer service to each person who comes through our door.
‘You have to gain people’s trust first and then the car becomes part of it. We’ll give you exactly what it’s worth and won’t try and take advantage of anyone regardless of age, gender or how much they know about cars.
‘We’ve driven people home after they’ve sold us their car, we’ve helped people out when they’ve been desperate – it’s just what we’re about.
‘We want to change peoples’ perception of car buyers. A lot of people assume people who work in the industry are all Cockney wide boys and will rip you off, but we want to change that.’
The firm launched a radio ad campaign across radio stations, Smooth Essex and Heart Harlow, which feature a woman outsmarting a stereotypical car-buyer who is trying to low-ball her – something David and the team felt was important to highlight so people of all backgrounds feel comfortable using their service.
The ad features Frankie Oatway, who is known for his cockney accent and appearance in TV show Strippers: Cars for Cash and My Name is Lenny.
The company is due to expand nationally to allow people across the UK to sell their used cars.
David said: ‘The plan is to open more offices up and down the country and to become the obvious alternative to what’s out there.
‘We do everything in a conscientious way.’