LeasePlan’s retail platform CarNext, selling de-fleeted cars directly to consumers, has launched in the UK, bringing its countries of operations to a total of 16.
Customers are currently able to buy three- to four-year-old cars formerly in the company’s fleet portfolio through the platform. LeasePlan also intends to offer financing, leasing and subscription packages on the vehicles in the future.
The platform will rely on “delivery centres” – the first of which has opened in Milton Keynes – where customers can pick up or try out the selected car. Alternatively, the vehicle can be delivered to the buyer’s address of choice.
Next to the B2C platform, LeasePlan also operates a cross-border B2B auction marketplace under the CarNext label.
Ewout van Jarwaarde, CarNext managing director, said: “It takes a lot of research to know what’s happened in a car’s past life or what it’s worth today. The CarNext.com model uses data to address this, to put drivers in charge and bring trust and transparency back to the used car market.”
At an Auto Trader press brief last month, Motor Finance learned that LeasePlan was conducting a similar direct-to-consumer pilot in partnership with the online classifieds portal.
At the time of writing, Motor Finance had reached out to LeasePlan UK for comment on how the CarNext and the Auto Trader collaboration will sit alongside each other.
A number of manufacturers and lease providers, from Volvo to Jaguar Land Rover, have been experimenting with car subscription models for new vehicles, but LeasePlan is one of the first companies to offer packages on second-hand cars. Others that have extended the model to used vehicles include UK brokerage start-up Drover.
Since the launch of CarNext late last year, LeasePlan has been touting its brick-and-mortar network as a distinct advantage over OEMs dependent on auction houses and dealerships. There currently 25 CarNext physical stores in operation across Europe, including one in Dublin.
The Dutch lessor, whose ownership has passed hands a number of times over the past two decades, has been looking at a stock exchange float repeatedly since early 2017.
In April, chief executive Tex Gunning said the company would delay the IPO to after summer, in order to build a better case for investment.