Online used car marketplace heycar has announced the acquisition of HonestJohn.co.uk, a month after the motoring review site entered into administration.
The company appointed business advisory firm FRP Advisory as its administrator on 7 January 2020, after running into “significant cash flow difficulties”. The heycar deal means that it will continue to be business as usual for the site. The acquisition deal was led by Miles Needham and Simon Carvill-Biggs, partners at FRP.
For 20 years Honest John has offered independent motoring advice and reviews to a loyal audience.
Mat Moakes, chief executive of heycar in the UK, said: “We launched heycar to drive greater trust and transparency for motorists and the industry. That’s exactly what Honest John has been doing for the past two decades. The acquisition of the site will allow us to achieve that mission faster, by bolstering heycar’s growth and industry presence.
“We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to grow and to enhance the experience for car buyers and drive commercial benefits for our dealers, captive and OEM partners, where company values align.
“The independent and strong reputation of Honest John has been earned through years and brings great value – just some of the many reasons that this was such an attractive opportunity.
“We will maintain this independence through the formation of a clear editorial code between the two brands, continuing the impartial tone Honest John’s millions of website visitors and tens of thousands of newsletter subscribers expect. Users of the Honest John forum will not notice any difference.”
heycar launched in the UK in August 2019, two years after it launched in Germany. Backed by VWFS and Daimler Mobility, the platform launched with an inventory of more than 100,000 vehicles from over 50 automotive brands at 1,400 dealerships.
The marketplace has been designed to overcome consumer scepticism of used cars. Users can search for and find their used car, complete with a finance quote through the online portal.