Online used car dealership in Peterborough gears up to create jobs

An online car dealership headquartered in Peterborough is planning to create hundreds of jobs over the next year.

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 15th February 2021, 5:00 am
From left, Carzam founders Peter Waddell and John Bailey.
From left, Carzam founders Peter Waddell and John Bailey.

Carzam, based at Samson House, in Morley Way, already employs 100 staff but expects a new recruitment campaign to take that total to more than 500 as it looks to expand its online-only used car sales operations.

Bosses say they are delighted with the success of the business, which has seen turnover hit £20.5 million with 1,600 cars sold since its launch about eight weeks ago.

They say that as a growing number of customers opt to buy online, turnover at the end of its first year of trading is expected to reach £250 million with 20,000 vehicle sales.

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Safety and standard checks under way at Carzam.

The business has been created by automotive investor John Bailey, formerly president of Cox Automotive, and Peter Waddell, who is also chief executive of Big Motoring World.

Chief financial officer Michael Buxton said: “For some time, we have seen consumers starting to shift to online channels. This situation was accelerated, rather than created, by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Carzam was set up in response to the growing evidence of a change in buyer expectations.

“New car sales have faltered with showrooms closed – a reported 40 per cent year-on-year drop in January. Yet the value proposition and convenience of buying a used car online has caught the eye of the consumer.” allows customers to choose a car from a online selection with 360-degree video tours.

That vehicle is delivered to the customer’s home the following day with each car is safety checked and prepared before being dispatched from the company’s Peterborough preparation centre.

Mr Waddell said: “We are already disrupting the industry by offering a better way to buy a car. Carzam puts the customer at the centre. There is no ‘sell’ – the customer becomes their own salesperson. They retain full control.

“That’s how people are used to making a purchase now. There is no reason why the automotive industry shouldn’t keep pace with other parts of the online retail sector.

He added: ”Online sales will claim an increasingly large share of the eight million used car transactions in the UK each year.

“We sold 1,000 cars in our first six weeks. That rate has continued to accelerate, and we have plans to quickly scale-up the business and grow our market share.”

Carzam’s says that so far its customers have spent an average of £12,800 per car with the average age of the vehicles sold being 3.6 years.

The fastest delivery time achieved was just over 22 hours from the order being placed and so far, 97 per cent of customers have kept their cars beyond the two-week approval period.

As it prepares to expand its operations, Carzam is talking to investors who have expressed an interest in the business.

It is planning to open new preparation centres in the north and south of England.

It already has storage, distribution and collection facilities in Corby, Northamptonshire and Stratford, East London where cars are available for click and collect.