Peterborough-based online used car dealership Carzam employing 150 people goes into administration

Dealership’s collapse suggests brakes are on used car market

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 13th June 2022, 7:00 pm

An online car dealership headquartered in Peterborough that had put itself in the fast lane for growth looks to have run out of road.

Carzam, based in Samson House, in Morley Way, Woodston, where it operated its vehicle preparation centre and claimed to employ about 150 people, has gone into administration.

It comes just a couple of years after Carzam opened in Peterborough with bosses announcing ambitious growth plans.

From left, Peter Waddell and John Bailey, the co-founders of online used car dealership Carzam, which has just gone into administration.

Those hopes appear to have run into a dead end with an announcement on the company’s website stating that administrators were appointed earlier this month.

It states that Adam Stephens and Greg Palfrey of Smith & Williamson LLP were appointed joint administrators of Carzam Limited on 1 June 2022.

The news is a far cry from Carzam’s arrival in Peterborough which was announced early last year with the release of figures showing the company had reached a £20.5 million turnover in just eight weeks after selling 1,600 used cars online.

The company said it was on track to achieve 20,000 vehicle sales and to turn over £250 million in its first year of trading and with the number of staff expected to grow.

Big Motoring World's Appraisal Centre at Samson House, Morley Way, Woodston, where Carzam was also based.

And just five months ago, Carzam announced that it expected its sales to reach £500 million in 2022 and with more than 40,000 vehicles sold.

But along the way, the company announced it was pursuing external funding to drive its growth. It announced a £112 million investment and the appointment of former Paddy Power chief executive Andy McCue as executive chairman.

But recently, the firm, created by automotive investor John Bailey and Peter Waddell, who is also chief executive of Big Motoring World, which has centres in Fengate, Werrington and a preparation centre in Morley Way, has seen the departure of Mr McCue in March, its chief executive Kirk O’Callaghan a month later and then the departure of Mr Waddell.

The company’s collapse has prompted speculation the used car market bubble is bursting.

According to The Times, Mr Waddell said the company had not been able to get more funding after a drop in the share price of online car dealers Cazoo and Carvana.

The joint administrators have been contacted for a response.

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Peterborough online car dealer Carzam expects sales to hit £500 million