Autoquake in Administration | Major Secondhand Car Retailer Goes Bust

Post image of Autoquake in Administration | Major Secondhand Car Retailer Goes Bust

Yesterday saw some pretty remarkable news – remarkable, at least, for the world of secondhand car supermarkets. Despite the fact that it could easily be argued that the secondhand market relies on priced based incentives and large stock bases, the UK’s largest online car dealer, Autoquake, has announced that they have gone into administration, and that the company’s assets are being sold off.

The demise of such a well-known online car brand, whose website is thought to have received a huge 5.5 million hits in 2010, can be seen by their competitors as both a worry and an opportunity. On the one hand the slight slump in secondhand car sales that seems to have corresponded with this closure will be making people tighten the purse strings and take relevant precautions. On the other, Autoquake will leave a big hole in the used car market, which large competitors nationwide will be eager to fill.

Speculation is rife as to the reasons behind the failure of the Autoquake business, in spite of the positive accolades that seem to have followed the brand since its launch. With an award winning website and vast amounts of publicity and industry recognition, you could be forgiven for assuming that the Autoquake brand was unshakable. However, it turns out that the business has always struggled to turn a profit, and the dedication of such large resources to their site without the return on investment needed to support it no doubt has a large part to play in the fact that it eventually went down the drains.

And so another internet giant bites the dust – and all that is left behind is a collection of car supermarket vultures, clamouring over the bones and juicy juicy assets.


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17 Opinions

  • Captain Lump Sum

    Thia was inevitable, and was widely expected to happen quite some time ago. Autoquake made extravagant promises to ordinary people – never a wise idea – and were unable to fulfill their promises by drawing on the low-end stock they scraped together from the lease chain. They also misunderstood the function of the Internet – instead of building a dialogue with customers, they used the website and third party review sites as a tasty shop window which offered candy to lure people in. They were widely ridiculed for this online. Their ineptitude is surprising, given the comaparative youth of the mgmnt team. All in all, a real case study in how NOT to run a business through the Internet.

  • Steroids

    they can’t be that major as i’d never even heard of the company before, perhaps their problem was poor publicity ?

  • Specta14638

    I got a car from a year ago with full 3 year warrenty.Rang up Auto quake today as the car would not start.Only to be told the car care plan no longer is in buisness.Paid over a grand for a 3 year warrenty , dont think i will see that again ((((. A letter would have been nice

  • JP

    I have lost approx a grand aswell for the warranty, just wondering if this can be deducted from the amount I am paying monthly, any thoughts anyone ?

  • Rav

    Autoquake was doing well, a change in CEO from the orignal co-founders who introduced his own team created the demise and cash-burn

  • Lestaxi1

    Sad to see, I bought a car off them in January and could not be more happy with the car and dealing with the company.
    It was a good way to buy a car and get a bargain.

  • Richard

    An interesting post. Could you validate your statements with web links? It would be interesting to read the “widely ridiculed….online” statements as part of the case study of how not to run a business through the internet. When Autoquake started I thought it a good idea I just have not followed it since and now I read this. Would be interested to know why it failed. I wonder if people just gave up on them financially because Tescocars started on 2nd April.

  • Used cars online

    Autoquake is one of the best provider. But don’t know why peoples are sprading rumors about his work. I joined from last few years but i can’t face all these issues.but I respect all these peoples, please solve it our problem they can definitely help you.we all are human being some mistakes are happened but don’t say all these words.

  • Stevenwright1001

    I bought a car from them – it seemed cheap but when I viewed it there were lots of marks and things that needed fixing that they’d either failed to spot or hoped I wouldn’t notice. Even the switch for the electric windows was completely missing – instead there was just a hole! They did fix the problems and I still got it for the same price but it took ages and I knew I’d never go back. The company’s failure is probably due to other customers feeling the same way and having equally shoddy experiences.

  • Paul Brown28

    I have bought 6 cars from autoquake one of the cars are faulty how do i get my money back

  • Affie7

    well, i am also in your possiotion and there are many more….! do not know what to do and how to get either refund or the warranty valid

  • Affie7

    well, i am also in your possiotion and there are many more….! do not know what to do and how to get either refund or the warranty valid

  • R Hankinson

    bought a 2.2 cdti civic sport from them last sept for 8.5k… got it at a great price considering its still valued over £9000 now… must admit though, the action of putting a refundable £100 deposit down to view the car was a little off-putting… i reckon this probably stopped too many potential customers from viewing a car in the first place…. glad i didnt buy any warranty with it, feel sorry for the people who did.

  • phil

    maybe you are covered by the FSA as this contract is/was insurance, why not contact them, nothing to lose?


    This business was staffed by a bunch of useless rude cowboys. It stank of incompetence from the start and deserved to die.

  • Josh D

    I have to say that I had a great experience with Autoquake when I bought my 5 series BMW in June 2010.  I was worried about paying by BACS transfer the whole amount before the car was delivered, however all of my research online revealed nothing but good experiences.  Having paid my money, my car was delivered about 5 days later, in good condition.  The driver was good enough to point out a few stone chips and a small windscreen chip that had not been evident from the online information. 
    I cannot say whether the management or staff were competent or not as I did not really have much interaction with anyone.  The only  slight concern that I has was that after sending my money bu BACS it took 2 days before anyone confirmed that they had received my money.
    I guess the word of caution for anyone (including myself) for future would be to insist that payment by credit card is allowed, because this would give the purchaser protection against the company going into liquidation before any goods are revceived.

  • Redditch tyres

    How to look for a car. This is again an area better overseen by experts.

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