Available Car Supermarket

Available Car Ltd

Strategic Report for Year Ending 31st December 2016

Available Car Limited (“AvailableCar”) is one of the UK’s largest multi-channel used car buyers and retailers.
AvailableCar is a family run used car retailer and a leading Car Supermarket Group in the East and West Midlands and in the North and is the UK’s third largest Independent Dealer (in the latest Motor Trader Top 50 Independent Dealers Survey, based on turnover.)

The business operates one of the UK’s most popular on-line clicks and mortar Car Dealership websites from four vast retail locations. Two are based in the East Midlands, one in the West Midlands and one in West Yorkshire. Each supermarket offers 35 exciting used car brands which retail between £3,000 to £23,000 and each one comes as standard with the unique AvailableCar ‘Price Promise’ and the AvailableCar Provenance schemes. Every vehicle is checked to be outstanding quality and value for money and AvailableCar prides itself on working hard to deliver a World Class Customer Service for every customer. AvailableCar pioneered a non-motor trade retail concept which is not to sell to customers, it is simply to help them buy.

The Four Car Supermarket Sites Are Located:

CASTLE DONINGTON – the original AvailableCar Site opened in January 2002 and extends to four buildings on 12.5 acres, it has in excess of 50,000 square foot of Showroom and Preparation centres. This Head Office site currently employs 241 and has the capacity to stock for sale 1,450 cars.

SUTTON-IN-ASHFIELD – opened in April 2007 and is a two-part site with two buildings on 9 acres with 69,500 square foot Showroom and Preparation Centres. The site currently employs 145 and has the capacity to stock for sale 1,050 cars.

CANNOCK – opened June 2013 and is a 14 acre three part site with four buildings on 49,000 square foot of showroom and preparation centres. The site currently employs 177 and has the capacity to stock for sale 1,400 cars.

LEEDS M62 – opened for trading January 11th 2016 a 10.07 acre site with 116,000 square foot of showroom and Preparation Centres. A further 4.7 acres adjoining the site and M62 motorway has been acquired for a future 14.77 acres development. The site end December 2016 employed 147 and Leeds now has the capacity to stock 1,500 cars for sale, future expansion plans of the 4.7 acres to employ over 320 staff and to stock 2,500 cars for sale.


The most important objective of the Available Car Group is the delivery of sustainable long-term growth in earnings for the shareholders and for our employee stakeholders.

AvailableCar has achieved considerable growth in recent years and has built a very stable balance sheet of over £29m. This has given the company a base to expand from; first Sutton-in-Ashfield in 2007, then Cannock in the West Midlands in 2013 and lastly, AvailableCar’s newest and largest site in Leeds West Yorkshire in 2016.
Leeds is a three to four year project for growth and expansion. At the time of writing this report Leeds had been trading for twelve months and is well exceeding 2017 business plans with considerable success.

AvailableCar operating objectives:

  • Increase and improve the choice and selection of the used car brands on offer to customers by sourcing the best affordable used cars available in the UK market. "On-display-tarmac-stock capacity " rose from 3,300 to 3,750 units during 2015 which increased to 3,900 units and in January 2016 stock is now over 5,350 units and rising. Increasing stock capacity is the principal enabler to increase sales, revenues and net profits.
  • AvailableCar must deliver the very best, online used car showroom with a World Class Customer Service experience
  • The UK car market is being changed and transformed and is evolving at a faster pace than ever before by new technology, new software and the information revolution that is changing car manufacturers, manufacturing, workshop operations and employees skill levels constantly. It is an AvailableCar objective to ensure the business keeps up-to-date on the changes and adapting accordingly.
  • Technology is also changing the way customers live their lifestyles and ultimately, the way they shop. Car shopping for many, has moved to a mostly online pre-sale, especially with the younger generations, who now feel just as comfortable with on-line negotiations as they do with having to speak to a Team Member. With this in mind AvailableCar continues to deliver world-class service by offering an ever-present on-line chat service to all website visitors.
  • Buying trends show that even more cars are being sold to more customers, even though less customers are visiting the showrooms compared to more customers shopping online. Customer’s choice is still to see and test drive their new used car before collection and this trend continues even stronger.
  • Investment will play a key role in gaining new profitable retail space within existing and new locations including further expansion of in-house preparation centres.
  • Continue to measure and improve servicing customers through all our teams with more training and apprenticeships, which will inevitably improve staff retention. Our Teams strength for future balanced successive management planning is very well advanced with over 700 staff, 32% are under the age of 30 and 68% are over 30.
  • Continue to invest in stakeholders with apprenticeships, advance skills training, succession management planning and motivational employment benefits including remuneration profit sharing through the Profit Related Pay Scheme.
  • Continue to improve operating efficiencies by refining the quality of AvailableCar properties and retail environment.
  • Continue major long-term investment in reducing all AvailableCar energy usage - our entire property estate now has low energy lighting internally and externally, plus new modern lower energy consumption heating units have replaced the older less efficient heating units throughout.
  • To continually innovate, change and improve the business as fast as possible with new technology, new design and training to enable sustainable growth, resulting in higher returns for shareholders and rewarding long-term employees with great well-being and financially as a stakeholder.


The year to 31 December 2016 was an excellent year for Available Car, which was its fifteenth full year of trading and experienced another year of growth in the underlying business. The Outlook Forecast for 2016 was a confident increase in revenues and proved accurate with a 22% increase.

Financial Highlights

  • Turnover up from £208m in 2014 to £231m in 2015 to £281m in 2016. Up 22% on 2015.
  • Turnover has increased from £156m in 2013 to £281m in 2016 up £125m up 80%.
  • Profit before tax of £6.042m up 2% on 2014 and down 14% on 2015
  • Profit before tax of £8.33m up 33% on 2014 excluding NEW Leeds Start-up costs of £2.294 Loss.
  • Profit before tax of £8.33m up 18% on 2015 excluding NEW Leeds Start-up costs of £2.294 Loss.
  • Net Profit as % of Turnover Before Interest & Tax 2.47%. 2015 was 3.33%, 2014 was 3.17%.
  • Net Profit as % of Turnover Before Interest & Tax at 3.62%. Excluding NEW Leeds Start-up costs.
  • Net Profit per Employee before Taxation £8,513, 2015 was £13,275.
  • Net Profit per Employee before Taxation £14,782, 2015 was £13,275. Excluding Leeds
  • December end 2016 Employee numbers are up by 114 up 19% to 709 since December 2015.
  • December end 2016 Employee numbers are up by 239 up 51% to 709 since December 2014.
  • Gross Salaries (including Employee Profit Share PRP) rose 30.27%.
  • Average retail selling price £9178 excl 20% VAT up 3.1% on 2014
  • The balance sheet has increased to £29m up 56% in four years
  • Return on capital employed before Taxation & Dividends of 22.5% (Y/E 2015 31%)

Available Car Economics - 2016 Profit Drivers

During 2016 our three well established sites starting with Cannock increased turnover from £72 million to £77 million. The Sutton-In-Ashfield site turnover increased from £63 million to £64 million and turnover at the third site in Castle Donington, increased from £97 million to £101 million. Our New World Class Flagship Store in Leeds traded for just 11 full months with an excellent turnover £41 million. A Group Turnover of £281 million, that was an increase of £50 million on 2015 up 22%.

Investment Areas we have continued to invest in 2016 are:

  • PRODUCT MIX – We continue to improve our stock control and the selection of cars available with a focus on affordable, newer used models. In addition with ever-rising costs margins, our newly recruited and expanded in-house buying teams have made considerable improvements in 2016 with all purchasing of used cars, including supply agreements.
  • MEASURABLE RETAIL SERVICE - during 2016 internal customer surveys for pre and post sale have consistently improved and maintained customer satisfaction exceeding 90%. AvailableCar’s target satisfactory level was 98%. For Years now, AvailableCar has refused to manipulate on-line customer star ratings nor does AvailableCar employ companies to operate for a fee to manage customer on line ratings. AvailableCar want to build a reputation based on honesty and truly happy customers.
  • BRAND VALUES – with a genuine ethos to deliver a World Class Customer Service The Available Car Supermarket is creating a premium brand respected as a market leader in the four regions that it operates.

The AvailableCar long term expansion plan has significantly strengthened the start for 2017. As a family business, AvailableCar plan for the long-term and expect to succeed for decades to come.

During 2016 AvailableCar have continued to upgrade each Car Supermarkets facilities and have improved the AvailableCar Brand Franchise awareness. Customers visiting any AvailableCar store will immediately recognise the companies brand from the warm welcome, the 35 fantastic manufacturer’s car brands choice and selection and the most amazing employees who deliver the best service in the industry.
Available Car have continued to invest in reducing all energy usage.
As a business AvailableCar are now in year three of introducing new operations, innovative new practices and new management teams to help deliver improved customer service.

The strength of AvailableCar is built on honesty to deliver world class customer service, hard work and productivity of management and staff who work for AvailableCar. The Board of Directors feel very proud of everyone’s valuable contribution during 2016 and especially the continued support and excellent performance from everybody involved in helping Leeds to be an equal among all our sites delivering World Class customer Service.

  • With strong growth prospects Available Car has the opportunity to claim its position as a market leader, trusted to deliver volume used car brands and respected by the public

Every member of the AvailableCar team is regarded as a stakeholder. The Directors were pleased to confirm for 2016 AvailableCar paid a 300% PRP profit share bonus to every members of staff, that equates to 15.0% extra annual salary. A total year- end bonus boosted Available Cars annual payroll to £21m.

AvailableCar is an ethical family-run business and over 700 members of the team are all on full-time contracts, working no less than 37.5 hours. The majority of all employees who joined AvailableCar from and since the beginning are still working for the company, which makes staff retention levels a leading asset.

As a business AvailableCar does not operate short term employee contracts because it is a company belief that employees should feel working for Available Car provides a secure lifelong career for them and their families and that they will be rewarded and promoted through the business on the back of their hard-work.

The Directors thank all the team for their excellent contribution throughout 2016 this performance has strengthened the entire Available Car network for what should be a very rewarding 2017.


Available Car are expecting the used car market to be more volatile than 2016 with more competition, more challenges and greater opportunities. Years of rising new car market registrations are slowing down, more used cars are expected to enter the UK market, with inflation rising, overheads increasing plus more taxes and with business rates increasing we anticipate the newly expanded Available Car Group will increased revenues in 2017.


This tax strategy is in respect of Graham Bell Holdings Ltd and its wholly owned subsidiaries Graham Bell Ltd, Available Car Ltd and Available Vehicles Ltd (dormant).

This document sets out the group’s attitude towards tax risk and includes the following:

  • How we manage our tax risks
  • Our attitude towards tax planning
  • Our specific tax risks
  • How we work with HMRC

This document complies with the requirements of Finance Act 2016 Schedule 19.

How we manage our tax risks

The group aims to operate with integrity and transparency, to comply with the intent of Parliament as far as the tax regulations are concerned, pay all liabilities on time and file all returns within the required time limits.

The day to day reporting is dealt with by suitably qualified members of the Finance department who will consult with external consultants or tax advisors where appropriate and in particular on anything that is outside of normal operations.

The Group aims to identify inherent risk factors but, given the complex nature of the organisation, singular transactions follow step by step procedures. Any risk factors relate to the volume of transactions and management of this process. Reporting functions are therefore managed through the finance team involving consistency of approach, stable staffing structure, management and reporting procedures.

The responsibility for the tax affairs of the Group rests with the Directors who in turn delegate day to day management of the Groups tax affairs to relevant members of the finance team.

Our attitude to tax planning

The Group only engages in planning that reflects the genuine economic nature of the circumstances and will never act in a way that we believe could be considered inconsistent with our understanding of the intent of Parliament or which could be contrary to any anti abuse legislation.

Tax risks

The level of risk management is set so that the director shareholders are suitably protected as they are not involved in the day to day financial management of the Group. The Group place a lot of emphasise on external advisors to review the corporate compliance of the group together with other taxes as appropriate. The fact that such a high level of review is expected form external sources highlights the stakeholders attitude to risk and their aim to comply with tax legislation.

Working with HMRC

We aim to engage openly and constructively with H M Revenue & Customs to discuss tax planning strategies, risks and significant transactions relating to our tax affairs. Where necessary we will seek formal or informal clearance from HMRC on tax positions where there may be uncertainty and engage in open dialogue with our dedicated CRM.

We will seek to resolve any issues before returns are filed and to make fair and accurate disclosures in tax returns, reports or other documents required to be submitted to HMRC.

We will aim to work proactively with HMRC and to adhere to timescales to resolve any tax disputes but where recourse is required to the Tribunal we will maintain a professional working relationship throughout the process.

Our admin fee is £0.00

BE AWARE that many Dealers expect you to pay an 'admin' fee to cover their paperwork, checks, valeting or even the cost of number plates.
We don't think this is fair. We do this FREE OF CHARGE

DISCLAIMER: Available Car Limited offers the details of vehicles in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of any information including Fitted Extra information supplied by 3rd party providers. Therefore all customers are advised to view vehicles at our showrooms and with the help of our advisers, ensure their specific requirements are met before purchase. All used car prices exclude Road Fund License and E&OE. Car savings are taken from CAP Guide

Available Car Limited, Registered Office, Station Road, Castle Donington, DE74 2NL. Registered in England and Wales No. 4318082, VAT Registration No. 785771475. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the purpose of insurance mediation activity FRN309871.
AvailableCar are licensed Credit brokers, written Quotations are available on request subject to status. 18 years old or over.
Calls may be recorded for training purposes.

© AvailableCar Ltd 2010-2018