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Britain’s first contactless car vending machine open for business

buy a car via contactless payment

Auto Trader has launched Britain’s first contactless car vending machine. Yes, a car vending machine, through which you can buy a car with contactless payment on your phone.

The machine is located at Spitalfields Market in London.

It is, of course, a bespoke machine, one that allows purchases of up to £21,000. The car comes ‘pre-haggled’. There’s no negotiating on price, because the discounts have already been factored in.

This is all on-message for Auto Trader: the new and used car marketplace aims to encourage “buy and go” simplicity, confident in the price you’ve found through its service. 

The stunt is in response to research that suggests that Brits find the process of buying a car burdensome and unappealing.

buy a car via contactless payment

The machine took three months to design and build, by a team of six engineers. There’s even a key release and door release function.

A modern way of buying a car should put you in a modern car, shouldn’t it? Hence the vehicle on offer is the Renault Zoe. That ‘pre-haggled’ price is £16,000, taking into account the significant discounts buyers can find via Auto Trader.

The Zoe is one of the most-searched-for electric cars in the country, reveal Auto Trader search figures.

buy a car via contactless payment

“Today we’re showcasing a real-life version on what can be found on Auto Trader; brand new cars at transparent pre-haggled prices that you can drive away today,” said a spokesman from Auto Trader.

“The only difference is that this Renault Zoe can be purchased at the touch of a card, testing London car buyers’ appetite for electric cars as well as a more instant purchasing future.”

VW-backed used car marketplace launches in UK

Heycar launches in UK

Fresh from its launch in Germany in 2017, the Heycar used car online marketplace has gone live in the UK.

Heycar is a brand owned by Mobility Trader Holding GmbH, whose shareholders are Volkswagen Financial Services AG and Daimler Mobility AG.

Around 100,000 used cars are already available on the site, all with no more than eight years on the road and 100,000 miles on the clock. Most cars follow the manufacturer’s approved used car standard, with others using the AA’s 128-point vehicle check.

As a bare minimum, all cars come with at least 30 days’ warranty.

‘First step towards an international expansion’

Heycar in Germany

“We are pleased that Heycar has now taken the first step towards an international expansion,” said Frank Fiedler, CFO of Volkswagen Financial Services AG.

“Following the positive reception of Heycar in Germany, we now want to serve dealers and customers in the United Kingdom just as successfully and thus further expand our used car business.”

Heycar says it will continue to add more vehicles to the platform as it expands its dealer network and will offer cars from nearly 50 brands. In Germany, around 400,000 vehicles are available online.

In effect, Heycar operates as a ‘middleman’ between certified dealers and the general public. Private individuals or dealers selling older cars are unable to use Heycar – this is a site for warrantied nearly-new vehicles.

‘Disrupt the industry’

Chevrolet Spark

Mat Moakes, CEO of Mobility Trader UK Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mobility Trader Holding GmbH, said: The UK used car market, the second largest in Europe after Germany, works inefficiently for buyers and dealers.

“Heycar will disrupt the industry through a simple, tech-led proposition and will take market share from the incumbents to become the number one site for high quality used cars in the UK.”

Of the 98,830 cars available now, the cheapest is a 2012 Chevrolet Spark with 53,746 miles on the clock – yours for £2,390. At a cool £1,195,000, a 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is the most expensive vehicle, followed by a 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish for £624,950.