Who we are

Our history

We’ve evolved from an entrepreneurial print media business into one of the UK's leading digital businesses

2019

New Car launched

We launched our brand new car proposition, to make us as synonymous with new cars as we are with used.

2018

Joint venture with Cox Automotive

We created a joint venture with Cox Automotive, Dealer Auction, to provide an innovative digital marketplace for wholesale vehicles.

2018

Re-launched our Managing products

i-Control became Retail Accelerator, our most powerful tool yet, which helps retailers manage their forecourts using unrivalled data and insight.

2017

Monthly price calculator launched

We extended our finance solution to allow consumers to search for their next car based on their ideal monthly budget, reflecting the changing way that consumers are buying cars.

2017

Acquisition of MTD

In April 2017 we welcomed Motor Trade Delivery Ltd into the Auto Trader team, helping to grow our trade-to-trade proposition.

2017

Price transparency

We launched Price Indicator labels on our adverts to help consumers see whether a car is priced competitively.

2016

Driving into finance

We gained FCA authorisation, enabling us to show the monthly borrowing cost of a vehicle based on a retailer’s preferred lender. This marked another step on our journey of making the process of buying and selling a car smoother and easier.

2016

Market Report launch

In February 2016 we launched the first edition of our Market Report, a biannual review of the UK’s new and used car market. The report has grown in scale and influence and now offers data, insights and market commentary from Auto Trader and our industry peers.

2015

Admission to the London Stock Exchange

On 24th March, Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange.

2015

Expert valuations

We launched our free valuation tool, giving consumers the most accurate view in the market of the price of their car.

2014

New offices open

We created new working areas by moving staff to state-of-the-art offices in central Manchester and King’s Cross, London.

2014

Happy 35th birthday

What started as a regional magazine had become one of the UK’s most recognisable automotive brands. Happy birthday!

2013

The presses go quiet

In June 2013, the final print edition of Auto Trader rolled off the presses. The time was right to become a 100% digital business.

2013

A fresh look

We enjoyed enormous brand awareness but our logo was ageing by the day. We created a modern logo that’s still recognisably Auto Trader.

2011

UK consolidation

We began disposing of the parts of our business that addressed non-UK markets. This was completed in 2013, giving our team renewed focus.

2011

Customers share more

Customer reviews were introduced to Auto Trader, allowing owners to start telling others what they really think of their cars.

2011

For Android and iPad

Having proven the value of our iPhone app, we developed dedicated apps for the popular iPad and Android platforms.

2011

For new cars too

We launched our website for new cars, giving visitors an easy way to compare and find a brand new car.

2010

Bigger on the small screen

Now there’s an app for that: 300,000 people downloaded our iPhone app in the first 30 days after it was launched.

2010

Helping dealers online

Our Dealer Websites platform launched, making it easy for dealers to create professional websites.

2009

Big on the small screen

With smart phones becoming widely used, we launched a dedicated mobile website to help people search on smaller screens.

2008

Hinting at the future

We added co.uk to our logo, acknowledging that people preferred to search for cars online rather than in a magazine.

2007

Digital matches print

Our digital revenue matched our print revenue for the first time. It was clear where the future lay, and we accelerated our digital transition strategy.

2007

Like us or follow us

As Facebook and Twitter use exploded, we joined these social networks and started posting to them. Can we get a retweet?

2007

A brand-new website

We put enormous effort into creating our new website, which allowed us to show the exact number of vehicles available for every selection.

2000

Two become one

In 2000, the two separate parts of Auto Trader merged into a single company, called Trader Media Group.

1996

Our first website

A small team created the first Auto Trader website — two years before even Google was conceived.

1996

The magazine goes digital

Well, sort of. We became the first UK publisher to switch to automatic layout software to produce our magazines.

1995

We cross the Irish Sea

By 1995, Auto Trader titles covered the whole of the UK. The magazine also became available in Ireland for the first time.

1988

Auto Trader is born

We became Auto Trader in 1988, after a short spell as Auto Mart & Trader. At this point we had a number of regional magazines, which were all renamed.

1983

Guardian Media Group joins

Guardian Media Group (GMG) joined Auto Trader, as it had been considering launching a similar venture in the north of England.

1977

Our entrepreneurial roots

The history of Auto Trader starts back in 1977 when entrepreneur John Madejski launched a small regional classified advertising magazine called Thames Valley Trader. He brought the idea to the UK after a visit to the US.

Get set for forecourts opening on Monday with our latest #GetRetailReady #infographic revealing car buyer's thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/iEsnRun6j8 https://t.co/OPHraHWwX1
Auto Trader Highly Rated is back for 2020! Our Highly Rated Award recognises those car retailers delivering the very best in customer service. Find out when we will be announcing the 2020 Award recipients and what criteria you need to meet to qualify. https://t.co/3KF1MkqhfV https://t.co/LpmE65LbMw
Ian Plummer was invited onto @BBCNews this morning to discuss the latest manufacturing figures from the @SMMT. He took the opportunity to highlight the pent up demand in the market & all the measures #retailers have been taking to get #retailready ahead of #showrooms reopening https://t.co/uNmpEYMatT
Thanks James, kind of you to say and great to hear you've found the insight beneficial https://t.co/63vAiNfMfG
To help retailers get back to selling vehicles as quickly as possible, we're launching a new marketing campaign as well as introducing some of the biggest changes to our site in recent years designed to drive more buyers to your ads. Find out more here: https://t.co/JvfE40zohI https://t.co/dqnoP6x3G0
With showrooms set to open on Monday, we’ve put together a handy #infographic to take you through car buyers' thoughts and expectations in the new #retail landscape. https://t.co/nqvKSP6X5t https://t.co/fUhwQ9j9Fq
Thanks to everyone for joining today's #webinar and of course thank you to our guest presenters @adamjt11 and @MikeHawesSMMT. Be sure to join next week and best of luck to those opening their doors next week #retailready https://t.co/qkAmfJw5kC
Catherine reveals the latest changes coming to the Auto Trader platform to improve the #userexperience and increase ad views and dwell time. https://t.co/EiIphIdQfH
Our latest consumer #marketing campaign is designed to give consumers confidence that they can join the car buying journey again and to push the message that #automotive is back in business!
Back to Catherine to talk about how we are helping consumers to get #retailready

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience