The UK’s largest automotive marketplace, Auto Trader, has signalled its intention to cash in on the growing demand for leasing with the purchase of Vanarama, from parent Autorama, in a deal worth up to £200m.

Vanarama, a van specialist, is an online portal for aggregating leasing deals from multiple funders and OEMs and runs proprietary software. The business also offers fleet management services, insurance telematics and compliance services.

Nathan Coe, chief executive officer of Auto Trader, said: “To ensure we have the greatest choice of cars to buy online, we could not ignore the growing demand for leasing deals. In Vanarama, we have found an industry-leading leasing platform that delivers a great consumer experience and significant sales for its partners.

“This acquisition will strengthen our existing leasing business and will enable us to offer both the biggest choice of vehicles and a seamless digital experience from search to sale.”

Andy Alderson, chief executive of Vanarama, said: “Over the last few years, we have invested significantly in our technical capability to help our partners respond to consumer demand for a digital buying experience. We are hugely excited about the prospect of being able to accelerate our growth plans and deliver even more value to our partners as part of the Auto Trader Group.”

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals. Autorama booked £27m in revenues last year and sold 14,500 vehicles.

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