MotoNovo’s car retail portal has begun offering zero-cost advertising for dealers, only charging commission on sales finalised.

The decision by MotoNovo is designed to encourage more of its dealer-brokers to add all of their stock to the platform, which launched at the start of this year.

It comes as the funder steps up the competition with similar platforms like Auto Trader, which allowed dealer finance options last year. MotoNovo left Auto Trader’s platform around the same time, in order to build exclusivity for its own portal.

Karl Werner, chief executive officer of MotoNovo Finance’s motor division, said: “In January, we set out on a mission to redefine the vehicle aggregation market and create the most dealer-centric platform.

“We have proved that can deliver results and now, we need to scale up and build upon the impact the platform has already had. The way to do this at pace is to a model that is similar to a ‘free subscription.’ Advertising on the platform is free, and payment is by results.”

Statistics provided by MotoNovo showed a 15% year-on-year increase in finance proposals in the year-to-date for partner dealers advertising on, next to an 8% increase in volumes. Conversely, dealers not yet advertising on the portal reportedly saw single-digit decreases in both metrics.

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Werner said: “The platform is helping dealers sell more cars and sell more finance. What we aim to do now is rapidly grow stock levels and enhance the customer experience, giving better choice and attracting an even larger audience.”

MotoNovo, owned by South African baking group FirstRand, is seeking a competitive edge on rivals by integrating its books with challenger bank Aldermore, which was acquired by FirstRand in November of last year. The integration project is being carried out from both directions, with Aldermore launching a vehicle teams of its own in January.

In March, MotoNovo diversified business lines by launching a commercial finance division, aimed at intermediaries looking to work with SMEs in need of cars and LCV finance – both new and used. Luke Curtis was appointed to lead the team, which has its own field and underwriting resources.