Online car marketplace YesAuto has formed a strategic partnership with the Independent Motor Dealers Association (IMDA).

The partnership will see YesAuto provide access to its online marketplace for independent dealerships that currently make up the IMDA, offering exclusive offers and support to current and future members.

YesAuto is a website and app that connects buyers with dealers and allows them to purchase cars entirely online, using technology and a ratings system to help users make their choices. It recently partnered with SpinCar to give prospective buyers enhanced views and 360° virtual walkarounds, allowing them to make the most informed choice possible. Neil You, general manager at YesAuto UK said: “The health of independent motor dealerships is vital to the success of the automotive and wider economy.”

Purchasing habits of UK consumers have changed a lot since the start of the pandemic, noted YesAuto. Although there is a clear shift towards shopping online, almost half of consumers surveyed said they would prefer to buy cars face-to-face at a dealership but do their research online. However, You says there is a market for customers who are happy to complete the entire transaction online.

“Our recently commissioned research showed that up to 30% of British drivers would be happy to research and purchase a car solely online. Unless independent dealerships have access to online platforms, they are in danger of becoming obsolete. Our IMDA partnership will ensure the collective strength of UK independent dealerships remains the lifeblood of the industry.”

“The need for dealerships to move online and connect with customers across the country has never been clearer,” added Umesh Samani, chairman of IMDA. “The partnership with YesAuto will enable our growing community of independent dealerships to grow the potential of their business. As YesAuto’s platform continues to build from strength to strength, so does the reach of our association.”