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We’re Dealer Auction

We’d like to introduce ourselves

We’re an independent company, underpinned by Cox Automotive and Auto Trader. Together, we’re creating a digital marketplace that’s smarter, easier and more profitable for everyone.

The Dealer Auction you’re reading about right now is an ambitious and disruptive technology start-up that launched in 2019. We’re an independent business, formed through a joint venture between Cox Automotive and Auto Trader.

Why a joint venture? Quite simply, we recognised by combining our respective skills and experience, we could create a digital marketplace that would meet the needs of dealers, manufacturers and fleets for the benefit of all.

We brought together three very successful and complementary digital platforms used by thousands of sellers and buyers daily to transact used vehicles:, Cox Automotive’s Manheim Online and Auto Trader’s Smart Buy.

We then took the best bits of each – together with some new functionality – within a brand-new web platform that takes advantage of the latest technologies, to give our customers a better, richer work tool.

So as you can see, each platform excelled, offering services to all automotive sectors; but by bringing them together we could give buyers and sellers more choice, better insight and greater margin.

Our heritage is an important part of our story.
Click through to find out why


The original trade-to-trade online marketplace.

The original was launched in 2009 as a no-frills online auction platform that allowed franchise dealers to cut out the middleman and trade part-ex and overage stock to independent dealers easily and quickly. The site developed a loyal customer base and accumulated a shelf full of awards.

When Manheim (part of Cox Automotive) acquired the business in 2012, this winning formula was gently honed and given the investment it needed to grow. And grow is exactly what it did – in 2019, offered 120,000 vehicles.

Pioneering the evolution of wholesale auctions.

Manheim Online meanwhile was developed to provide manufacturer and fleet customers with the ability to sell their stock digitally rather than through the physical auctions. Customers valued the ability, amongst other things, to shorten their sales cycle, host closed sales to specific buyer groups (such as franchise dealers) and reach buyers nationally without them needing to attend a single physical location.

The dawn of data insights.

Auto Trader’s Smart Buying platform – previously known as Autotrade-mail – was a classified listings portal designed for independent dealers to trade overage or unwanted stock to one another. The platform gained significant popularity due to the way in which it overlaid valuable data insights on listings, helping to inform profitable decisions.

We have plenty more we’d like to tell you… if you’d like to hear more about how we can help you sell or buy used vehicles more profitably, please get in touch.

Take us for a test drive.

Curious about what you see? Then why not try Dealer Auction for free for 30 days?