COVID-19 has accelerated many businesses' shifts to online – and this is no different for the used-car market.

Northwich-based Motor Connect is set for 100 per cent growth in the coming year following the launch of its new digital platform.

During its latest financial year it shifted its strategy to focus on online sales.

Owner Stephen Corwood switched from the traditional route during lockdown as auction prices soared and customers looked for contact-free online sales.

He bought a transporter and developed as a marketplace for UK dealers to advertise stock.

Stephen explained: "In May last year it became clear that the traditional paths to used-vehicle retail were going to become expensive – coupled with consumers looking for a single digital touchpoint to buy, sell and finance a car.

"We changed what we did internally and it’s worked so well for us.

"It’s also been about being different and not putting ourselves in the same boat as some large dealer groups and supermarkets that sit on stock.

"Our business model means we can scale at pace – and this is what we’re doing now, rapidly expanding our dealer partner network to increase vehicle volumes on the site.

"We’re also operating in a much more efficient and data-led way that’s of huge benefit.

"We can add new digital features with ease and invest in getting our platform and cars seen."

The business model sees Motor Connect taking ownership of any vehicles sold via the site where its team then handles the whole customer experience, from vehicle preparation to delivery to their door.

It also enables customers to arrange finance, part exchange and warranties.

Stephen added that there is a significant shift to online sales across the industry.

He added: "We’ve partnered with some of the best digital professionals in the industry to develop our new site, which ensures the whole customer journey is a smooth one.

"More and more industries are using digital to offer consumers a more personal, concierge style service.

"While Covid-19 accelerated the shift to consumers buying cars online, we were on the front foot of this swing ahead of the pandemic having already begun our digital-first approach to used car retail."