Car Dealer Magazine Review 2021 - Muscle Car

Car Dealer Magazine Review 2021

Car Magazine Reviews


Written by Elise

19th April 2021

Car Dealer Magazine Review 2021
Blog   >    Car Magazine Reviews   >   Car Dealer Magazine Review 2021

Car Dealer Magazine Review 2021

By Niamh Smith

We are familiar with the used car salesman stereotype; pushy, sleazy and sometimes crooked. Cigar in mouth, oversized suit and luring you into their forecourt with a giant, blue, inflatable dancing man and some garish bunting. 

In reality, the used car industry isn’t like that anymore, and it hasn’t been for quite a while. Nowadays, the majority of professionals in car sales are exactly that; professional outfits. Buying a used car isn’t a lottery the way it used to be, and sales of used cars have grown steadily over the last decade. 

According to Car Dealer Magazine, there are 4,769 franchised dealers in the UK, and that’s not including private dealers. Including those, the figures stood at around 15,500 back in 2019. With so many dealers in this country, the market certainly must be a difficult one to navigate. Regardless of whether you’re a franchised dealer or an independent one, it’s good to have a source of knowledge of anything that encompasses car dealing. Enter Car Dealer Magazine, whom we have had the pleasure of working with before, resulting in an interview and being shortlisted for their Used Car Awards.

In this Car Dealer Magazine review, we’ll take a look at how the UK’s leading motor trade website got to where it is today.

Car Dealer Magazine’s Origins

Car Dealer Magazine was founded by Editor-in-chief James Baggott in February 2008. A motoring journalist for 20 years, he published the first 6 issues from his home. Having outgrown the editor’s home, the mag became a privately-owned glossy publication, independently published by Blackball Media. After 145 printed magazines were distributed monthly to 10,000 dealers across the motor trade industry, Car Dealer Magazine made the move to being solely a digital online brand in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Car Dealer Magazine is now the UK’s leading motor trade website in providing news, features and information to help both franchised and independent car dealers improve their businesses. Their articles range from market and business advice to forecasts for car sales and general automotive industry news. As well as having their (now online) magazine, Car Dealer Magazine hosts a number of events including CDX (the UK’s largest motor trade exposition), the Car Dealer Power Awards and the Used Car Awards (hosted by Mike Brewer of Wheeler Dealers Fame). 

Content of Car Dealer Magazine

When one visits the Car Dealer Magazine website, the first thing you come to is the latest news. Fresh articles are posted every hour or so, totalling up to a phenomenal amount of information on one site. 


The news articles are exactly what you’d expect: relevant information to the world of car dealing. Lots of statistics in car sales, what to expect from customers for the next month, breaking news from big car manufacturers. Despite that, not everything is strictly directed at car dealers. There are also articles that you may expect to find in your generic car magazines: test drives of new cars, talk of performance events hosted by a dealer group’s performance arm, and write-ups on old cars that the authors have lusted over since their teenage years.


Used Cars

It’s clearly important to Car Dealer Magazine to focus on all aspects of the industry, and they’re very inclusive of all types of dealers. Their articles are aimed at both the bigger franchised manufacturer dealerships as well as the smaller used car lot on the corner of the street. Articles that forecast the future of the used car market must be a godsend for these dealers, such as the harrowing news that millions will be delaying buying a car because of the uncertainty of the economic situation: bad news but good to know and prepare for. 

Big Mike

I was surprised to find these articles. ‘Big Mike’ is Car Dealer Magazine’s anonymous man-in-the-know: a writer with over 40 years in the motor trade but writing only under the pseudonym Big Mike. It’s a bizarre concept but I like it. He only writes one article a month from the looks of it, but they’re rather enjoyable when they come up.

The impression I get of Big Mike is that he’s a guy who likes to reminisce: there’s a lot of nostalgia conjured up in his articles which I imagine a lot of the ‘good ol’ boys’ could relate to. The tone of the articles is very much not serious, another thing I enjoy about them. Most of the other articles (ie. car news, supplier tips) are very straight to the point, tell the story and that’s it. Big Mike likes to inject a bit of humour into the world of motor trade—an admirable trait in motoring journalism. There’s no beating about the bush: take for example this article of Big Mike’s entitled ‘Why I’ll never be a fan of electric cars (or their owners)’. This brutal honesty is a bit of fun—although perhaps not to those who drive electric cars. 

Forum, Podcasts and Live Broadcasts

As well as having their professionally written articles, Car Dealer Magazine encourages a bit of audience participation. Their website has its very own forum; an invaluable tool for those in the trade. Car Dealer Magazine has made their own community of their car dealers and readers, resulting in a great business tool for both themselves and for the readership to connect with one another. It has various forum topics, including FAQs, stolen vehicle & fraud warnings and general dealer chat which is by far the most popular of all the topics with over 70,000 posts. 

As well as sharing their news in a written format, Car Dealer Magazine also has their own podcast and live broadcasts for the discerning dealer who is on the go (as a lot of them often are). Once again, they encourage comments and questions from their listeners and readers under these posts.

Back Issues and Car Dealing Guide

For those who can’t get enough of the endless content that Car Dealer Magazine publish, they also offer their back issues. For those who like that feel of a tangible, glossy magazine in their hands this is a great option. They also wrote a guide on ‘How to be a Car Dealer’, which is a one-off compilation of their fount of knowledge.

Car Dealer Magazine Popularity

Having gone from publishing the first half-dozen issues from the editor’s home to being the leading publication in this sector, you could definitely say that Car Dealer Magazine has grown quickly over the last 13 years. Before going online, they distributed copies to around 10,000 dealers monthly. I wouldn’t doubt that the traffic on their website is of similar numbers or even higher due to the increased accessibility of being online. 

One of the reasons for their success is likely their goal to help out car dealerships by sharing their knowledge and by encouraging an interactive readership. They even offer ‘breaking news WhatsApp groups’ that you can sign up to, a mailing list for ‘daily briefings’ as well as their daily website updates. The use of their forums reinforces yet again the community that the magazine has created amongst like-minded trade professionals. 

One area that Car Dealer Magazine does fall flat on its face, however, is social media. Their engagement on social media is a bit underwhelming really, with a reasonable 3.6k likes on Facebook but only 1,248 followers on Instagram, possible due to the age demographic of their audience. 

The extent of their social media presence is a simple share of each article on their Facebook page. Their Instagram is neglected: their last post was in February this year and their posts prior to that were February 2020. As seen with other automotive publications, the key to having a good following in these days of digital news outlets is to conquer social media (take Fast Car magazine for example, who have a very interactive following on social media). The exception to this is their YouTube channel which surprisingly is regularly updated, and their videos usually receive a decent number of views. This is particularly apparent on gossipy-type videos, such as when Mike Brewer gives his side of the story on why Edd China left Wheeler Dealers (unsurprisingly racking up 322k views).

Car Dealer Review

From the sheer amount of knowledge and information presented by the writers at Car Dealer Magazine, it strikes me that this website must be El Dorado to car dealers across the country. I can just imagine a salesman unlocking the office, chucking their briefcase onto the desk and picking up the new copy of Car Dealer Magazine to indulge in the latest news in order to swot up on all they need to know to make the most of their business. Nowadays, of course, it’s the somewhat less picturesque thought of the dealer logging onto the computer to get the website up. 

Despite the straight-talking tone of the majority of articles (it is for professionals, after all) when humour is involved on occasion it can be lighthearted and fun. With the use of their forums, mailing list, podcasts and other outlets their reach is clearly very wide; if only they could bring themselves to do a bit more work on their social media channels, this magazine could be the full month. 

Author: Niamh Smith

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