RealTime IT News

OneSwoop to Launch With Marks & Spencer Backing

Totalise may have touched off a new trend in the UK, with another Web site launching to enable customers to purchase cars cheaply from Europe.

What's more: OneSwoop is in partnership with Marks & Spencer Financial Services, adding a big-name comfort factor to the daring process of purchasing a car overseas.

"We believe that buying new cars over the Internet is the way of the future," say the founders, Roeland and Alexander van de Ven, veterans of the car retailing business.

It is all perfectly legal, insist the founders, and all the cars are covered by the usual manufacturer's warranty. The OneSwoop business model conforms to EU regulations, and every car sold through the site will have a European Certificate of Conformity that says they are safe to drive on UK roads.

Roeland and Alexander van de Ven have worked quietly for years, lobbying the European Commission. Eventually they persuaded it to adopt Regulation 1475/95 which gives increased independence to car dealers from manufacturers and paves the way for the OneSwoop business model.

Financially, OneSwoop is backed by the prominent European capital investment firm Atlas Venture. However, it is the Marks & Spencer name that will be most readily recognised by UK consumers.

OneSwoop does not expect to be fully operational until January 2000 and will initially sell only a limited range of the most popular cars.