RealTime IT News

Pan-European Online Car Buying Service Launches in U.K.

U.K. car buyers will be able to save up to 41 per cent on the price of a new car at OneSwoop.com, the pan-European online car buying service launched this week.

Patricia Hewitt, the U.K.'s Minister for e-commerce and small business, opened OneSwoop.com for British users. Within the next few months the site will be rolled out in France and Germany with the aim of becoming the leading leading pan-European multi-brand online car sales company.

"The Internet offers a huge opportunity for U.K. business - something which OneSwoop has realized," said Hewitt.

A dramatic reduction in the price of cars will surely lead to even greater road congestion in the U.K., an issue on which the Government has come under severe criticism recently.

Nonetheless, Hewitt insisted that in today's fast moving automotive world, it was necessary to harness the opportunities provided by new technology.

OneSwoop.com offers a dramatic change for U.K. car purchasers, with models such as the Land Rover Freelander 1.8 Millennium softback being sold at £13,989 ($22,382) instead of the U.K. list price of £23,815 ($38,104). That is a massive saving of £9,825 ($15,722).

For people who are concerned about paying large sums of money on the Internet, OneSwoop is introducing eLockBox, which enables customers to retain full control of their money until their car is delivered.

OneSwoop will offer the full range of models from Ford, General Motors, Peugeot, Rover, VW Audi, and Mercedes and BMW from early March.

Many companies are involved in the OneSwoop enterprise. It is backed with 50 million euros ($49.2 million) from investors including Atlas Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, InSight Capital Partners, HarbourVest Partners, AC Ventures, BP Amoco, Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) and Schroders/Salomon Smith Barney.

Andersen Consulting designed the OneSwoop Web site, Fortis Bank is providing the eLockBox payment system, and cars will be delivered in showroom condition by Transcars.

18,500 people have already purchased a car from OneSwoop in the pre-launch period.