Monday 10 August 2015 12:00 am

Car repair site motors on with fresh funding

A CAR repair price comparison site has secured fresh funding from ex-RAC chairman Sir Trevor Chinn and buyout firm Active Private Equity, co-owner of dining chain Honest Burger., founded in 2011 by ex-Nomura exec director Alistair Preston and former Mizuho trader Ian Griffiths, has secured an undisclosed amount from the two parties to help the business grow. It comes on the back of a previous investment from Trinity Mirror in 2013 and seed funding in 2011 by unknown parties. The website, which allows motorists to find the best deal on repair jobs from a list of mechanics, has grown customer numbers 10 fold over the past 18 months to nearly 120,000 and has 6,600 garages signed up – including the entire national Ford, Toyota and Lexus networks. Garages pay £50 plus tax to register and then roughly £10 for each job they secure through the site. Chinn, who has also been chairman of the AA and Kwik-Fit, will put his own money into the burgeoning venture alongside buyout group Active, which also backs fast dining chain Leon Restaurants. “This investment will allow us to consolidate our market-leading position and focus on growing our core audience on both sides of the marketplace,” Preston said. There are around 40,000 garages across the UK with the bulk of them – around 30,000 – unfranchised, independent ventures. Trinity Mirror will retain a minority interest in the group after the funding round.