Two of the UK’s largest used car supermarkets look set to become one as Peter Waddell’s Big Motoring World is understood to be in the process of buying rival Available Car.

Auto Retail Agenda understands that senior staff have been called to a meeting today (Thursday, 31 August) to be told about the takeover.

Peter Waddell, founded Big Motoring World in 1986, sold a third of his operation to private equity firm Freshstream last year in order to “enable the business to accelerate its growth strategy, developing its services to meet the needs of customers across new geographies”, according to the investment firm.

Kent-based Big Motoring World operates from six sites and has more than 650 staff and retails 22,000 used cars a year. According to the firm’s most recent accounts Big Motoring World had a turnover of £529 million in 2022 and a pre-tax profit of almost £11m.

The most recent filing for Available Car, which is run by the Bell family, shows a £330m turnover and a £2.1m pre-tax profit. Available Car has four sites in Castle Donnington, Sutton-in Ashfield, Cannock and Leeds.

Auto Retail Agenda spoke to both parties about the potential takeover. Big Motoring World’s Peter Waddell and Simon Proudler, Available Car chief financial officer, both declined to comment.