Auto Trader launches car vending machine

Device offered 'haggle-free' sale with contactless payment.

Auto Trader: selling cars via vending machine
Auto Trader: selling cars via vending machine

They're normally only big enough for crisps or drinks, but Auto Trader took the concept of the vending machine to another level by creating one that can hold a whole car.

The installation, which was in place yesterday (Wednesday) in London's Spitalfields, featured a new Renault Zoe from Lookers Motor Group. The car was available via contactless payment, with a price of £16,000, compared with the recommended retail price of £22,470. The price had been pre-agreed with the dealer, meaning customers could experience a "haggle-free way to purchase a brand new car".

A team of six engineers spent three months designing and building the car dispenser. A custom-made point-of-sale system and key-release function were created, alongside integrated payment and door-release mechanisms. The vending machine allows purchases costing up to £21,000.

There was more than one vehicle available for £16,000, and if the initial vehicle was sold the machine was restocked.

Auto Trader created the activation to promote how it can provide "brand new cars at transparent pre-haggled prices that you can drive away today".

PR agency Taylor Herring delivered the project, with production and film managed by St Mark's Studios.

A version of this article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign

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