Auto Trader launches car vending machine

Device offers '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 has taken the concept of the vending machine to another level by creating one that can hold a whole car.

The installation, taking place today (Wednesday) in London's Spitalfields, features a new Renault Zoe from Lookers Motor Group. The car is available via contactless payment, with a price of £16,000, compared with the recommended retail price of £22,470. The price has been pre-agreed with the dealer, meaning customers can 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 is more than one vehicle available for £16,000, and if the initial vehicle is sold the machine will be 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".

Taylor Herring is delivering the project, with production and film managed by St Mark's Studios.