Rory Collingbourne is a 26-year-old entrepreneur and the Managing Director of Whitson Prestige, a leading used car dealership in South Wales. The business prides itself on offering a unique dealership experience, with a commitment to high professional standards, whatever vehicle you’re looking for.
“I grew up in the motor industry with my first experience of car sales at the age of three, where I would sit on the rostrum with my Dad (co-founder of Whitson Prestige) and observe him auctioneering, selling vehicles ranging from £100 to £100,000 and items from a Rolex to a Road Roller. It was an exciting place to be and the many wheeler dealers and traders I met over the years taught me a lot about business without even realising it. At 14, I began working for my father at the family business, Newport Auctions; I got the buzz for making a sale and learnt the tricks of the trade. In 2019, we founded Whitson Prestige. The dealership has quickly expanded and we now have a showroom with anywhere from 25 to 30 cars and an in-house workshop, which offers all aspects of servicing, repairs, performance upgrades and more.”
What can you tell us about the current conditions and trends in the market?
“The automotive industry is undergoing a huge shift and whilst there remain many challenges for buyers, the used car market continues to grow, particularly the demand for pre-owned electric vehicles.
With constantly changing legislation, advances in technology and confusion over which option is most-effective in the long run, it’s no surprise consumers are uncertain about what to choose. However, we recognise the changing dynamics of the car market, with an increasing demand for greener luxury options and we’ve witnessed a significant increase in inquiries and sales of electric vehicles. As a result, we made the strategic decision to extend our offering of electric vehicles, with a particular emphasis on Teslas, due to their industry leading charging infrastructure.
Many drivers are looking to the used market as a more affordable route into going electric. As well as this, there are now some electric cars that are cheaper to buy used than their petrol equivalents. However, there is an urgent need for further infrastructure rollout so all drivers can have the confidence in being able to charge wherever and whenever they need. If the Government can continue to support both private car buyers as well as fleet users with infrastructure and financial incentives, then electric sales will continue to soar.”
What advice can you give car shoppers considering electric?
“The most common reason we hear why people shy away from considering an EV is range anxiety and the fear of battery degradation, as well as the cost of buying brand new.
In theory, electric cars don’t need as much maintenance as petrol or diesel, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect them. A trained technician will be able to ensure the car you are interested in is working well, is safe and has the latest software updates. At Whitson Prestige, we pride ourselves on buying and selling the very best vehicles on the market and our industry leading in-house technician carries out a comprehensive pre-delivery inspection and MOT if required, along with an in-house 6 month fully comp warranty. This provides clients with complete peace of mind.
Another common phrase we hear is that many petrol and diesel car fans do not like the look and feel of an EV car, but many do not realise how many options there are to tailor a car to suit your individual style.
Our performance workshop offers all aspects of road car repairs and performance services. From performance upgrades to suspension, race alloys and body kit upgrades – all of which help increase aerodynamic efficiency and stability, as well as achieving a sportier look with a carbon fibre upgrade (for example). The Tesla brand, renowned for its cutting edge technology and impressive driving experience, is a great vehicle to consider tailoring to suit your individual style, and we have seen a surge in demand for this.
Our clients are not just buying a car; they are investing in an unparalleled driving experience and whether this is an electric, petrol or diesel motor, we take great pride in offering state of the art features to cater each vehicle to the driver.”
So, is the future completely electric?
“It’s certain that the future of high-end automotive experience is electric and we will aim to lead the charge in the sale of used EVs in South Wales. Despite this, my heart lies with our collection of supercars and classic cars (all of which are petrol or diesel). As a semi-professional racing driver, I have been fortunate to experience the thrill of racing a variety of sports cars from Porsche, Lamborghini and LMP3s. I’m a racing driver and what can I say, I like it when my engine roars!”