Criticism: Avril Palmer-Baunack got £481,000 from selling her own cars
Selling a car can be one of life’s big hassles. But it has been lucrative for the directors of We Buy Any Car, who have received more than £2 million between them for selling their personal vehicles to the Hampshire-based company.
Details of their sales, which took place over the past five years, feature in the firm’s accounts.
We Buy Any Car was founded in 2006 by brothers Noel and Darren McKee.
The company claims that more than 3.5 million drivers have sold vehicles through its service. This requires customers to get an online valuation and then visit one of the company’s 500 branches – which are usually cabins in car parks – to complete the sale. We Buy Any Car was bought by British Car Auctions (BCA) in 2013, which was itself taken over by private equity group TDR Capital for £1.9 billion in 2019.
The McKee brothers are both current directors of We Buy Any Car. Noel, 54, has received more than £1 million since 2019 by trading in his vehicles and those of a close relative. His brother Darren, 52, has received £236,000.
Another director, Avril Palmer-Baunack got £481,000 in just two years. The 59-year-old was heavily criticised for receiving a £29 million bonus as boss of BCA in 2018 when it was still a stock market-listed company.
Directors of We Buy Any Car were paid £1.3 million in the year to April 2023 – though the company notes that some of them are paid by other firms in the wider group, too. This means it is not possible to tell how much the McKee brothers and Palmer-Baunack earn.
The company declined to comment on how many vehicles the directors had sold and the individual value of each one.
We Buy Any Car’s profits almost halved in the financial year ending in April 2023 after the boom in demand for used cars – driven by the shortage of parts for new cars – fizzled out.
The group made £85 million on turnover of £3.5 billion, but this was down from a profit of £158 million and turnover of £5.2 billion recorded the year before.