Martin Camplin has been in the motor trade since the age of 20, so he knows a thing or two about how to run a car dealership. For most of this time he worked for a group operating throughout Herts, Beds and Bucks. But it wasn’t until 2003 that he finally took the plunge.
He had seen a vacant lot, in his home town of Leighton Buzzard, once owned by a fork lift truck company and felt it was in the ideal location for a new dealership – something the area was short of.
His current boss wasn’t interested, so Martin discussed it with his wife and they both decided that it was time to go it alone. They took on a KIA car franchise and set up Grovebury Cars Limited. In a short time he has built a thriving and successful business, although he points to the hard work and ‘growing pains’ that accompanied the achievement. Martin also acknowledges the support his wife, who continues to work for the dealership on a part-time basis, has given throughout.
Martin’s first number plate was actually given to him by a very grateful couple who had been tricked into buying a worthless car. Martin found them a replacement at cost price and, in return, they gave him the registration111 JHA, which he had expressed an interest in.
The next registration Martin acquired was at an auction. The last but one lot was TCL 61. He decided to bid and went to £1650 but an alternative offer of £1700 appeared to have won. Some confusion ensued and his revised bid of just £1200 was finally accepted.
Although he didn’t realise at the time the first two letters matched his 6-year-old son, Toby’s initials. Martin has since set up a company called Toby Camplin Ltd, which his son will eventually take over, along with the perfectTCL 61 plate.
Even his latest acquisition PR06 EED has an unusual story behind it. When asked about suitable plates for a company called Procoin, Martin went immediately to the Regtransfers website and entered PR06 in the search box. He couldn’t believe his eyes when PR06 EED appeared at the top of the results. KIA had just announced its new Proceed model and Martin was soon to attend a dealers’ convention for the launch in Birmingham.
Needless to say, he phoned Regtransfers immediately and snapped it up. He put it on his Proceed demonstration car and parked in front of the other 120 dealers’ cars. He was delighted with his good fortune and received both complimentary and envious comments from colleagues. KIA wanted to purchase the plate themselves but Martin considered it too valuable an advertising tool for his own operation and has already received many potential sales enquiries as a result.
Martin makes a point of praising Regtransfers for the quality of service he received and sends a big “Thank You” to sales advisor Debra, who dealt with the sale.
[Note: As well as collecting the odd number plate, Martin is also an avid collector of model Ferraris manufactured by an Italian company called Brumm. Many of these are quite rare and Martin still has a few to find in order complete the set. So contact us if you have any to sell.]